Customer Satisfaction Measurement - a guide to asking the right questions

5 minute read

When we have a great experience, maybe at a restaurant or favourite store, we want to go back and enjoy it again. A positive experience results in increased customer satisfaction, which in turn leads to greater customer advocacy and loyalty - and ultimately product repurchase or service revisit.

So you might think, job done!

The greatest predictors of customer satisfaction are the customer experiences around the quality of customer care, product and service features, advertising, packaging, ease of use and reliability.

Harvard Business Review state that “Satisfaction occurs when the gap between the customer expectations and their subsequent experience has been closed”

But how can you effectively measure your customer’s satisfaction levels? How can you prove the effect in order to ‘do it again, and again, and again’? After all, we are after continuous improvement, right?

Different customer satisfaction measures

  1. Overall Customer Satisfaction Measure

The overall opinion of a customer’s experience in dealing with you is helpful to get an initial understanding of your customer’s perceptions of your overall service.

Customer satisfaction is essentially the culmination of a series of customer experiences, or, the net result of the good experiences minus the bad ones. Therefore, an overall satisfaction measure starts you on the journey towards understanding the various experiences which make up that opinion of your organisation.

How to ask about overall satisfaction: 

Smiley face question “Overall, how satisfied are you with ‘your brand’ today?”

How satisfied are you today? Customer happiness measurement


or alternatively "I was very satisfied with my visit to the store today." Do you:

Customer satisfaction measurement

  1. Specific Satisfaction Measures

Specific satisfaction measures are designed to focus the customer on a particular area of interest, as opposed to the whole experience. They aim to gain feedback on that single area by framing the question in order to get a satisfaction rating for that area.

This can be helpful where customer touch points are being measured in order to gain more granular feedback which will inform you of improvement opportunities. These specific measures are also helpful where concessions work within an organisation, such as Starbucks in a Hospital or Per Una in Marks and Spencer. Such brands may want to know how satisfied their customers are with them, rather than the organisation they are embedded in.

How to ask about specific areas of service

“How satisfied are you with our menu today?” Or; “How would you rate our new reception area?” Or; “How satisfied are you with airport security today?”

 Multiple choice measure of customer satisfaction

Find out more about how to  design a survey with our complete guide to great survey design.


 3. Customer Advocacy Measurement

This is sometimes known as the Net Promoter Score (NPS) which is widely used as a measure of advocacy, with a 10 or 11 point scale of 0 or 1 to 10. In other settings the same question might have a 5 point Likert scale response option, such as the Friends and Family test used in the National Health Service within the UK (they actually add a 6th option of Not Applicable.)

Customer advocacy is directly linked to a customer’s likelihood of visiting again and again, and repurchasing your products or services. Customer Satisfaction is a strong indicator of their loyalty and likelihood to purchase again, however it’s not the whole story.

How to find out if a customer will become and advocate

Would you recommend “your brand” to your family and friends if they needed the same product/service?

Survey question : How likely are you to recommend us to your family and friends if they need a service like ours?

 or using a 5 point scale such as the NHS family and friends test

FFT recommend.jpg


Alternatively, "How likely are you to shop with us again?"

likely to shop again.jpg

  1. Customer Loyalty Measurement

Loyalty is sometimes described as a combination of measures including overall satisfaction, likelihood of repurchase, and advocacy - the likelihood of recommending your organisation to a friend or family member.

By combining these three measures a loyalty score can be determined in order to track, maintain and improve the main contributors to customer loyalty.

Loyal customers has to be the ultimate aim for any serious organisation. Loyal customers return, repurchase, renew and spread the good news to their friends on your behalf!



Methods of measuring customer satisfaction.

Download our free e-book which covers the methods available to collect feedback in your organisation.

Download E Book

Methods for Measuring Satisfaction and Increasing Feedback Reach


About author

Written by Simon Rowland

Simon is the CEO of ViewPoint. Find out more about Simon Rowland.

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