Tip-off #3: How to get good response rates & useful information from a CSAT survey

Written by on September 8, 2017

Customer satisfaction ratings are incredibly informative for support teams. Not only do you understand how useful your service has been to customers, but you can also find insightful pointers on where you can improve.

But how do you get enough people to respond to your surveys, and what information do you ask for? Here are our tips for answering some of the most common questions around CSAT surveys.

When should I send the CSAT survey?

Which is the right time to send your customer a CSAT survey: before, during or after you’ve solved their problem? Like so many other well-meaning support agents, you probably answered ‘after’.

BUZZ! Wrong answer.

The right answer is a hidden fourth option: you send the CSAT survey after receiving confirmation from the customer that they’re no longer experiencing any trouble.

CSAT surveys are best sent soon after the ticket is resolved, when the support interaction is still fresh in your customer’s mind. However, it’s well worth it to wait just a tiny bit longer until you receive confirmation.

If you’re worried about forgetting to send the survey, set up automations in your support helpdesk to have the survey sent out automatically when you mark a ticket as ‘resolved’.

Whatever you do, make sure you don’t send surveys to evaluate every interaction. Response rates dip, and you won’t get the information you’re looking for.

What tone do I take in my survey?

Playing around with text is a potent experiment to consider when it comes to designing effective surveys. When you’re looking to improve response rates, you want to make a compelling case to customers.

When you’re deciding the tone and language for your CSAT survey, make sure you:

– Avoid sounding pushy

– Nail the email subject line

It goes without saying, but you should always start a survey by thanking your customer for reaching out to you. Invite comments and additional feedback respectfully without aggressively pursuing for responses.

Response rates are heavily influenced by how you write the subject line on your survey emails. Short, open questions such as “How was your support experience with XYZ?” are more effective than “Rate your support experience with XYZ”.

What questions do I ask to get the most useful input data?

Although the questions you ask in your survey are largely guided by your business and the data you want from the answers, a CSAT survey should ideally give you information in these areas:

Did my customer find it easy to reach support?

– How much effort did it take for them to register their issue?

– How accessible were the company’s support contact details to them?

Was the quality of their interactions with the assigned agent satisfactory?

– Did they feel satisfied at the speed of a response once they’d reported their issue?

– Did the customer feel regularly updated and kept in the loop by their agent?

– Did they feel that their problem was understood and respected by the support agent?

Was the customer satisfied with the overall support experience?

– Was the customer satisfied with how quickly a solution was found for their problem?

– Did they feel frustrated by the wait time on phone queues?

– Did the customer feel like they were transferred to too many departments or agents?

If it pertains to your business, you can include questions related to your product as well. However, around 45% of people are unwilling to spend more than 5 minutes filling out a feedback survey, so try to cover the most important topics in as few questions as you can. Don’t forget to mention the estimated time required to fill the survey when you send it to customers.


CSAT surveys can serve as a treasure trove of information for your company. In our own support team, there have been many instances in which analysing support queries with negative CSAT ratings has led to initiatives for turning interactions with the same customer into positive experiences. Negative surveys resulting from product deficiencies can help you understand which capabilities really add value for your customer. Keeping these tips in mind when framing CSAT surveys can help you capitalize on these benefits when you create a survey that gets you the most useful information, from customers who feel they want to share it with you.

What are the questions you include in your customer satisfaction surveys, and how do you make them easy for customers to answer? Send us your tips in the comments section below, or email us at love@freshdesk.com.

If you found this tip useful, you might like this one for how to prevent multiple replies to the same customer query.  

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