Selecting the Right CX Survey Type

In this article:

Introducing survey types

In this section, we'll explore Delighted's survey types for CX. These methods have their own scales, unique scoring, and use cases. In short, they are designed for specific situations — so let's sort out the differences.

View our Survey Types overview video

For an overview, watch this excerpt from our Core learning series. 

(Jump to the 2:50 timestamp to skip the brief "Help Center" orientation.)

Click to view the entire Core Training video collection.

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The Delighted survey types

Click the links to view an article detailing each method—or keep reading to understand key differences between these unique survey methods.

Making the choice: To help decide which CX survey type is the best choice, examine the survey's labels!

Low scale point labels High scale point labels
NPS 0 - Not likely
10 - Very likely
NPS is always an 11 point scale from 0-10
CSAT 1 - Very dissatisfied
5 - Very satisfied
CSAT is usually a 5-point scale with each scale point named — ex. 5: Very satisfied, 4: Somewhat satisfied, 3: Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, 2: Somewhat dissatisfied, 1: Very dissatisfied
CES 1 - Strongly disagree
5 - Strongly agree
CSAT is usually a 5-point scale with each scale point named — ex. 5: Strongly agree, 4: Agree, 3: Neither agree nor disagree, 2: Disagree, 1: Strongly disagree
eNPS 0 - Not likely
10 - Very likely
eNPS uses the 11 point NPS scale from 0-10
PMF 1 - Not disappointed
3 - Very disappointed 
PMF is a 3-point scale that often feels backwards, running from right to left  — ex. 3: Very disappointed, 2: Mildly disappointed, 1: Not disappointed, and often uses a Smileys format rather than labels
The survey flow

After providing a score, respondents are asked an open-ended follow-up question to provide context for their rating. You can then add Additional Questions to learn more. Surveys end with a customizable Thank You page.

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Choosing a survey type: Questions and scale points

To determine which survey type is best suited for your research, start by clarifying the questions you wish to ask. Then, consider the method and scale points that will best drive the requisite responses.

Question types

CX surveys can be placed into categories:

  • Satisfaction: If measuring how pleased customers are with your brand, product, or service at specific points in time, satisfaction surveys are for you. Satisfaction survey types include CSAT and Smileys

  • Loyalty: If you’re tracking how likely customers are to refer your brand, product, or service to others, or if you need a measure of the strength of your brand and its relationship with customers, NPS loyalty surveys are a good fit.

  • Effort: If measuring how easy it is to use, find, or navigate your product, support, app, or online resources, then effort surveys are a fantastic tool. CES is the leading standard for measuring customer effort and product friction.

  • Employee Experience: Employee Experience, or EX, is a measurement of the employee journey—how well are you delivering a positive experience for those who work for you? Delighted eNPS allows you to measure EX by asking how likely employees are to recommend working at your company to others.

  • Product Experience: Product Experience, or PX, surveys help you to design and improve your product offerings by inviting the customer into the product development process. Likert-scale surveys, like 5-stars, are a good fit. Thumbs surveys, representing a "vote" can also have its place, but are less nuanced. Delighted’s Product/Market Fit (PMF) surveys are distinctly unique and can help you identify how well your products align with customer needs.  

Scale points

Matching your questions to the proper scale will translate your responses into informative reports and head-turning dashboards that can help drive subsequent actions. 

  • 11-point scales: At the upper end is the 11-point scale made popular by Fred Reichheld’s Net Promoter Score® system, which is used to predict customer loyalty by thousands of top brands around the globe. This scale also applies to eNPS surveys,

  • 7-point scales: A 7-point scale, ranging from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree, is used to measure effort in 7-point CES surveys. The longer 7-point scale allows respondents a bit more nuance than the 5-point scale CES alternative.

  • 5-point scales: Grouped in the middle are the more traditional Likert-style, 5-point scale survey questions which measure intensity ranging from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree or from Very Satisfied to Very Dissatisfied. These survey types are often used to measure satisfaction (as in CSAT) or effort (as in CES), but can be presented more playfully with 5-star or Smileys surveys.

  • 3-point scales: 3-point scale surveys are easy to respond to, but provide less nuance. PMF surveys use a 3-point scale to measure whether your products are aligned with market needs. Delighted’s 3-point CSAT survey type combines the traditional CSAT survey question with the easy-to-understand smiley faces to offer a survey type ideal for measuring quick touch points.

  • 2-point scales: Finally, there are 2-point scales. These are useful when an Up/Down vote or a Yes/No response is required—for example, “Was your question answered?” or “Did you enjoy your shopping experience at Hem & Stitch?” Turn to Thumbs surveys to utilize a 2-point scale.

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Use cases: Exploring survey type applications

In this part:

The coffee table: Using 7-point scales for CES

Let’s say you purchase a coffee table that requires assembly. As you put the table together, you find a package of assembly hardware, none of which seems to fit your table as the instructions suggest. You re-read the guide, search the site online, and watch a YouTube video on the assembly of the table…no luck. Only later do you reach a solution by calling a customer support number, when, after waiting for 38 minutes, an installation consultant promises to send you a new package of assembly hardware that will arrive three days later. Ouch.

This is where Customer Effort Score surveys come into play. A CES study may reveal that the instructions need to be reworked, or that the online support pages are weak, or that wait times in your call center are too long. It may reveal that there is a problem in the packaging department that has packaged the wrong set of installation hardware with the table, or that a three-day delivery schedule may prove problematic for customer happiness. All of these insights can then be used to implement changes to improve your customer experience.

All smiles at the doctor's office: Capturing emotion with Smileys

A Smiley scale is often used in a doctor’s office or hospital, where you’ll find a colorful “Pain Scale” pinned on the wall. The scale ranges from a jubilant smiling face to a profoundly sad, crying, or angry face. The pain scale helps medical professionals assess levels of pain severity, ranging from pain-free to the worst possible pain.

This scale is effective because patients can easily map their emotions and feelings of pain to the sentiment depicted by the faces on the chart—even if they can’t vocalize how they’re feeling. The same principle can apply to brands and products—no need to read the scale labels or review a prompt on how to answer!

Binge mode: Using Thumbs to quickly gather feedback

Imagine you’re watching your favorite streaming series. Not only do you love the series, but this has been your favorite episode—keeping you laughing for 30 minutes straight. After the final joke drops and the credits start rolling, you’re prompted with the question, “What did you think about this episode?” which can be answered with a quick thumbs up or thumbs down. Thumbs up is the obvious choice.

Thumbs surveys distill feedback down to just two options, allowing respondents to make split-second decisions. Even more importantly, Thumbs provides for easily scalable, reportable, and actionable collection of responses. With just two bodies of data (thumbs up or thumbs down), your team can digest the feedback at a glance and gain immediate insights.

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Can I change my survey type and start over?

It depends. Click on the description that best fits your situation:

  1. I am creating a new survey project—and I've changed my mind
  2. I started the project with NPS—but I want to switch to CSAT or CES
  3. My survey is collecting feedback! Can I change my CX question type?
  4. My NPS results are rolling in—but I now want CSAT results instead

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