8 7 customer feedback tools to get you started (with free templates)
Are your customers happy with your product, service, or support? Are they likely to tell their friends and promote your brand? Have you asked?
It’s called feedback. Collect it, absorb it, and use it to increase your business.
Because if you want to get better, you have to know where you stand now. And if you want to help your customers along their journey, you have to know where they want to go.
Here are seven different tools and ideas to get the insight you need to kickstart your customer success.
1. Get feedback with a customer satisfaction survey
“Don’t just listen to your customers–make sure you’re constantly closing that feedback loop.”
Your customers’ success is your bread and butter. So wouldn’t it be great to know what they really felt about you?
Satisfaction survey, feedback questionnaire, whatever you call it—this is how you find out what your customers think and feel and you and your product.
What questions should I ask?
Depends on what you need to know.
Ask what they think about your product or brand. How satisfied are they? What would make it better? Would they pay more for new features?
Ask about their experience with your customer service team, support channels, help center. Are they getting timely, useful responses? Through their preferred channels?
Ask how they feel about your website, newsletters, and blog content. Are you pushing useful info? Or are you flooding them with unfiltered sewage?
Ask a mix of question types. Closed-ended questions offer a predefined list of responses, quantitative or qualitative. Open-ended questions give customers a blank page to spill their soul.
Closed-ended and quantitative responses are easier to classify and benchmark against. Open-ended and qualitative answers take more time to process, but can give you big insight into your users’ minds.
How often should I send out a feedback survey?
To answer that, ask yourself this: have you ever changed your mind? Has your mood ever influenced the way you’ve responded to someone’s question? Right.
Now remember, your customers are people too. So their thoughts and feelings will rollercoaster over time. Think of it more like an ongoing conversation than a one-off survey. Aim to chat every three to six months.
What should I do with the results?
Got a numerical response? Quantitative answers are a great gauge for user feelings and behavior. Use them as benchmarks for future surveys.
Are people spewing their feelings through your forms? Catch those concerns in different buckets: bugs, billing questions, feature requests. Use this to prioritize updates and build out your product roadmap.
Getting some great praise? Tag these people for testimonials, and add it to your wall of love.
Top tips for designing your customer satisfaction survey or feedback questionnaire:
Remember: your surveys are another experience for your customers, another impression you’re leaving on them. So make sure you nail the basics.
- Start with purpose. Think about the audience and goal, then work backwards.
- Design with the user in mind.
- Don’t be boring. Be different, make it fun.
- Keep it short. Avoid the “just 1 more question” temptation.
- Design for mobile. Because everyone has a survey in their pocket.
- Converse, don’t demand. Be human.
- Bake-in your brand. Show your personality, make it your own.
- Leave a call to action on the thank you screen. Give them something to do next.
- Help them find it. Email, website embed, in-app prompt–get it in front of them.
- Close feedback loops. Act on the data, don’t sit on responses.
Whatever you do, remember the words of Dan Steinman, chief evangelist and CCO emeritus at Gainsight:
2. Measure customer loyalty with
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
If customer loyalty is the heartbeat of your company, NPS is your stethoscope. It lets you know who your loyal followers are, who’s complacently content, and who’s sucking the nutrients out of your brand.
All with just two questions:
If you need a refresher on what to do with these responses, hop back up to chapter 6. “Track metrics & KPIs” in the lefthand menu. Everything clear? Then let’s move on.
Here are some key takeaways to keep in mind:
- Embed the first question in an email. If they don’t give you Q2, at least you have Q1.
- Don’t bury NPS in a long list of other questions. Send it out as it was meant to be asked—just two questions.
- Sample from various cohorts to avoid bias. Only asking your best customers what they think defeats the purpose.
- Setup automated workflows. Workflows should be different for promoters, passives, and detractors.
- Watch your timing. Don’t send at 30 days to a customer on a 1-month subscription. If there’s a problem, you won’t have time to fix it before they churn.
- Segment the feedback. Look separately at free vs. paying users, or new vs. established customers.
- Compete against yourself. Use the quantitative Q1 response as you benchmark for future NPS surveys. There’s no universal barometer.
- Don’t waste your qualitative Q2 insight. Categorize responses so you can act on them. Consider a tool like Chattermill.io to help you filter through open-ended responses.
3. Improve customer experience
with a persona survey
Who are your customers? And what do they want from you? To give customers the features and services they want, you’ve got to know this.
How do you do it? At Typeform, we do it with a persona survey. Have a look (and make sure you click “Drum roll…” at the end for your surprise):
And once you get to know your customers, you’ll be in a lot better position to deliver what they need from you.
4. Find out why they left
with a churn exit survey
You walk into the office and your desk is empty of all but a note: “It’s over. You’re no longer needed here.”
“Whyyyyyy!?” you scream. (Right after screaming “WTF!?”) Because people need reasons. How else can you accept the past and move on? How else can you improve?
It’s the same for your business. Imagine you knew why another customer just left you. Wouldn’t that be helpful? Wouldn’t you rather have answers than mysteries? Are you asking your customers why?
Enter the churn survey.
Let’s be honest—feedback can hurt. Especially when it’s the reason why they rejected you. It hurts when someone tells you your product sucks or that your brand is outdated. But feedback is how we learn, it’s how we get better, it’s how we avoid similar mistakes in the future.
And you’d be surprised at how many people want to talk, if only you ask.
What should you ask? At Typeform, here’s how we do it:
This approach has worked pretty well for us. The most common reason people leave Typeform? More than two-thirds say it’s simply because their project ended.
It’s an actionable response: we now put tons of effort into educating users on ways to use typeforms across their entire business.
Not all companies have as much luck with closed-ended response options. Like Groove, who got much more actionable responses with an open-ended exit question. Sure, it takes some manual labor to process. But what matters is getting good honest feedback, so experiment with what works best for you.
And how should you send it out? Email is the typical channel, but in-app surveys are another option. You could even make your churn survey a requirement to close an account.
Oh, and make sure you experiment with your message. It could mean the difference between a 10% and a 19% response rate.
A big key: asking “What made you cancel?” rather than “Why did you cancel?” Asking “why” might sound a bit heavy, whereas “what” pokes for a particular example. Wish I had a better explanation, but I can tell you that both Typeform and Groove have seen similar results.
5. Create your own help center
with no website or technical skills
Are you a budding entrepreneur just starting out? Already see that email’s going to sink you, but not quite ready to jump to a full help desk yet? Then Andreas Sohns has an idea for you.
Andreas is an app developer who cares about his customers. But as the popularity of his award-winning designs grew, so did users’ questions and comments.
His solution? He built his own help center and FAQs using a typeform. No coding necessary, no website needed. Have a look here.
Result? Hundreds of customers self-served per month, leaving Andreas to focus on the job he loves—building products that make users happy.
Give yourself a break from the emails with these three steps:
- Start with a simple form to collect feedback, bug reports, and product suggestions.
- Build up a list of frequent customer questions.
- Transform your feedback form into a typeform knowledge base.
6. Check in on your team with
an employee feedback survey
You know how this works. Happy employees lead to happy customers. Need I add that happy customers lead to happy shareholders?
That’s right: happiness is the new business model. And it starts from the inside.
7. Onboard your customers
with videos and quizzes
You know that time-to-value is key for product adoption. And you’ve probably heard that video is the new tinsel that makes customers’ eyes twinkle. Did you also know that testing is a proven way to boost memory?
Project management company Wrike put videos and quizes together in a typeform tutorial. And it boosted product training time by 70%. Click “start” to check it out for yourself:
It helps automate their customer onboarding process, so they can focus on customer success.