19 Consumer experience survey examples and questions to inspire you

A customer experience survey asks customers about their interactions with your brand across various touch points—from initial discovery through purchase and beyond.

And they matter a lot. Because you might think you know what customers are facing when browsing your website or using your product, but when you learn about how that all happens in their true context and circumstances, you might learn some surprising stuff.

Consumers don’t hold back when it comes to sharing their brand experiences. Often, the bad reviews travels faster, sometimes coming from the well-meant advice of others: “Just tweet about it; that’ll get their attention.”

While this method may offer consumers a temporary fix to their beef with companies, it would be a lot better if brands were preventing these issues in the first place—a great way to boost customer loyalty. How? By investing more thought and effort into shaping stellar customer experiences, and proactively collecting customer feedback.

Understanding consumer experience goes beyond just product opinions or customer service interactions. It’s about the entire journey your customers take with your brand.

In this guide, we’ll dissect consumer experience research, touchpoint after touchpoint, showing you how to draw insights from the very people who know it best. We’ll walk you through example questions and give you some best practices to incorporate in your customer experience surveys. Here’s a quick summary:

  • Analyze trends over time: like people, surveys don’t do well in isolation. Send out customer experience surveys regularly and compare results over time to spot trends and measure the impact of changes you’ve made.
  • Ask the why and how: it’s not just about what your customers experience, but what they think of it. If they indicate that support was quick, it might not mean that it was kind. Follow up on ratings with open-ended questions to get to the heart of their experience.
  • Segment your audience: tailor your surveys to different customer groups for more relevant insights. What a long-time customer thinks might be worlds apart from a first-timer’s views.
  • Use a conversational tone: make your surveys feel like a chat, not a chore. A friendly tone can encourage more responses and richer insights.

Want to know more? Keep reading.

Why is it important to understand the consumer experience?

Customer experience surveys can be a revelation for brands stuck wondering why their marketing isn’t resonating or why satisfied customers just aren’t returning. Because sometimes your product or marketing isn’t actually the issue, and simple customer satisfaction surveys (CSATs) aren’t giving you the insights you need.

Broadening your view and diving into the customer experience might reveal a small hiccup in the purchasing process, a gap in customer support, or a disconnect in the messaging. Understanding these details allows brands to make precise adjustments.

Here’s the thing: creating experiences that perfectly match what your customers expect is really tough.

Making them smile when they buy or when they need help isn’t enough. Your responsibility to delight them is for the whole journey—before they’ve even decided to choose you and after they’ve paid.

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The risk of not being in tune with your customers

Understanding the consumer experience helps you be intentional in every interaction. It’s the little things, often. But there are big things at play here, too. When you’re not in tune with this experience, things can start to unravel quickly:

  • Wasted resources: without a clear understanding, you might be pouring effort and money into areas that don’t actually matter to your customers.
  • Off-target marketing: your messages might as well be arrows shot in the dark. They don’t hit home, they don’t bring in new customers, and they definitely don’t bring in more revenue.
  • Attracting the wrong crowd: ever thrown a party and the wrong people show up? That’s what it’s like. You end up attracting customers who don’t really gel with what you’re offering. They leave, often loudly, on their way out.
  • Scattered product development: it’s like trying to cook without knowing what ingredients you have. Your product development can lack direction and focus.

All in all, knowing the ins and outs of the customer experience will allow your brand to create tailored experiences that feel personalized, which will not just boost customer satisfaction scores, but also retain customers, and increase sales.

Examining the customer journey through surveys

You could try to put yourself in the shoes of your customers and walk through every touchpoint. And while that is recommendable for some things, it isn’t the same as getting to know the true customer experience.

For starters: you know your product, service or website better than customers who haven’t interacted with it before.

So you’ll use it differently. You’ll miss the context that they are operating in. Moreover, you’re not necessarily your own target audience, and different segments can have different experiences.

That’s why customer experience surveys are the way to go. You can use them to get insights into every touchpoint, every stage of the journey:

  • Pre-purchase: what are customers looking for? What hesitations do they have? Surveys can uncover what potential customers are looking for in products like yours, helping you fine-tune your offerings and marketing strategies to meet or even exceed these expectations.
  • Post-purchase: now they’ve bought in. How do you keep the excitement alive, address any concerns, and encourage them to become brand ambassadors?
  • Following customer support: are you solving their problems and making them feel valued? Understand the effectiveness of your support team and where improvements can be made to turn negative experiences into positive ones.
  • Post-cancellation/downgrade: why did they leave? Is there a chance to win them back or learn for the future and boost customer loyalty?

Note: these types of surveys aren’t customer satisfaction surveys. You’re not just gauging whether or not people are happy, you’re zooming in on what they’re experiencing and what that means for the way they perceive your brand.

