What Is a CSAT Score? How to Calculate and Utilize a CSAT Score

A CSAT score is a commonly used customer experience (CX) metric that helps a company build a relationship of trust and understanding with its customers. A successful organization knows that a key element of success is a loyal foundation built within its customer base.

On paper, it may seem simple, but in reality, many companies struggle with building a customer-centric foundation within loyal customer relationships. One way to build and maintain solid relationships is to establish a channel for customers to communicate experience feedback to the company. 

The goal of a successful organization is to fully grasp what customers value—as well as dislike—regarding their experience with a business. A proven channel to understand customer sentiment is by implementing customer satisfaction surveys.

What Is a Customer Satisfaction or CSAT Score?

CSAT is short for customer satisfaction score. It’s a commonly used measurement tool that acts as a key performance indicator for customer service and product quality. CSAT is a general term understood, recognized by, and beneficial to a wide variety of industries. 

While customer satisfaction as an idea is a general one, CSAT is a more defined and specific metric that is expressed as a percentage. These more defined metrics can present as any of the four types of CSAT surveys:

#1: Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

#2:  Net Promoter Score (NPS®)

#3:  Customer Effort Score (CES)

#4:  Milestone Surveys

In this blog, the spotlight stays on what CSAT is, but it’s beneficial to have at least a brief understanding of the three other types of CSAT surveys to have a full grasp of the entire concept and how customer satisfaction can play a major role in organizational decision-making processes.  

Net Promoter Score:

Net Promoter Score, or NPS, is a metric that indicates the willingness of customers to promote a company’s product or services and separates customers into promoters, detractors, and passives. While NPS is a valuable indicator of customer satisfaction, it also can surface pain points that can lead a company to revise, shift or fix friction points in the customer journey to encourage positive customer experience that leads to customer promotion. 

Customer Effort Score:

Customer Effort Score, or CES, is a specific customer experience survey metric that enables companies to track the ease of or effort required within the customer interaction with a product or service within the duration of the customer relationship with the company. In measuring CES, organizations gain insights and data that enable business improvements in and around the customer experience to uncover laborious friction points that act as roadblocks to customer interactions.

A Milestone Survey: 

A Milestone Survey is a questionnaire sent out at specific moments throughout the customer journey to help organizations better understand the customer experience over time. A milestone can either be triggered by time (after 30 days) or by experience (after onboarding).

What Types of Questions Would a Customer Satisfaction Survey Include?

When drafting a CSAT survey, it is wise to consider including a variety of questions that explore the different aspects and relationships surrounding the customer’s journey with a product or service. 

The five most beneficial and key question types that provide a wide and valuable range of insight that will likely benefit any organization are:

  • Product Usage Questions
  • Demographics Questions
  • Psychographics Questions
  • Satisfaction Scale Questions
  • Open Ended Text Questions

Product Usage Questions:

Product Usage Questions explore when and how, and why customers are interacting with your product; they will be critical in identifying customer expectations and needs that lead to product engagement. Product usage questions point to the value or lack thereof that a product provides. Listening to the voice of the customer regarding our product will provide clarity and insight beyond what controlled studies can provide. With product usage data, companies can get a more complete picture regarding functionality and value its product provides. 

Demographic Questions:

Demographic Questions can help you determine a variety of components within a population’s characteristics that may influence a customer’s decisions surrounding your product. It’s common within demographic questions to gather information about customers’ income level, marital status, gender,  identity, and geographical location. With product usage segmented data, companies are better informed to make wise business decisions on how to target a specific demographic by utilizing the data from their customer feedback. This data-based information may help you develop products and or services that relate more specifically to customers.

Psychographic Questions: 

Psychographic Questions will give valuable insight into the customer lifecycle by providing you with information about unique customer specifics. Psychographics describe human traits that could include: hobbies, interests, likes and dislikes, goals, values, lifestyle, or physiological tendencies. Psychographic survey questions may help measure the personality traits and tendencies of a customer’s preferences regarding a company’s products and services.

Satisfaction Scale Questions:

Satisfaction Scale Questions may promote feedback and curb survey fatigue as the structure of the question can be an easy way for customers to give an overall sentiment of their experience with the company or product using a single click. The satisfaction scale asks, on a scale of 1-5, or 1-10, how satisfied a customer is. This scale can be as general or specific as the feedback a company would like to receive and can provide companies direction on who their promoter and detractor customers are and allow them to target them according to their overall satisfaction sentiments. 

Open-Text Questions:

Open-Text Questions allow customers more freedom to share and expound upon unique experiences and assist in gathering highly valuable responses not available in other forms of questioning. Open-text questions are relatively harder to analyze as data sets and require text analysis, but they help capture subjective and individualized experiences regarding the customer journey better than other forms of questioning. 

How Do You Calculate and Measure a CSAT Score?

CSAT score is a customer feedback metric measured via one or more variations of this question: “How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the products or service you received?” Respondents use the following or similar 1 to 5 scale:

  1. Very Unsatisfied: ( Where a customer would be considered a detractor)
  2. Unsatisfied: (Where a customer would be considered at risk of churn)
  3. Neutral: (Where a customer would be considered a slight risk of churn)
  4. Satisfied: ( Where a customer would be considered a promoter)
  5. Very Satisfied: ( Where a customer would be considered a promoter)

CSAT scores are usually developed into a percentage scale, with 100 percent representing complete customer satisfaction. The results of a CSAT survey can be averaged out to give a Composite Customer Satisfaction Score by taking the number of satisfied customers and dividing them by the number of surveys received. CSAT Surveys remain the most successful way to elicit customer feedback and come in a variety of forms and templates. Customers may be accustomed to a traditional questionnaire or website form, but more and more, the less traditional format, such as a popup, an app, via text message, or other unconventional methods, are being adopted as users can easily navigate these methods within the comfort of their touchscreen devices.  

Why Are Customer Satisfaction Surveys Important?

When customers feel their voice is being heard, they are more likely to communicate their unique and personal experiences with a product or service. In the event of negative experience feedback, customers are more likely to stay if they can see their experience remedied. Unsatisfied customers have the potential to become loyal promoters after being retained from negative feedback, and a well-timed customer satisfaction survey can hone the customer journey and improve satisfaction, retention, loyalty, and likelihood to repurchase.

Moving Forward with CSAT Surveys

Occasionally customer satisfaction feedback will provide a descriptive experience, especially if open-ended questions are included, but most customer feedback will be brief, concise, and to the point. Whatever form the feedback takes, the notion that any feedback is better than none remains, and the CSAT score is the best way to receive,  sort, and take data-based action to improve. 

Utilizing CSAT scores and insights wisely can lead to a positive influx of new customers and contribute to well-maintained relationships with existing ones. 

