August 2, 2022

The Best Free Customer Satisfaction Survey Template

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What fundamentally drives your revenue in the long run is customer satisfaction. While seemingly elusive, there are very effective ways to gather customer feedback—if done correctly. 

Survey is traditionally a tried and true method for collecting feedback. However, there are many aspects to surveys that could make or break your customer strategy: How are you distributing the surveys? What’s the survey format? How do your customers answer those surveys? When and how often do you survey your customers? The list goes on.

After years of testing and data analytics, we have nailed the winning formula when it comes to the whole customer feedback strategy. In fact, we’ve helped ~10k hospitality locations improve guest satisfaction with a 86% certainty and increase subsequent revenue with a 97% certainty. Not only do Tattle surveys collect 20x more data points, but also they have an astounding 94% completion rate on average—without the need for incentives.

And now we want to share with you our secret for the survey template that actually works.

Why most surveys today aren’t working

There are quite a few common misconceptions about today’s customer satisfaction survey designs. Some popular ones include:

  • The surveys need to be short or else people wouldn’t fill them out.
  • You need to provide incentives for people to fill them out.
  • SMS is the best way to distribute surveys and get a higher participation rate.

While they might sound reasonable, in reality the most commonly used surveys aren’t the most effective. An effective customer feedback strategy needs to fulfill the following goals:

  • Enough volume to paint a complete picture.
  • Enough details to conclude actionable plans from.
  • Doesn’t require data manipulation so your team can focus on execution.

It’s actually easy to see why the common short-form surveys these days no longer meet the needs of an effective customer feedback strategy. Here’s why.

Short and simple — Insufficient details and unstructured data make it nearly impossible to confidently draw actionable conclusions from.

Incentive-driven — Encourages survey spamming, especially when they’re quick and easy to fill out.

SMS links to surveys — SMS surveys exclude people who fill out surveys on desktop or tablet, as shown by Tattle’s A/B testing data. 

In order to combat this, we’ve gone through extensive A/B testing and data analysis to answer this question: What’s the best survey template for an effective customer feedback strategy?

Based on data collected across ~10k hospitality locations and hundreds of brands like Blaze Pizza, Hooters, MOD Pizza and more, we’ve found the best customer satisfaction survey template that works for hospitality brands big and small.

What are causation-based surveys & Why do they work?

First of all, can you spot the difference between Survey A and Survey B?

long vs. short form customer satisfaction surveys

Survey A is the common short-form survey we see—with 4-5 generic ratings of the most important operational category, and perhaps a text box for guests to write about their experiences. However, there are several issues with Survey A:

  • Generic ratings don’t specify exactly what within each operational category went well or poorly.
  • It doesn’t tell you which operational category has the highest impact on overall satisfaction.
  • Text entries aren’t structured data, and can’t be easily analyzed with data models.

As a result of 1, 2 & 3, you can’t confidently draw actionable insights no matter how many survey submissions there are, thereby defeating the whole purpose of having a feedback strategy.

As you can see, a feedback strategy built upon Strategy A is set up for failure from the very start.

Well, how about Survey B?

Survey B is what we call causation-based. Based on the star rating a guest gives an operational category, it expands to ask exactly what within that operational category contributed to a good or bad experience.

This means that Survey B breaks down traditionally ambiguous category ratings into actionable factors that tell your team exactly how to improve. 

How do causation-based surveys benefit your business?

A causation-based survey template directly meets the criteria of an effective feedback strategy. If you recall, we previously defined a good feedback strategy to fulfill 3 criteria. And below is how a causation-based survey directly addresses all 3 criteria:

1. Have enough volume to paint the full picture of your customer experience.

Causation-based surveys break down broad categories into actionable factors, effectively 20x your feedback data points without making it feel like a longer survey. In fact, Tattle’s causation-based surveys have a whopping 84% average completion rate on a 55-question survey!

causation-based survey template example for food quality

2. Have enough details to draw actions from.

Each survey identifies the granular factors that lead to a positive or negative experience, which are more action-focused areas for your team to work on.

3. Doesn’t require your team to dig into lengthy data reports so they can focus on the execution.

Unlike surveys that require text entries, data from causation-based surveys are already clean and structured, making it incredibly easy to analyze to produce directly actionable results.

tattle customer satisfaction survey template breaks down factors

Many brands opt to leverage Tattle’s intuitive dashboards to identify the top priorities for each month and set Objectives at a location level using Tattle’s AI-driven recommendations.

Causation-based survey fundamentals

There are two main elements in a causation-based survey:

1. Operational Categories

These are the broad categories that you want general feedback on, such as “Food Quality”, “Speed of Service”, “Hospitality” etc.

2. Underlying Factors

These are the contributing factors within each operational category that helps you investigate further and locate the root causes behind dissatisfaction with any category. For examples, within “Food Quality”, you might have “Temperature”, “Presentation”, “Appearance” etc. as the factors.

Despite the details in a causation based survey, Tattle data shows that across ~10k hospitality locations, the average surveys have:

  • Full survey completion rate: 94%
  • Percentage of orders that result in a survey submission: 10%
  • Reward redemption if offered as an incentive: <5% (extremely low)
  • Average number of data points collected in a survey: 55

Some of the commonly used operational categories are:

  • Online Ordering
  • Speed of Service
  • Accuracy
  • Meal Packaging
  • Food Quality
  • Cleanliness 
  • And more

Or course, you can add or subtract from this list any other operational category that’s relevant to your business, such as “Hospitality”, “Ambience”, “Delivery Service” and more.

You can download a detailed template of a sample causation-based survey used by leading hospitality brands such as Hooters, Blaze Pizza, MOD Pizza, The Halal Guys and more. You’ll also see how this satisfaction survey template collects basic demographics information, order information and encourages guests to sign up for marketing promotions.

See how Tattle works with a quick demo!