19 Example surveys and questions to ask your consumers

Before you dive into these customer experience example questions, remember they’re starting points, not a one-size-fits-all checklist for your customer satisfaction survey template. Your brand is unique, and so are your research needs.

Use these customer feedback questions as inspiration to put together a survey that digs into the specifics of your customer experience.

Tailor your questions to explore the unique aspects of your brand’s interaction with its customers.

Mix, match, and modify these prompts to zero in on what really matters for your business and the insights you’re seeking to uncover.

Pro tip: Try not to refer to your own brand in the 1st person when writing your surveys. You want a neutral set of questions that won’t reveal who’s asking the questions.
Stephanie Rand
Senior Customer Research Manager

1. What’s something you wish you had known before purchasing this product/service?

This question sheds light on critical information that could have sped up the customer’s decision-making process or boosted satisfaction.

By identifying these gaps, you can refine your communication strategy to better inform future customers.

2. What was missing from your experience that you’ve found elsewhere?

If you understand what competitors offer that you don’t, you can pinpoint specific areas for improvement or innovation.

This customer feedback helps you to understand your competitive landscape better and adjust your value proposition accordingly.

3. What’s the biggest challenge you face when using this product/service?

This question reveals specific obstacles or frustrations customers encounter, which will give you direct targets for product improvement or service enhancement to make your customer’s response offerings more user-friendly.

4. How did the customer service team make you feel during your last interaction?

Customer feedback on service interactions can highlight strengths and areas needing improvement.

Positive responses can be modeled, while negative experiences offer a roadmap for training and making improvements to customer support quality.

5. What’s one thing this brand could do to make your next experience better?

Customer suggestions provide tangible actions you can take to immediately enhance the customer experience. Quick wins!

This customer feedback is great for making quick adjustments that can significantly impact customer satisfaction and loyalty.

6. What aspect of your experience do you think the brand is not aware of but should be?

This question helps gather data on hidden aspects of the customer experience that might have been overlooked, allowing you to address and refine these areas to improve overall satisfaction.

7. Was there a moment during your experience where you felt hesitant or unsure?

Identifying moments of uncertainty helps evaluate how effectively your brand supports and reassures customers throughout their journey, pinpointing opportunities to enhance guidance and trust.

8. Can you recall a detail in your experience that stood out as a positive/negative experience?

Focusing on specific positive or negative experiences provides clarity on what works well and what doesn’t, guiding strategic decisions to replicate success and mitigate issues.

9. Describe a moment where you felt frustrated with your experience. What could the brand have done to prevent or solve this?

Direct insights into customer frustrations and proposed solutions will show you a clear path to preventing future dissatisfaction, improving the overall customer experience.

10. Have you ever decided against purchasing from this brand at the last minute? What stopped you?

Understanding the reasons behind last-minute purchase hesitations can reveal barriers in the purchase process. These insights can directly help you to improve conversion rates.

11. How well do our communication channels (email, social media, website) meet your needs?

Collecting more customer data and feedback on how customers interact with your content and the effectiveness of different communication channels from the customer’s perspective can help optimize these touchpoints for better engagement and information dissemination.

12. If you could change one thing about this product/service, what would it be?

Fishing for direct suggestions for changes allows customers to voice their most desired improvements, guiding your product development priorities.

13. How likely are you to return to this brand for your future needs?

These types of customer satisfaction survey results and questions help you gauge the likelihood of repeat business and the reasons behind it can help identify what keeps loyal customers coming back or what might drive them away.

14. Describe how you felt the first time you used this product/service.

Capturing your customers’ initial emotional responses and impressions provides valuable feedback on the effectiveness of your onboarding experience and initial product/service impact.

15. What does this brand represent to you?

This question lets you collect feedback on customers’ perceptions of your brand values and image. It gives you an indication of how well your brand messaging aligns with customer expectations and values.

16. How does this product/service compare to your ideal version of such a product/service?

Identifying gaps between customer expectations and the reality of your offering can spotlight areas for improvement and innovation.

17. In what way has this product/service impacted your daily routine or life?

Do you know how your customers feel thanks to your business? This question helps you gain insight into the practical and emotional impact of your product/service on customers’ lives and can highlight its value and areas where further enhancements could enrich customer experiences even more.

18. Could you share a suggestion for how this brand might enhance your overall experience?

Encouraging customers to share ideas for holistic improvements can reveal innovative ways to create a more positive experience across all touchpoints.

19. What motivated your last purchase with this brand, and did the product/service meet your expectations?

Linking the motivations behind purchases to satisfaction levels helps assess how well your product/service is meeting customer expectations, informing strategies to maintain or enhance customer satisfaction score.