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How to Tell a Story with Market Research Data

As business professionals, our lives often involve one or more reports packed with market research data every week, if not every day, providing an onslaught of facts and insights. Most of us have experienced the fatigue and boredom brought about by too many facts and too little learning.

So, how can we deliver effective market research data reporting and communication of information and insights in a way that captures the imagination and garners interest and, more importantly, inspires action? Storytelling.

The Importance of Storytelling

The most critical ingredient of effective market research reporting comes in the shape of stories. Storytelling is rarely given the attention it deserves. If research is both art and science, we need to blow the dust off the art elements including writing, presenting, persuading, visual arts, theatrical arts, and the art of storytelling.

For the last few decades, with the dramatic increase of data and information availability, the users of information frequently find themselves in a tough place to make any meaningful conclusions. Especially in the marketing research industry, the research buyers have been identifying the lack of “a story” in the delivered reports by research suppliers. The users of research cry that they do not want just scores and statistics, rather they want a story that tells “what happened” or “why is that important” based on those scores and statistics.

4 Steps to Telling a Story with Market Research Data:

It is necessary to use a set of principles to find insights and then outline steps to successful communication of market research data and insights to business end-users. Consider this method:

Step #1: Understanding

Context is everything. Before designing a research study, it is critical to understand the business’s objectives, current environment and situation, pain points, the stakeholders’ interests, and the use of information. Researchers gather context about the business and the research needs through the clients, their organization, and other outside sources before planning and designing the study.

Step #2: Planning

Design a research study with the “end in mind” and look at the process from the end to the beginning. First, focus on the business objectives, then design the way to deliver the information to meet those objectives, then design the analytic plan to provide this information, and finally design the survey instrument and the sampling frame to collect the data to be analyzed.

Step #3: Discovery

When the data is collected, an essential step is to review the data and discover the story hidden in it. It is a common failure of many market research studies that the researchers deliver a long report of results from the study, basically a dump of information, question by question, without focusing on a story to answer the specific research and business objectives. Instead, a discovery phase needs to occur, where the data is reduced to a coherent story that will answer businesses’ research questions.

Step #4: Communication

Finally, now that the data is reduced to a story, how do you tell that story in the most effective way? This is the last and most important element of delivering research results, as only effective communication of results will accomplish the goal of meeting the business’s research objectives.

There are many ways of making the communication of research story effective, but we will focus on three of those ways here to share some best practices we implement for effective business reporting: Use of visuals, colors, and dashboards.

Use Graphics and Charts

When reporting on market research data, visual components are the centerpiece. A busy reader will often flip through and look at the main diagrams and charts in a report, much the same way that someone flips through a magazine or newspaper and looks at the pictures (and maybe reads the captions). To get your point across in a report, make sure that the visuals are conveying the point—don’t hide your conclusions in the accompanying text. Moreover, neuroscience tells us that recall is also better when accompanied by visual elements—something to which the reader can attach ideas.

Visuals in research reporting are generally either “graphics” or “charts.” Generally, charts visually plot the size of market research data, while graphics show the relationship between concepts/objects or the ow in a process. This distinction matters because graphics are useful for helping show the structure of the story we are telling, while charts are useful for clearly showing the evidence that backs our story. We utilize these graphics to tell a clear and concise story.

Graphics “show” in one complete picture these connections, whether it is a chronological order, a cause-and- effect relationship, or an organizational structure, in a simple pictorial way, making it easier to comprehend and recall. While graphics narrate the story and provide a way to visualize the market research data, charts fill in the details and support the points we are making.

The traditional style of research reporting often fails to engage the attention and therefore the brain of the reader, resulting
in a lack of processing, memory and recall. There are ways to combat this problem, using editing and data density.

  • Editing refers to the process of cutting distracting content. Review the chart for repetition, for non-results, for unnecessary text that does not provide additional information, and for relevance to the main objectives. The editing step reduces long, repetitive charts.
  • Data Density refers to the quantity of market research data points that are shown in a given space. Instead of using repetitive charts to display multiple data series, we can use the idea of data density by combining multiple series on the same chart to improve the flow and interpretive richness of the report. When data elements are far apart in the report, insights can be missed. The human eye and mind are more adept at noticing patterns than we give it credit for, so dense data displays play to this strength of the brain and keeps it engaged.

An important step in creating better charts is focusing on the key elements and deleting the rest so as not to clutter the charts. Another way to increase data density is through interactivity. Interactivity means allowing the user (either a reader or a presenter) to interact with the data by making choices about what they want to see.

Convey the Story Quickly and Accurately

With increased amount of information available through various sources, it has become a major challenge for marketing research professionals to reduce the vast amount of data into meaningful messages for audiences. Many audiences find themselves flooded with just ‘data’ and ‘information’, overwhelmed with statistics and facts, and left without true insights that should inform marketing and strategic decisions.

To overcome this challenge, the key is to tell a story from the data. A coherent and clear story that is relatable to the audience will be more successful in capturing the audience’s attention, and will succeed in communicating the message by creating curiosity in the audience’s mind and engaging them in thinking.

Use of visuals is critical in presenting a successful story, but visuals need to be selected and constructed carefully to create the best effect on the audience. Editing and data density are key ways to improve the readability and effectiveness of reports. Interactivity uses the reader’s working memory to help them see localized patterns in the data.

These tools together make the evidence provided by the charts more powerful and relevant to the story. Understanding how people perceive and compare shapes in charts allows us to construct visuals that accurately and quickly convey the story.

3 Necessities for Seamless, Stand-Out Retail Experiences

It is no secret that today’s retailers are faced with unique challenges. The rapidly-changing, ever-evolving retail landscape continues to present questions, roadblocks, and pain points that retailers need to address. These tribulations can take many forms; defining customer loyalty in emerging consumers, creating seamless retail experiences across channels, tracking a customer base that seems to be in multiple places at once, and keeping up with a digital landscape that changes as frequently as the Cleveland Browns change quarterbacks. 

In such a fast-paced environment, how are retail brands expected to succeed? The keys lie in your customer data—and how you leverage it. 

3 Necessities for Stand-Out, Seamless Customer Experiences in Retail

  1. Integrate Data From Everywhere Into Your CX Platform
  2. Increase Experience Awareness
  3. Encourage a Culture of Commitment 

#1: Integrate Data From Everywhere Into Your CX Platform

One of the most important keys to deliver seamless customer experiences is to have seamless data integration from everywhere into your CX platform. In order to form a holistic view of your customer’s experience, you need to be able to analyze every data point you can. 

Your customer’s data comes in many different forms (you can learn more about customer data in this article from InMoment Customer Insights Expert Jessica Petrie). Whether it be surveys, review sites, or social media. If you only look at one or two of those data sources, your view of the customer is incomplete, and it may cause you to make decisions for a customer base that you don’t fully understand. 

