Types of surveys and when to use them

customer success surveys

Why are surveys important for Customer success?

Customer success is all about ensuring your customers are reaping more value from your product and are happily satisfied with it. If they are not happy then you need to fix it. The simplest ways to gauge the satisfaction levels is through Customer Success Surveys . You can adopt your customer success strategy based on the feedback to deliver the desired outcome.

Types of customer success surveys and when to use them.

There are three types of Surveys that are relevant to customer success, they are:


Net promoter score (NPS) is a metric used to measure and improve customer loyalty. NPS is different from other surveys as it measures what your customers think about the brand instead of feedback on a specific user interaction.

NPS is measured with a survey that consists of a single question and a range of values, typically 0 – 10, with a higher value being desirable. Based on the responses, an NPS score is calculated, which ranges between -100 to 100.

The survey is typically sent to the customer over email or through in-app notifications. It looks like the below image with numbers from 0-10 horizontally laid across. Optionally, you can also include a text box after the survey to receive comments from the customers wishing to provide their feedback.


Based on the scores, the respondents are categorized either as a Promoter, Detractor or Passive.

  1. #1.Promoters – Score 9 & 10

    Customers who rate 9 and 10 are your potential evangelists and brand ambassadors. They are very happy with your product and service and are very likely to recommend your product to their friends and colleagues. These people are extremely valuable to your company and will help enhance your brand’s reputation and help fuel your companies’ growth.
  2. #2.Passives – Score of 7 or 8

    Customers who are satisfied with your product but not delighted are passives. They will not actively recommend your brand but are also unlikely to damage your brand’s reputation. Passives are customers who can, with some effort be converted into Promoters since they are already satisfied with your product. So, it is worth the Customer Success Manager’s time in putting effort into these customers with a strategic view of converting them into Promoters.
  3. #3.Detractors – Score of 0 to 6

    Detractors are not satisfied with your product or service and are unlikely to continue being your customer unless their experience changes drastically. They are unlikely to recommend your product or service to others and there is a risk of them damaging your brand. Few examples are by sharing their poor experience on social channels and to their friends and colleagues.
  4. #4.Calculating Net Promoter Score

    The formula for calculating the NPS is
    Net promoter score formula

    To calculate NPS Passives are not included in the formula. To simply put, calculate the percentage of promoters and percentage of detractors, subtract the detractor(%) from promoter(%) to get the NPS.

    Promoters and detractors calculation in Net promoter score
    Example: If you received 50 responses to your survey: 15 responses were in the 0–6 range (Detractors) 15 responses were in the 7–8 range (Passives) 20 responses were in the 9–10 range (Promoters)

    Detractor percentage would be 30% and Promoters would be 40%, Subtracting the Promoter percentage from Detractor percentage would give 10%. NPS is represented as an integer (not as a percentage) with a range of –100 to 100. NPS in this example will be 10.

    NPS Surveys should be a key component of your customer success strategy with a clear eye on converting as many customers as possible to promoters.

Customer Effort Score (CES)

If a product is difficult to use or if the customer service is hard to get through, chances are you will lose your customer. Therefore, Customer Effort Score (CES) is especially important for customer retention and is a key component of a good customer success strategy.

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Customer effort score is a metric that shows how easy or difficult it is to do business with you. Since the effort for various actions might vary, you need a comprehensive Customer effort score strategy.

Customers are typically asked a direct question like “How easy was it to create your weekly report using our product?” and a scale of 1-5 or 1-7 is shown like below:


Higher the score, less the effort required by your customer to achieve that aspect and more satisfaction for your customer.

We collect the Customer Effort Score in real time after a specific action. For example, after you get off a customer support call you may have received an email or message asking you to rate the service you got, which is customer effort survey.

Sometimes, when a customer is using a feature in your product and you want to find out whether the customer found it to be easy. You can pop up a customer effort score post that action being completed. Your customer then averages the collected scores to get an idea of how much effort is required for various aspects in your business. Customer Success Managers can use this data to provide valuable feedback to your product and support teams to improve.

It is proven that easier the customer experience is, more the loyalty towards the product will be. Therefore, it is extremely important for customer success teams to keep gauging the effort that customers have to put in. A higher customer effort score directly helps reduce churn.


Customer satisfaction Score (CSAT) is a metric that measures the satisfaction level of a customer after an interaction with the business or product. CSAT surveys should be part of your customer success strategy to help with customer retention.

The customer success survey is usually a simple question like “How satisfied were you with the onboarding experience?”. It is followed by a scale rating with smileys or a value like 1-5 or 1-10.


Since a satisfied customer is a strong sign for retention and renewals, customer success managers should use CSAT’s effectively in their quest. Focusing a lot on customers with low CSAT scores and understanding how to help them become further satisfied can reduce churn.


NPS, CES and CSAT surveys, when used effectively as part of your customer success strategy can help understand your customer better. To increase customer retention and renewals, businesses can opt for a Customer Feedback Tool to improve the areas that require overall improvement.

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