13 tips for writing and sharing your customer satisfaction surveys to get more responses

Carla Vianna
Carla Vianna
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13 tips for writing and sharing your customer satisfaction surveys to get more responses

Customer feedback is essential to running any business, especially a service business in the tourism industry that’s so heavily based on the customer experience. When you check in with your guests on a regular basis, you have a better understanding of if your attraction is meeting or exceeding their expectations.

The best way to start this conversation is to conduct a customer satisfaction survey. This way, your guests are given the opportunity to share their feelings with you directly, instead of an online review board or social media post.

But did you know that the average survey response rate is about 33%? If you want to hear back from as many customers as possible, you need to craft a survey that’s going to catch the readers’ attention.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to conduct a customer satisfaction survey, including tips for writing survey questions and boosting those response rates.

Why your survey format matters

How to format your customer satisfaction survey

5 actionable tactics for writing customer satisfaction survey questions

8 tips for getting more survey responses

Why your survey format matters

Before you start asking your guests for feedback, it’s important to consider the goals behind the survey campaign. This way, you can choose the format that best suits your company’s objectives.

Think about whether you’re looking for feedback on a specific interaction or your visitor experience as a whole. Are you looking for quantitative data, or should you include open-ended questions for more detailed feedback?

If you’re looking to measure satisfaction at different touchpoints of your customer journey — such as after a ticket purchase on your website or a live chat with a customer representative — you could use a CSAT survey. The survey would ask guests how they feel about that particular interaction.

To find out how guests feel about your experience as a whole, not just a single interaction, you’re better off using an NPS survey. If your guests are happy with the service you provided, they’ll likely want to refer your attraction to others.

How to format your customer satisfaction survey

A great survey is designed to answer key customer experience questions in your business. That being said, the first step in creating a feedback survey is to define the objective behind it.

What is it that you’re trying to measure or prove? The answer to that question will set the tone for the rest of your survey.

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown to how most surveys are formatted:

  • Step 1: Write an enticing email subject line that persuades your guests to open it.
  • Step 2:  Create a compelling introduction that catches the reader’s attention and shows them the importance of completing the survey.
  • Step 3: Include a sentence that sets expectations, like explaining the types of questions they can expect to find and a realistic time estimate to complete them.
  • Step 4: Only ask questions that are relevant to the main survey objective.
  • Step 5: Keep these in easy-to-answer formats, such as multiple choice and dropdown questions.
  • Step 6: Thank your guests for taking the time to answer the survey.

5 actionable tactics for writing customer satisfaction survey questions

Once you’ve chosen a survey format, you could add a few follow-up questions for more detailed feedback. If you can convince your guests to answer the first question, they’ll likely answer the rest of them — as long as you follow these tips.

1. Use scale questions

Asking guests to respond on a scale of “1 to 5” can provide more insight than a simple “yes” or “no.” This is primarily because scale responses can be used to calculate important customer experience metrics, such as the Net Promoter Score or Customer Satisfaction Score. Quantitative data from scale responses can also be used to spot trends in customer satisfaction more easily than “yes” or “no” questions.

For example, let’s say your survey asks guests to answer “yes” or “no” to the question, “Were you satisfied with your visit?” The responses will be quite definitive. Either guests liked the experience or they didn’t. If you ask them to rate their satisfaction level from 1 to 5, though, you’ll start to better understand their level of satisfaction. Perhaps most of the guests who answered “yes” would actually answer a “3” on the sliding scale, meaning there’s room for your company to improve.

2. Avoid bias your questions

You want feedback to be honest and unbiased. To achieve that, you need to refrain from asking questions that might sway your guests to respond one way or another. A question like “How easy was it to deal with our awesome customer support team?” could elicit a more favorable response than a neutral question without the “awesome.”

Here’s what to watch out for in your survey questions:

  • Questions with overly positive adjectives like “great” 
  • Questions phrased in a positive or negative light
  • Questions that are confusing or hard to understand
  • Questions with “and” or “or” are likely asking about multiple things
  • Questions that use company jargon or technical phrases that the everyday customer won’t understand

3. Only write questions that fulfill your survey objective

Surveys with more than 15 questions are typically considered too long. To keep your survey short, make sure every question is written with your main objective in mind. Otherwise, you run the risk of boring your respondents with too many questions that shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

For example, if you want to know how guests feel about your new virtual queuing system, you shouldn’t also ask them about the checkout process on your website.