To continue to provide stand-out experiences, you need to view the customer experience from every angle, and across every channel. This is done by making sure your CX platform is capable of ingesting all of your data and displaying it in an easily accessible, centralized location so that you can access holistic customer insights whenever you need. 

#2: Increase Experience Awareness

Across the hundreds of brands and partners we’ve worked with here at InMoment, we have learned what works, formed a cohesive and proven approach, and can now guide our clients toward a successful CX governance strategy. This strategy will look different depending on the size and structure of your organization. 

Regardless of what you call it or where it lives, you need to have a plan for how you will make your CX program an organization-wide, customer-centric initiative—and keep it that way. It has to be more than just saying you are customer-centric, or having the word “customer” in your mission statement. 

Every department should have a window into the insights you gain from your CX program—and be able to leverage them in their decision making. The information you receive from customers needs to be shared with all other departments and teams, not siloed in different departments, otherwise, you could be sitting on insights that could make a huge difference in your bottomline. When you break down those silos and create channels of communication across departments, your business will see more success in the areas that matter most!

The first step to creating that kind of organizational support and buy-in for your CX program is to create a cross-functional council. This council, made up of representatives from every part of the organization, should be chaired by the CEO or a high-level CX champion. 

This council should aim to manage the activities of the tactical working teams that are striving to improve the customer experience as well as communicate expectations throughout the company and particularly to the customer-facing associates. 

For example, many large organizations have a Chief Customer Officer, an executive professional in charge of the company’s relationship with the customer, who reports to the CEO.   

Truly best in class CX companies will often have what we call CX Champions, Ambassadors or Champions scattered throughout the company that are championing or spearheading efforts within each of the silos we discussed.

#3: Encourage a Culture of Commitment 

A “Culture of Commitment” is the ultimate goal of any customer experience program. In a company with a true Culture of Commitment, every single employee is invested in making experiences better for customers. Whether it be in store, over the phone, or online, these employees are the face of your CX program, and they understand the impact they are making on customer experiences every day. 

When your employees are engaged in the experience, your organization will benefit. Did you know that 70% of the time, a person will become a repeat customer when their complaint is resolved? And that engaged employees can increase an organization’s sales by up to 20%? 

By having engaged, customer-centric employees, you will see an increase in the frontline metrics that matter to your organization. Frontline employees are the biggest customer facing assets your organization has. While executive sponsorship is important, your CX program needs buy-in from everyone in the organization in order to be successful. 

How a Global Footwear Retailer & InMoment Client Started with Customer Data, Fostered CX Governance, and Inspired a Culture of Customer Commitment

One of our clients, a global footwear retailer, leveraged all three of these strategies to move toward a fully customer-centric approach to business. 

It started a few years ago, when an operations team leader, who was passionate about his team being customer-centric, started using customer data points as supporting points in conversations with his team. 

These conversations would look like “Did you know that when our associates offer additional merchandise at the point of purchase, there is a 17% average transaction size uplift.” or “Did you know when our associates are successful helping a customer try on a shoe, they are 3x more likely to make a purchase.”  

This CX champion was able to leverage these customer insights to socialize this information, and make other departments and employees aware of how they could improve the customer experience. Through these actions, a small cross-functional CX governance committee was formed. 

This team was able to get the attention of the executives with their data-driven decision making and were therefore able to help the c-suite realize that factors such as employee behavior, customer behavior, and customer insights are all important factors that drive sales and increase the bottom line. 

After the C-suite executives realized the importance of a CX program, they invested more into it. The CX program adapted and started to utilize an integrated approach to customer experience, where they combined insights from different areas of the organization. And with that approach, they are set to set off the same cycle of success over and over again!

So What? 

Based on our expertise and the lessons we have learned from all the CX programs we have helped grow, we have formulated a list of next steps that will help you make progress towards integrated CX!

Step #1: Go Beyond Surveys

Integrated CX isn’t just about surveys. Find other signals in your organization, and integrate them into your program. 

Step #2: Understand Emerging Customers

Continue to understand your customers. But, you also need to listen to the non-purchaser. Having a deep understanding of your future or potential customers will help you make business decisions. 

Step #3: Get Ahead, Stay Ahead

Having a plan in place is key to your CX success. At InMoment, we often talk about designing with the end in mind. Knowing where you want your CX program to go and what you want to accomplish is key for starting out in a CX program. 

Step #4: Action, Action, Action

Go to work. Identify the initiatives that will have an economic impact. All action taken should be tied back to a specific outcome. 

If you want to learn more about leveraging customer data to craft seamless, differentiated experiences in store & online, watch the full webinar here!

Survey Methodology

When it comes to collecting data, one of the best ways to do so is a survey. Most companies put out surveys of some kind for customers and employees at different points. But there’s more to a survey than just a series of questions. In fact, surveys typically have a method behind them to gather specific types of data and to make them as effective as possible. But what is a survey method? What is survey methodology? Read on to learn about survey methodology and why that matters.  

What Is Survey Methodology? 

What is survey methodology? To begin, it’s important to distinguish between a survey methodology and a survey method. A survey method is the process or tool you use to gather information via a survey. For example, you might create an online survey with multiple choice questions, and that would be your survey method. A survey method can be qualitative or quantitative. We’ll talk more about survey method options and their pros and cons later on. 

Survey methodology, on the other hand, is the study of survey methods. It’s looking at all of the survey methods available and using applied statistical information to determine what methods give certain errors and where accuracy can be improved. Essentially, survey methodology studies sampling techniques and practices and determines the accuracy, so researchers of all kinds can improve their methods and get more accurate results. 

What Is the Purpose of Survey Methodology? 

So what is the purpose of survey methodology? Why do we have an entire field of applied statistics working on surveys? It’s important to understand why survey methods matter first. Survey methods are designed to help researchers and companies get information as accurately as possible. After all, the data you gather isn’t worth much if it’s completely inaccurate or riddled with errors that make it difficult to use. Survey methods are how you get data. 

Survey methodology exists to support survey methods. Survey methodology is all about studying the ways to improve the accuracy of survey methods, so researchers and companies can get the most accurate results from their surveys. It’s a field that exists to minimize errors—any deviations from your desired outcome—and help create data that’s as accurate to a population as possible. 

Think about it this way. The common stats phrase for setting up a survey is, “Garbage in, garbage out.” That means that if your method gathers bad data, you’re going to get bad results. The bad data can come from a variety of sources, but one major source is that your tool for gathering the data isn’t very accurate. Survey methodology’s purpose is to make those tools as accurate as possible. It’s what helps researchers and companies get great tools or methods to gather reliable data and get accurate results. 

