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The value of transactional surveys for your customer experience

Every time a customer interacts with your company, whether it’s an online purchase or a conversation with your customer success…

Every time a customer interacts with your company, whether it’s an online purchase or a conversation with your customer success team, it’s a chance to measure the quality of that experience. These interaction measurements are known as transactional surveys.

Transactional surveys measure the experience a customer has had within a particular transaction or interaction with your organization/brand, also known as a touchpoint. This type of survey is designed to measure the customer experience with a specific company segment in order to understand and improve it. 

Chances are you are already familiar with transactional surveys. They tend to include questions like:

  • How would you rate your experience with our support team?
  • How satisfied were you with your purchasing experience?
  • On a scale from 1-5, to what extent do you agree with the following statement? It was easy for me to find what I was looking for.

In short, transactional surveys help you gauge your performance across multiple touchpoints.

If you don’t have the resources to survey the touchpoints that impact the customer experience, consider conducting a survey that measures the experience and assess the touchpoints that need critical attention.

It’s important to send transactional surveys as soon as possible after an interaction. Given that the interaction is still fresh, customers are more likely to answer your survey.

Beware of sending them too often. A customer that has to call a support center two or three times in a week isn’t going to like being surveyed after each interaction. Instead send them a survey after their case has been solved.

Furthermore, define the boundaries of the touchpoint. For example, if you want to measure the purchasing experience, you might want to send the survey after the item has arrived and not after the purchase.

Types of Transactional Surveys

The most common types of transactional surveys are Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES), and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) metrics.

Transactional CSAT surveys

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) surveys are the classic transactional survey. As the name suggests, they measure a touchpoint’s satisfaction. For example:

  • How satisfied were you with your customer support?
  • How satisfied were you with your purchase?
  • How satisfied were you with the demo?

Customer satisfaction surveys are an easy and straightforward way to gauge your touchpoint experience. They should be sent to your customers immediately or a few days after the interaction or product delivery.

Transactional CES surveys

Developed in 2011, the Customer Effort Score (CES) measures the ease of a customer’s experience with the statement: [Company] made it easy for me to handle my issue. Customers mark whether they “strongly disagree” or “strongly agree” on a scale from 1 to 5.

You can adapt the CES question to the relevant touchpoint, for example:

  • The support agent made it easy for me to resolve my issue.
  • It was easy to find what I was looking for.
  • The video tutorial made it easy for me to resolve my issue.

CES surveys should be delivered directly after the interaction to gauge the amount of effort.

Transactional NPS surveys

In case you’re not familiar with the Net Promoter Score®, it’s a metric developed in 1993 by Fred Reichheld as a way to measure customer loyalty.

The NPS is based on a single and simple question on a 0-10 scale: “How likely is it that you would recommend this [company/product/service] to a friend or colleague?” 

Respondents are segmented into three groups according to the rating they gave:

  • Promoters (score 9 – 10) are loyal and will recommend you to their networks. They are your ambassadors and are therefore more likely to remain customers and increase their purchases over time.
  • Passives (score 7 – 8) are satisfied for now but your company, product and/or service didn’t leave a lasting or permanent impact. They won’t vouch for you but may mention you within the right context.
  • Detractors (score 0- 6) are not happy! They will actively spread negative word-of-mouth and tend to be louder (and scarier) than promoters.

The NPS ranges from -100 to 100 and it can be seen as a report card for your company, product or service, grading the overall customer experience. To calculate the score, subtract the percentage total of Detractors from the percentage total of Promoters—this is your NPS.

The NPS can be used a transactional survey for a specific interaction. A transactional NPS survey question would be phrased: “Based on your most recent [experience/transaction], how likely are you to recommend [company/product/brand]?”

Automation is your friend

With our multiple question types, which include the NPS question you can build engaged and powerful surveys, you can build any and all transactional surveys.

However, when it comes to transactional surveys what you need is automation. As covered previously, transactional surveys provide you with actionable data. To be able to act upon this data, you need the data to come to you, instead of you to it. In other words, let the tech do the manual labor so you can focus on elevating your customer experience.

Our categories and notifications features will do the trick. Categories allow you to filter through your respondents based on their answers, for example, filter everyone that is satisfied with your customer support. You can enable notifications for categories, which means you’ll receive an email when incoming responses match your category, e.g. you can be notified every time a respondent is dissatisfied with the touchpoint you’re measuring.

The results

With our frequency charts, you can quickly gauge an average score for the touchpoint your measuring. Nevertheless, the power of transactional surveys, it’s the development over time since it allows you to quickly identify trends and quantify the effects of new initiatives. You can do this with time series charts.

Time series charts allow you to track variables over time and quantify whether changes you make to your product or service affect the customer experience. This enables you to figure out what works and what doesn’t and allows you to address concerns immediately. For example, if your customers are experiencing bugs related to a recent feature release, this might reflect negatively on your customer’s support NPS. Tracking your NPS will reflect this and show that the problem is not necessarily related to your support agents but to the unexpected bugs. Consequently, your strategy will be focused on improving feature releases instead of wasting resources in adding support agents.

You can also add benchmarks to your charts and compare different segments. For example, if you measure customer experience with your software demos, you can compare the performance of the different sales agents.