Survey Types Overview

As the second step in creating a Delighted Project, you'll choose your survey type. Each type has its own methodology, scale, scoring, and use cases.

"Survey type" refers to the CX metric that your survey is built around. Every Delighted survey starts with one of our six question types, followed by an open-ended comment page. From there, you can configure Additional Questions and customize the post-survey Thank You page.

Choosing that initial survey question type is vital, because if you ask the right question at the right time, you’ll receive feedback and gain insights that can improve your entire customer experience.

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The Delighted survey types

Each article in this section will review a survey type, from how that survey is scored to what situations it’s designed for. Choose one of the below types to jump right to that article, or keep reading to understand some of the key differences between each survey type.

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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 scale points that will best drive the requisite responses.

Question types

Most CX surveys can be placed into one of three categories: satisfaction, loyalty, and effort. Different survey types lend themselves to each of these categories, so it's important to understand which you’re trying to measure before choosing one.

  • Satisfaction: If measuring how pleased customers are with your brand, product, or service, especially at a specific point in time, satisfaction surveys are for you. The satisfaction survey types include CSAT, 5-star, Smileys, and Thumbs.
  • Loyalty: If you’re interested in tracking how likely customers are to refer your brand, product, or service to others, especially as a general measure of the strength of your brand or of your overall relationships with your customers, loyalty surveys are a good fit. NPS and eNPS surveys both fall into this category.
  • Effort: If measuring how easy to use, find, or navigate your product, support, or resources are, effort surveys are a fantastic tool. CES is the leading standard for measuring customer effort.

Scale points

Matching your questions to the proper scale will translate your responses into informative reports and head-turning dashboards by making sure your data is actionable and digestible.

  • 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 survey type turns inward for employee NPS surveys, which use the same scale, but applied internally.
  • 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.
  • 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

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The coffee table: using 5-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.

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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!

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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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