Types of Survey Methods

Now that it’s clear what the difference between survey methods and survey methodology are, we can look at common types of survey methods available. 

Quantitative and Qualitative

Methods can include both qualitative and quantitative data, but what’s the difference? Qualitative data is descriptive data and more conceptual data. For example, if your survey is gathering qualitative data, you would want to collect quotes from respondents and try to look at the emotions and sentiments of your potential customers, rather than performing a statistical analysis. Qualitative data is the heart of data. 

Quantitative data is data that’s numerical—or quantifiable. When you perform a quantitative survey, you’re gathering information you can do a statistical analysis on; you want to know numbers. While qualitative data is the heart of your data, quantitative data is the bones and muscles; it’s what gives your data structure and support. 

Both quantitative and qualitative data are incredibly important. When you’re choosing to collect data, think about what you hope to accomplish with your data and whether you’re collecting qualitative data or quantitative data. That’s an important part of your survey methods. 

Structured and Unstructured

Another important part of your methods is the structure you choose. Some surveys are very particularly structured while some or more unstructured and allow respondents more liberty with how they answer and where the conversation goes. To determine how much structure you want, think about what kind of data you want at the end. If you want very specific types of data and quantitative data, you would probably choose a structured method that has people responding to exactly what you’re exploring. 

If you’re looking more at qualitative data, you might find it beneficial to take either route. On paper, a structured survey might be easier and get you the information you need. In an interview survey, you could go either way—or even strike a balance between the two—depending on if you’re interested in seeing where the conversation ends up going or in gathering data on something specific. 

Open Ended or Closed Ended Questions

Now it’s time to think of the methods for questions. In general, you can gather information from open ended or closed ended questions. Open ended questions are ones without answer options, a yes or no response, or a true and false response. These kinds of questions are typically geared toward qualitative data (but can be flexible, of course). Closed ended questions typically have respondents choose from some kind of option or require a one-word or one-number kind of answer. These questions are common for quantitative methods. 

Ultimately, a great survey may combine both open ended and closed ended questions to get a variety of data. 

Survey Collection Methods

The final aspect of your survey methods is the method of collection. There are many ways to collect data, but these are a few common ways with their advantages and disadvantages: 

  • Face-to-face
    • Pros: very personal, allows you to see non-verbal nuance, flexible for both structured and unstructured questions
    • Cons: can be time consuming to set up and takes resources to make happen
  • Online
    • Pros: easy to organize, can be easy to get large amounts of data at once, digital responses that are easy to analyze
    • Cons: could be subject to survey response bias, respondents may not complete the entire survey
  • Observations
    • Pros: simple to do and doesn’t require expert design, great for testing hypotheses
    • Cons: could affect the accuracy, no controlled variables
  • Focus groups
    • Pros: easy for qualitative and unstructured data gathering, get a variety of perspectives, may lead to salient ideas you haven’t considered
    • Cons: participants might not reveal their true thoughts, opinions of the respondents could be influenced by other participants

As you can see, there are so many survey methods to choose from to consider. And survey methodology is all about how to make these methods more effective. 

How to Write a Survey Methodology

When you’re going to use a survey, you can write out your methodology—or all the components of your methods and how effective they may be. Here are the steps to writing a survey methodology: 

  • Define your sample group and size (evaluate for accuracy against the population)
  • Decide on your methods and data collection method (while evaluating the effectiveness of those choices)
  • Design your survey questions and remember to keep in mind: 
    • The approach
    • Your time frame
    • Your method of collection
    • The wording of questions
    • Biases
    • (Evaluating each of these helps determine the accuracy of your methods)
  • Collect data
  • Organize and analyze your results

At the end of it, your methodology is all about thinking about and evaluating your accuracy with your chosen survey methods. 

The Bottom Line

Surveying can be a lot—especially when you not only have to consider your methods but also your methodology. There’s a lot to consider for data collection and analysis. But you don’t have to do it alone. InMoment—a leader in survey creation, collection, and analysis—is here to support you. Contact us today to see how we can help you with your survey methodology. 

How & Why You Should Customize the NPS Follow-up Question

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a simple and highly effective way to determine the happiness of your customers. This one rating — how likely are you to recommend <company> — gives you valuable business insights from the need to fix specific issues quickly, to long-term trends. But what about the NPS follow-up question?

That’s where the more actionable insight comes from, because the customer is able to explain the “why” behind their rating with an open-text answer that gives you the good, bad, and the ugly of their experience. 

By customizing your NPS follow-up question, you’re better able to gain the insight you need to improve your customer experience (CX) and increase Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). We have four simple ways you can approach creating the optimal follow-up question for your specific needs.

Read More…

How Employee Experience Initiatives Help Brands Retain Talent, Grow Workforces, and So Much More

This article probably isn’t the first place you’ve seen the terms “Great Resignation”, “Great Reshuffle” or “Big Quit” on the internet, and from the looks of things, the battle to retail talent won’t settle anytime soon. The causes and effects of employee churn are complicated, but the bottom line for brands and organizations the world over is simple: employee expectations have changed, and workplace cultures’ view of the employee experience must change as well.

You’ve probably seen that writing on the wall ever since The Great Resignation kicked off in early 2021, but if you’re not sure where to start, we have you covered! Today’s conversation briefly touches on how employee experience (EX) programs can help you navigate employee challenges big and small, how EX initiatives interconnect with customer experience (CX) and how all of this can lead to meaningful Experience Improvement! 

How We Got Here

The biggest assumption that a lot of the biggest brands have had going for many years is that customers are the most important part of an experience ecosystem. Customers are certainly vital, but we’re going to challenge that long-running assumption by saying that employees are actually an organization’s most valuable asset. Sure, happy customers help a strong bottom line, but passionate, bold, and invested employees are what encourage those customers to keep doing so. Employees are invaluable for creating the human connections that reinforce brand loyalty, which helps your organization stay at or reach the top of your vertical!

One of the reasons we’re seeing the Great Resignation play out so hard for so many companies is that, unfortunately, they didn’t view their employees through this prism. They didn’t adequately invest in employee support resources over a period of years, and when that lack of support came into focus during COVID-19, it was the last straw for many workers. A few other factors have contributed here too, but it all boils down to the fact that employees’ idea of a supportive workplace culture has rapidly changed.

The Rundown on Employee Experience

So, if employees are now expecting deeper and more consistent support from their workplaces, what’s the best way for brands to respond? The phrase “deeper and more consistent support” reads pretty simply on paper, but we all know that’s going to vary wildly from brand to brand, industry to industry. The truth is that there’s no one benefit, idea, or other silver bullet that will guarantee employee retention. Rather, organizations need to go deeper by carving meaningful intelligence out of their employee feedback, then acting upon it.