4. Include an open-ended question

While multiple-choice and scale questions are easier to answer, an open-ended prompt will bring more insightful, qualitative feedback. Guests that have more to say can use this space to do so. It’s best to start with brief, quick questions to create a sense of progress before the open-ended prompt. One way to do this is to follow-up on a multiple-choice question with, “Is there anything else you want to add?” 

5. Ask one question at a time

Refrain from asking multiple questions at a time because this can lead to confusing responses. For example, let’s say your attraction wants to survey guests about your new mobile app. You might be tempted to ask something like, “Did you enjoy our park experience app and did you find it easier to get around with the virtual map feature?”

This question contains two different ideas. On the one hand, you’re asking guests if they enjoyed your app. While on the other, you want to know if the app specifically helped them navigate your venue.

This can confuse respondents since they have to provide a single response for two questions they might not necessarily have the same answer for. Maybe your guest enjoyed other aspects of your app, but didn’t find the map all too helpful.

Instead, you can use conditional logic to show the following question based on the answer to the previous one. This way, you won’t repeat the same questions.

8 tips for getting more survey responses

Ready to learn how to boost your survey response rates? Here are 10 tips to help you beat the average.

1. Follow up with non-responders

Haven’t received enough responses? Don’t be afraid to follow up with non-responders and remind them that you’re counting on their feedback. Your survey may have gotten lost in their inbox, or they may have opened the email and forgotten about it. You can appeal to nonresponders with an automated follow-up message or a personalized email that better appeals to each individual.

2. Send surveys at the right time

Timing is key when sending customer satisfaction surveys. You want to reach your guests at the right moment on their customer journey so that your questions feel familiar and the experience is still top of mind. This is why it’s important to understand the different touchpoints that make up your customer journey before deciding when to send your survey.

If you want to learn more about your website’s checkout process, for instance, you should send a survey soon after a guest completes a transaction.

3. A/B test your surveys

A/B testing is a useful trick that can be used to boost open and response rates alike. You’ll create two versions of your survey with minimal changes. You can try different subject lines to see which attracts more opens, or slightly change the wording of your questions. You’ll split your respondents in two and send each group one version of the survey. 

he goal is to see which version garners the most responses. You can then use that version as a template for future surveys. It’s important to note that A/B testing only works if you have a large volume of surveys to send.

4. Write an engaging survey introduction

A survey introduction tells the reader who you are and why you’re asking for their feedback. You should give them an overview of what to expect from the survey, including how long it’ll take to complete and how their feedback will be used. The goal is to convince your guests that the survey will be quick and painless, and that their feedback will truly help you improve your guest experience.

5. Offer surveys on multiple channels, but don’t oversurvey your guests

Familiarize yourself with the channels your target audience is hanging out on. If you’re not having much luck with email surveys, your audience might be more receptive on another platform. You can try to reach them through SMS messaging or social media. When guests see your survey on more than one platform, you might spike their curiosity to complete it.

That being said, survey fatigue is a real phenomenon, and you want to try to avoid it. It can happen when guests receive so many surveys from the same company that they start ignoring feedback requests altogether. Avoid this by spacing out your customer satisfaction surveys. Keep in mind that you should never send more surveys than you have the capacity to process. If you don’t have time to digest the feedback you receive, then there’s no point in sending the survey in the first place.

6. Customize your survey to match your brand

Add your logo to make your survey look legitimate. Also, consider designing the survey to match your brand aesthetics, such as using the same font and colors as your website. This helps you build brand recognition since guests will start to associate the survey with your company.

7. Consider offering an incentive — if the circumstances fit

Survey incentives are known to boost response rates, but they should only be used under the right circumstances. Incentives can be used to reach non-responders, follow-up with more questions, or for complex surveys that require a lot of time. 

Yet it’s important to note that survey rewards or giveaways could introduce bias into your feedback campaign, especially if the incentive only appeals to a particular group of people. This can lead to skewed results that won’t be very helpful to your company.

8. Choose a booking software that has survey features

A booking software with survey features can make collecting feedback a whole lot easier. Xola, for instance, has an NPS survey feature that allows businesses to seamlessly survey their guests. Xola then builds an NPS report based on that feedback so that you can track changes in your score over time.

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The next time you plan on checking in with your guests, make sure to follow the tips and tricks shared in this post.

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Writer Carla Vianna

Carla Vianna

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