How to analyze your customer experience survey results

  • Segment customers and data: break down your survey results by different customer demographics, purchase history, or any specific segmentation relevant to your business. This helps you identify patterns or needs unique to certain groups, like existing customers and those who have left.
  • Look for trends over time: if your customer feedback survey is part of an ongoing effort, compare the results with past data. Are there improvements in areas you’ve been working on? Are there new issues have emerged that weren’t apparent before? This is valuable information to identify trends in the market and how customers’ opinions change.
  • Look beyond customer satisfaction: measuring customer satisfaction isn’t useless, but it should be done in the right context and as part of a larger research question.
  • Identify common themes: use thematic analysis to sift through open-ended responses. This could reveal unexpected insights about your product or service that quantitative questions might not capture.
  • Prioritize actions based on frequency and impact: focus on the issues or suggestions mentioned most frequently by your customers, but also consider the potential impact of less common feedback that could significantly enhance the customer experience.
  • Cross-reference with other data sources: compare survey findings with data from other customer interaction points like social media, customer support logs, or sales data to validate insights and identify broader trends.
  • Contrast sentiments between segments: look beyond surface-level data to compare sentiment scores between different customer segments. This can highlight if specific groups have substantially different experiences or perceptions that need tailored responses.
  • Analyze verbatim for emotional tone: use sentiment analysis tools to assess the emotional tone of open-ended responses. This can reveal not just what customers are saying, but how they feel about their experiences, offering clues on emotional drivers or deterrents.
  • Map feedback to customer journey stages: assign each piece of feedback to a specific stage in the customer journey. This approach helps identify which parts of the journey are delighting customers and which are creating friction.
  • Benchmark against industry standards: if industry benchmarks are available, compare your survey results against them to see how your customer experience stacks up against competitors and industry leaders.
  • Identify advocates vs. detractors: using Net Promoter Score (NPS) segments or similar metrics, specifically analyze comments from promoters and detractors separately.
  • Engage in follow-up conversations: don’t make this a one-time-thing. Reach out for follow-up conversations with respondents who provided particularly insightful feedback. This can uncover the nuances behind their responses and generate qualitative insights that surveys alone might not capture.

When should you send a customer experience survey?

It’s not just a question of when, it’s also a question of ‘how often’?

Ideally, you do it regularly, across different touchpoints and survey both paying customers and those who are still shopping around.

Because sending a customer experience survey shouldn’t be a reactive measure; it’s a proactive step to understanding your customers better.

Whether you’ve noticed a spike in complaints or just want to stay ahead, it’s important to time your surveys wisely. Regular surveys can help you keep a close eye on customer sentiment, allowing you to address any issues before they escalate.

Ideally, integrating these surveys into your customer journey at key milestones—like after a purchase or interaction with customer service—ensures you’re always in tune with your customers’ needs and expectations.

Consumer insight templates at your fingertips

Ready to get a clearer picture of your consumers? Attest customer experience survey templates are here to make it easier. Dive into our Brand Perception, Customer Profiling, or JTBD (Jobs to Be Done) templates to kick-start your consumer insights journey.

They’re straightforward, easy to use, and packed with the kind of questions that reveal what your consumers really think and need.

Perfect for fine-tuning your marketing, product development, or overall strategy. Check them out and see how you can start understanding your consumers on a whole new level today.

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How can customer surveys enhance customer service?

By conducting customer surveys, you can pinpoint exactly where your service excels or needs improvement. This direct feedback is crucial for training your team and refining your approach, ensuring that every customer call or interaction adds positively to your customer’s experience.

What insights can I gain from customer feedback questions?

Asking the right customer feedback questions helps you understand the effort your customers put into their interactions with your brand, from navigating your ordering process to getting their issues resolved. This knowledge allows you to streamline processes and improve customer satisfaction.

Why is measuring customer effort important?

Measuring how much effort customers need to exert to use your product or service, or resolve issues, is vital. A lower customer effort score (CES) usually correlates with higher customer satisfaction, loyalty, and, ultimately, a decrease in customer churn.

How does analyzing survey data help in reducing customer churn?

Analyzing survey data gives you a comprehensive view of your customers’ opinions and experiences. This insight helps you make informed decisions to address issues, improve customer experiences, and keep your customers satisfied and loyal.

What role does the target audience play in crafting customer surveys?

Understanding your target audience is key to designing effective customer surveys. Tailoring questions to fit the specific needs and preferences of your existing customers or a particular loyal customer segment ensures that the feedback you collect is relevant and actionable.

Why is getting a representative sample important in customer research?

A representative sample ensures that the survey data accurately reflects the broader customer base’s opinions and experiences. This accuracy is crucial for making informed decisions that positively impact a wide range of customers, from new prospects to long-term loyalists.

Stephanie Rand

Senior Customer Research Manager 

See all articles by Stephanie