That advice sounds obvious enough, right? Well, you might be surprised (or not) to learn that a lot of brands and experience platform vendors consider gathering feedback the high water mark of program success, not acting on it. However, numbers and metrics alone aren’t going to get you the employee retention you need to create meaningful experiences—taking meaningful action is the only step that’s going to get you there.

So, with that in mind, shift your paradigm if you haven’t already to designing your experience program with the end in mind. Identify your retention challenges, build your feedback-gathering tools around those challenges, and analyze what your employees are telling you for insights to take action on. This approach differs significantly from what many brands have considered the norm for many years, where they simply inhale mountains of data and then try to scour all of it for any intelligence of value.

Trajectory Takeoff

We’ve talked about how employee experience got here, what employees are expecting from their workplaces, and a top-level methodology for organizations to use as they work to close that gap. But as brands begin gathering data or take a moment to reassess how they’ve been doing it, what type of roadmap might be most helpful for them to stick to as they grow their EX maturity?

Well, we have the answer to that as well! Click here to read a full-length point of view article from expert Michael Lowenstein on the various levels of EX maturity brands can use these ideas to achieve, as well as what each stage of that journey means for your employees, your workplace, and even your customers. Best of luck on the road ahead!

CX 101: Demographic Segmentation

If you were trying to convince your family to go on a weekend trip, you likely wouldn’t use the same tactics for every family member. Your retired parents may be persuaded by the luxurious rooms at the hotel, but your brother and his spouse probably care more about the activities they could do with their kids. Your college student sibling would likely love the break from school, but they’re more concerned with affordability compared to the rest of the family.

Even within a single family, there are different types of people with different values, concerns, and priorities—now consider how much variance there is in a national or global market campaign. Personality, occupation, and life experience all affect what appeals to a certain person, which is why demographic segmentation is so important in all marketing efforts. Finding out what your audience demographic looks like will help you better understand the needs of your target customers, create more specific solutions, and market those solutions better.

There are 4 different types of segmentation: demographic, psychographic, geographic, and behavioral. Demographic segmentation is just one part of the puzzle, but an essential tool for competitive marketing, especially in the digital space. This article will go over everything you need to know about demographic segmentation and how to take your business to the next level with advanced demographic analysis technology. But first, let’s go over the basics.

What Is Demographic Segmentation?

Demographic segmentation is a method of grouping a target audience or customers by specific traits, most often by age, gender, occupation, income, socioeconomic background, and family status.

If your product or service is meant for luxury and comfort but comes with an expensive price tag, you would want to target high-income households. If your product or service is mostly bought by women, you want to be able to market to them specifically. Let’s say you sell solar panels; the demographic for your product is warmer climates, and knowing that allows you to segment that group of people and market to them while avoiding the uninterested ones. Once you’ve identified the right group, it’s much easier to target their needs and appeal to their preferences.

By dividing the market audience into smaller and more specific categories, businesses can better define who their audience is and ultimately funnel their messaging and resources into focused and effective strategies. The prospective market is clearer, current customers are more accurately advertised to, and businesses can personalize the experience of their brand for each segmented audience.

Not only can you use demographic data to identify and isolate customer groups, but you can also use demographic segmentation for UX design, brand positioning, CX, and other analytic tools that assist with business strategies. The most competitive businesses that are seeing success from their marketing efforts gather demographic data using analytics software, consumer insights, and census data.

Benefits of Using Demographic Segmentation

Using demographic segmentation isn’t just beneficial—with the rise and projection of digital marketing, understanding the traits of your target audience is becoming more essential. Here are five more benefits of using demographic segmentation to hone your target audience research.

Personalization and Relevance

When you segment your audience based on accurate demographic data, you can advertise and communicate with each group according to their preferences and values. That means your messaging, the pain points you solve, and the features you highlight can be different (and more effective) for each audience. Your products or services can be relevant to a range of audiences, but your message won’t resonate exactly the same with every person in that range. To be relevant and persuasive, a customized approach is best. 

Optimized Marketing Strategies

It may seem like going after such specific audiences limits your reach to potential customers, but the opposite is true. By segmenting your target audiences into demographic groups, you can identify common threads within each group and offer more satisfying content or ads. Targeted ads that are especially polished will also increase the visibility of your brand and products, so you will have greater volume and more impactful ads that convert for the right group.

Improved Products or Services

The more you know about the needs of your customers, the better you can serve them by offering improved products and services. For example, a company could learn through demographic analytical tools that the shaving cream they originally advertised for men is actually being bought and used by more women. This would allow the company to tune its product offering for its female audience.

Increased Customer Retention

When the customer experience is better than ever, so are customer satisfaction and loyalty. Knowing what someone needs is a powerful tool when it comes to both business and marketing. By providing improved products or services and personalized solutions, especially over time, customers will return to that company. Customized solutions also add a personal touch to your brand, which is something most customers appreciate and want more of.

Data-Driven Decision Making

It’s much easier to make a decision about what your marketing budget should go to if your audience groups are crystal clear. Instead of putting money and time towards potential customers that you aren’t sure about, you can have a strong idea of the products and solutions specific demographics need.

It’s of course important to remember that demographic information is still working off certain assumptions. However, relying on time-tested statistics gives you much more direction and surety than blindly hoping your message or offering is well received by someone. Intentional and evidence-based advertising is far more effective, which is what demographic segmentation can help with.

What Variables Are Included in Demographic Segmentation?

Many variables can be used in demographic segmentation, but here are the most common and relevant ones, depending on the industry.

  • Age: People have different experiences, desires, and priorities depending on their age. You wouldn’t advertise a dentist’s office to a tween the same way you would to an adult. You also have to consider someone’s level of work and life experience, which often comes with age.
  • Gender: Men and women share many needs, but there are some needs or appeals that tend to lean one way or the other. A nail salon likely gets more women customers than men, so while they may get both, they may want to focus their efforts on the women in their area. But beware of harmful stereotypes—there are plenty of sales pitches that have no need to advertise to only men or women.
  • Ethnicity: Ethnic backgrounds can greatly affect something’s appeal or even its appropriateness. Many ethnic groups take great pride in the traditions of their community and culture, so it’s important to know who you’re talking to so you can actually address their unique needs.
  • Income, Occupation, and Education: Money isn’t everything, but it is an important demographic factor. People in different income brackets save and spend their money differently, so to get the right eyes on your products. It’s important to consider who really wants and can afford what you’re offering. Similarly, a blue-collar worker compared to a professor at a college may even make the same amount of income but have totally different types of education and experience, so each customer type would need to be marketed to differently.
  • Religion: Faith is a big part of many people’s lives, and similar to ethnic appeals, you want to be careful that you’re properly advertising to certain groups to avoid offending or alienating your target audience.
  • Family Structure and Marital Status: It’s wise to look at large families compared to couples or single people. If you only advertise your product to families but your product could easily be helpful to a single person, you may be missing out on an opportunity. On the other hand, you may have a more niche market, such as a jewelry store, so couples getting engaged would be far more relevant for your marketing efforts. Children are a huge part of many parents’ lives, so it’s important to factor them in as well.
  • Sexual Orientation: With such a broad spectrum of sexualities and preferences, it’s important to be inclusive to all while recognizing what a specific group of people may need or like. If a lot of your customers come from a progressive and urban city, it’s going to be important for most of them to see representation in your advertisements.
  • Residence Environment and Location: Speaking of urban cities, where someone is located, whether urban or rural, plays a big role in someone’s preferences. A lot of people in the city don’t drive a car and instead use public transportation, but others that live in the country desperately need their vehicles to get to their jobs every day. How a car dealership markets its cars could drastically change based on who is looking for a car.

More Demographic Segmentation Examples

Here are some examples of demographic segmentation and how it can change the way a company approaches its audience, marketing strategies, and customer experience.

Location: Save Money and the Environment

Let’s use the solar panel example we talked about earlier. Solar companies need to mainly advertise to people in places that get a lot of sunshine. However, solar panels have many benefits, like how they save money on electricity and make less of an impact on the environment. Based on their demographic information, a solar business can adjust their messaging to what’s actually relevant to them. People that live in rural single-family homes and use a lot of electricity will be interested in the savings, while green thumbs—often living in the city—are going to appreciate the environmentally friendly attributes of solar.

Family Status: A Versatile Vehicle

If a car company has a spacious vehicle with a lot of storage and seating, it could appeal to big families who have a lot of children to get around. On the other hand, a small business owner who transports their products everywhere by themselves could also use a spacious vehicle—but the car company would need to market differently to these two potential customers. With demographic segmentation, the company could create two different advertising campaigns, one that focuses on family values and authentic family living versus a woman running her own business independently.

Diversity: Take a Walk in Their Shoes

Foot Locker, a global shoe store, used personalized customer experiences to better their service since it had a broad range of customers with a lot of customer feedback and surveys. Outside of their typical customers, they also had elderly customers, guests with disabilities, non-sneakerheads, and customers with diverse interests. By analyzing their demographic data, they were also to customize both the in-store and online customer’s journey for different demographics, which was better for the brand and the consumer.

InMoment Can Help with Demographic Segmentation

If you’re ready to upgrade your marketing and other demographic tools, it’s time to partner with InMoment. InMoment has the Customer Experience Cloud that helps you perform demographic analysis and segmentation so that you can give your customers the best CX possible.

Book a demo to see how InMoment’s CX Cloud can help you optimize demographic segmentation, improve the solutions for your customers, and make the most of your marketing funds!

5 Ways to Leverage Net Promoter Score to Boost Customer Retention

You don’t just want to appeal to new customers—you also want to keep your current ones coming back again and again. Not only do returning customers require less introduction to your products and services, but they also tend to spend more than first-time customers, too. 

One user engagement strategy you can use to boost your customer retention is to make use of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) system. Simple to understand, this powerful metric can give you a wealth of information that you can use to improve your brand. 

What Is Net Promoter Score?

NPS is a metric designed to measure customer experience. First, you ask your customers a simple question:

“On a scale of 0-10, how likely is it that you would recommend my brand/product/service to a friend or colleague?”

Then, customers are asked to explain in their own words why they chose the score they did.

From this, you can place your customers on a scale, where anyone who answered between 0-6 is a detractor, 7-8 is passive, and 9-10 are promoters. 

Net Promoter Score (NPS) calculation

In order to get your Net Promoter Score, you take the detractors away from the promoters.

Let’s say you’ve surveyed 100 people. Of these 100 people, 30 are detractors, 40 are promoters, and 30 are passive. That leaves you with:

40 – 30 = 10

Promoters – Detractors = NPS

Determining your NPS is important, of course, but analyzing the open-ended responses to the follow-up question is what will help you understand the “why” behind your score and make NPS feedback actionable.

What Do These Categories Mean?


This category (people who selected 9 and 10) are your loyal fans. They’re likely to be repeat customers, often spending more on subsequent purchases. They generally have a positive view of your brand (meaning if they do contact you with a complaints, they’re often more forgiving). 

As well as this, they tend to refer new customers to you – accounting for more than 80% of referrals for many businesses – and talk about you on social media/in person. You may see effusive praise, with descriptions like ‘we’ve been able to achieve our goals’ or ‘this is the only software I’ll use’, along with thoughtful suggestions for improvement.


This group (people who chose 7 or 8) tends to be satisfied, but not in the same way as promoters. They’re happy with their purchase, and they might buy from you again, though not nearly as reliably. 

They are unlikely to complain about you to colleagues, but won’t necessarily spend their time singing your praises or talking about you on social media either. They’re also likely to evaluate competitors if they see an interesting advertisement or offer, rather than being wholly loyal to your brand.


You might think that a 6 is a high score to count as a detractor, but generally, this group are unhappy customers. Encompassing everyone who chose between 0 and 6, they’re likely to talk badly about you. At the higher end, there might be some positives mentioned, but they’re still going to have complaints. This is where a lot of customer churn and defection comes in.

Sometimes these customers may seem profitable, as many of them may be spending a lot of money with you. However, an NPS program isn’t about the initial revenue generated by a customer or account, it’s about customer lifetime value. Detractors are at risk of leaving your business and can even give your brand a bad reputation (and the lower scorers are likely to be difficult for your staff to deal with at times).

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What Is a Good Net Promoter Score?

Bain & Company, the originators of the score, consider between +30 and +40 to be a favorable score. (Why are we using +30, not just 30? Because it’s possible to have a negative score if you have more detractors than promoters). As you head up to +50, you’re looking at an outstanding result. If you’re at +80? That’s world class.

However, this will vary based on your industry and your location. Europe and Asia generally mark things more conservatively than the US. So, if you’re comparing your scores to your competitors, make sure you’re looking in the same place rather than at a global average. If your industry is one generally viewed negatively – think debt collection, or property management – then you’re generally going to have lower scores, too.

For this reason, it’s worth investigating NPS benchmarks for your industry, and your location, rather than relying on a general global average. It’s also worth focusing on improving your own score per quarter. If you go from 5 to 15, you may still be below the average, but a jump of 10 points is respectable and means you’re doing the right things.

5 Ways to Use NPS to Boost Customer Retention

Now you know what NPS is, it’s time to take a look at how you can use it to improve your customer retention. 

#1: Make Sure It’s Accurate

Firstly, you need to make sure you’re starting off with an accurate assessment. There are a few common mistakes companies make, including:

  • Asking leading questions on the survey
  • Promising rewards for higher scores
  • Using methods that increase bias (like face-to-face rather than anonymous online surveys)
  • Only surveying happy customers
  • Asking too many questions at once

Using “set and forget” NPS microsurveys can help you avoid these pitfalls.  By starting with an accurate assessment, you can take the right steps. Having a false image of customer success can be harmful, as issues will go unrecognized and unresolved. 

#2: Reach Out to Detractors

Responding to the customers who gave you lower marks is beneficial – both for finding out why they gave lower marks, and saving their business. 

Contact detractors right away.  If you can address their issue right away, you have a shot at keeping them as a customer.  

Even if you can’t meet their needs, it is important that their feedback be acknowledged.

If you lack the time to personally reach out to each detractor, you can still mitigate negative feelings by automating your survey response. Send an email right away to thank them for their response, and ask for more feedback.

Reading through detractor feedback, you’ll gain insights into why they wouldn’t recommend you and be able to adjust accordingly. For example, if half of the detractors respond with ‘processing time is far too long’, then you have something to work toward. 

Sometimes negative reviews are based on service factors, like the delivery company you used or customer support that is slow to respond. Sometimes, complaints won’t be directly about your business. For instance, if you provide companies with a virtual phone number, you might get complaints about it not working. Changing this can instantly boost results. Create the experience consumers expect by prioritizing improvements, drawn from their direct feedback.

Feed this data back into your product roadmap and to your sales team. Designing new products with these criticisms in mind can avoid the same issues in the future. Meanwhile, it also gives your sales team some leeway on what they can offer in response to these criticisms to overcome them at the point of sale or renewal. It’s an extra handy thing to add to their sales playbook

For instance, if a customer is concerned about delivery times, give your customer success managers permission to upgrade them to expedited shipping at no extra cost. If they’ve had issues with subscription software, offer them a feature upgrade. All of these solutions can turn your detractors into passive customers – and potentially even promoters.

Reaching out to Net Promoter Score detractors to boost customer retention

#3: Learn from Passives 

Don’t ignore this group of customers. While detractors are clearly telling you their business is at risk, passives are more likely to silently churn.  It is your job to find out why and whether you should focus attention on this group. 

Segmenting your NPS feedback by business size or other factors will help you decide how important passive feedback is. If passives reside in important accounts or user groups, you may want to understand the “why” behind their lack of enthusiasm. 

One way to do this is to customize the NPS follow-up question. If a customer scores you a 5 or a 6, ask them “What’s one thing we could do better?”   

#4: Engage Your Promoters

Not all of your effort should focus on your unhappy customers, however. You know that this category of people has positive things to say about you – so why not turn that into something official? 

Reach out to them and ask for reviews or personal testimonials you can use on your website.  You might want to automate asking for a review. That way you ask at the right time — moments after a promoter scores you a 9 or a 10!

If you don’t already have referral marketing in place, it’s time to implement it. Roll it out by targeting these promoters, who you know are likely to make use of it. 

This encourages customer retention by giving them special offers, but it also boosts acquisition at the same time. For B2B companies, this is especially helpful if some of your customers are well-known in their field, as businesses are likely to respect their opinion.

Referral and loyalty schemes aren’t always well suited to B2B brands, but customer marketing or a VIP program can work instead. Customer marketing seeks to deepen relationships by providing customers with multiple benefits. One such example might be providing access to your product roadmap as part of an advisory council. Alternatively, you could create a VIP ‘space’, where exclusive content and in-person events are offered.

#5: Thank Respondents

Reach out to your loyal customers, and thank them for being so. 

Getting an email that says ‘thank you!’ is a great boost and encourages them to remain loyal. Video can improve customer experience, so having a thank you video may be worth the investment – especially if it is personalized or includes some behind the scenes content.

While most of these efforts should target your promoters, some of them can be sent out to your passive base, too – potentially converting those 7 or 8 scores into 9s and 10s. Add value to your initial product through a higher tier service, exclusive access to industry information, or trade-in offers. These methods can tempt passive customers into a deeper relationship with you.

Keep Going 

Net Promoter Score shouldn’t be used as a one-off metric, but a regular measurement. To retain more customers, continue to listen to them, learn from their feedback, and take action. NPS is especially helpful for tracking if your tactics are working. You should see an improvement in retention as you begin to implement those suggestions above. 

Equally, you might see a drop if something changes, like an operating system update or switching to an IVR system to route customer service calls.  By regularly tracking NPS, you’ll spot improvements and problems quickly. You’ll know if something is working or not, and be able to mitigate negative effects as soon as possible.

NPS will help you improve the customer experience you’re providing and that’s the best route to customer loyalty

Retain more customers with InMoment, the #1 Net Promoter Score platform for SaaS

How to Write Email Survey Subject Lines That Increase Your Open Rates

Microsurveys are the key to gaining the customer feedback you need to power your CX program, and many of these surveys are sent via email. The first step to receiving that survey feedback is getting your customer to open your email. 

When it comes to open rates, your email’s subject line is more important than you might think it is. Two helpful email stats drive this point home:

  • 69% of recipients will look only at the subject line before flagging an email as spam.
  • 47% of recipients decide to open an email based only on the subject line.

If you’re trying to figure out all the possible reasons why your survey emails aren’t getting decent open rates, it makes sense to start with your subject lines.

5 Tips to Help You Write Engaging Email Survey Subject Lines

Tip #1: Establish the Right Tone

Effective customer interaction is super dependent on speaking your audience’s language. This doesn’t just refer to the words and terms you use in your emails, even though that is obviously also extremely important.

No, we’re referring to your “voice” here – where you pitch the subject line on the “familiarity” spectrum. On the one side of this spectrum is “ultra conversational,” and on the other side, “ultra professional.”

On the conversational side, you’ll use language that makes your recipients feel like they’re being asked a question by a friend or a trusted colleague. These subject lines should make the recipient feel comfortable because they have an approachable tone.

Here are some examples:

  • “A quick question for you”
  • “Leslie, got a sec? ”

On the professional side of the spectrum, you’re using language that builds trust in your brand’s ability to take your service seriously. You don’t have to come off pompous or like you’ve swallowed a thesaurus. Stick to the point, and treat the recipient like someone who appreciates professionalism in the workplace.

  • “We’d genuinely appreciate feedback on our performance.”
  • “Leslie, how can we make you more productive?”

There are quite a few things to consider when choosing the tone of your survey email subject lines. Your brand image is arguably the most important, but things like recipient demographics and the industry you’re playing in should also play a role.

Building buyer personas is a standard practice in digital marketing. Many successful businesses go through this process to understand exactly who they’re selling to. This data is invaluable when deciding on the tone of your survey email subject lines.

Tip #2: Go Beyond Basic Personalization

According to Campaign Monitor, recipients are 26% more likely to open an email if the subject line has been personalized.

What you use to customize the subject line will obviously depend on the data you have on the customer. Using their name is an obvious starting point. However, you can also reference their most recent purchase if your CRM has logged it. Or a virtual event they attended. A modern CX platform can grab this info and personalize the subject line. 

If you’re online mattress retailer Zoma and you’re sending out a customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey email to find out how a support query was handled, if the shipping went well, or if the customer is satisfied with the quality of a recent purchase, you could take one of the following approaches:

  • “How did we do on your support query [#66456]?”
  • “James, how was the webinar with DocuSign?”
  • “How’s that Zoma mattress working out?”

Showing evidence that the email comes from a reputable origin (i.e., the actual company they interacted with) is critical if you want to maximize that open rate.

By using their name and referencing their purchase, you’re landing a one-two punch of credibility and massively increasing the chances of a response.

Tip #3: Talk About Benefits

Let’s be frank here. When you send out a net promoter score (NPS) survey email, you’re basically asking an established customer to take time out of their day to reveal their feelings about your brand despite there being no immediate reward in it for them.

But that shouldn’t stop you from letting your recipients know that their feedback will result in long-term benefits for you and them.

Good feedback — both positive and negative — means improved service for everyone. A large number of honest responses will help you get better at designing new product features. Let your recipients know! Make them feel like their voice is important and that it benefits them to be heard.

Here’s an example. If you’re an energy services company like Ecopreneurist, and you’re sending out an NPS survey, you may want to try subject lines like these:

  • “Help us get even better at saving you energy.”
  • “Leslie, your feedback helps us save you money.”

Even though the email content will ask them a typical NPS question like “How likely are you to recommend Ecopreneurist to a friend?” the subject line can illustrate the eventual reward customers will experience by responding.

There’s a genuine correlation between improved service and receiving this type of information from customers. There’s no reason you can’t creatively leverage this relationship to create highly engaging subject lines.

Tip #4: Ask Your Recipients a Question

A good subject line engages the recipient. You’ll want the subject line to make them think and feel something. Trigger their thoughts and their emotions.

A great way to do this is by asking a question. 

The right question can trigger introspection. It can make the recipient think about something they want to share with you.

A SaaS company like ShowMojo might employ a customer effort score (CES) survey to help them spot inefficiencies and/or improve in two areas:

  1. Onboarding. Good onboarding helps ensure “trial subscribers” see the product’s value and eventually become paying customers, and it’s a critical step in maximizing a subscriber’s lifetime value (LTV).
  2. Product features. A CES survey can gauge how easily customers are adopting a new product feature and help you optimize for improved adoption. 

In both cases, positioning the survey in question form is a great way to maximize open rates. For example:

  • “How hard was the migration to ShowMojo?”
  • “How easy was it to create a new rental dashboard?”

You can see in the above examples that the subject lines don’t even mention the survey. The two questions are directed at the customer and their experience. 

Tip #5: Keep It Simple and Short

You should keep your survey email subject lines to under 50 characters to be sure everyone sees it. The number of people opening emails using their mobile phones is increasing every year. And the limited amount of real estate on a mobile device means that subject lines are often truncated.

Yes, it’s hard to make a compelling case for someone to open an unsolicited email using so few words, so take your time writing. Constantly try whittling the number of characters and words down to an absolute minimum without compromising your core message.

Let’s take a look at some concise and effective customer survey subject line examples:

  • “Are we doing a good job, Leslie?”
  • “Where can we improve?”
  • “We’re always looking for honest feedback.”
  • “Give it to us straight; we can take it.”

A Quick Word on Open Rate Benchmarks

What kind of open rates should you expect from your survey emails? Having a sense of benchmarks is critical if you intend to measure how effective your new subject lines are. 

According to our customers’ results, an open rate over 20% is solid, with only a small number of emails achieving a 30% open rate. If you see this level of engagement, you’re probably doing multiple things right. If it’s below this figure, realize there’s room for improvement and review your subject line copy against our recommendations.

Some Final Thoughts

Regardless of what industry you’re operating in, certain best practices will always be relevant when crafting email subject lines.

Here’s a summary of the most important things to bear in mind (along with a fifth bonus tip):

  • Personalize as much as possible.
  • Tell recipients about the benefits of completing the survey.
  • Ask a question.
  • Keep it short and to the point.
  • Try to keep your subject lines under 50 characters.
  • Avoid spammy words like “opportunity,” “offer,” “cash,” “discount,” or “click here.”

There’s little point in rethinking your subject line strategy if you’re not backing up your efforts with data on the success or failure of a new approach.

You’ll want to A/B test your survey emails. A simple way to do this is:

  1. Split your email recipients into two groups (Group A and Group B). 
  2. Target Group A with subject line A. “Welcome! How was the sign-up process?
  3. Target Group B with subject line B. “Answer one question and help us improve.”
  4. Measure each email’s open rate. If Group A gets a higher open, a post-onboarding greeting works well for your new customers.

By A/B testing your email subject lines over time, you gain valuable knowledge about the subject lines that resonate with your customer base. Not only will that information help you with your specific survey, but it can also help other CX-focused teams optimize their customer communications as well.

Start sending customer surveys today with InMoment.

The 12 Qualities of Good Survey Questions

Surveys are a great way to collect information about people’s perceptions, opinions, thoughts, attitudes, etc. But what makes for a good survey or good survey question?

The trick is making sure that you’re asking your questions the right way in order to get the data that you need, as well as ensuring that the people who take your survey will all interpret your survey questions the same way. To help you get started, below are 12 qualities of good survey questions to keep in mind when writing your surveys.

12 Things Good Survey Question Do…

#1: Evokes the truth. However, you should avoid sensitive questions.

#2: Asks for an answer on only one dimension. You will need to phrase the question to extract the exact information you need, and avoid the possibility of someone giving you an ambiguous response.

#3: Can accommodate all possible answers. A good practice is to allow for multiple responses. Don’t assume that you know it all.

#4: Has mutually exclusive options. (i.e. There should be only one correct or appropriate choice.)

#5: Flows well from the previous question. Your question transitions should be smooth and logical.

#6: Does not make erroneous assumptions.

#7: Does not imply a desired answer. Remember to use objectivity in your questions.

#8: Does not use emotionally loaded or vaguely defined words. Also remember not to use unfamiliar acronyms or abbreviations.

#9: Does not ask the respondent to rank more than five items in a given series.

#10: Puts personal questions at the end of the survey.

#11: Gives respondents the option to not answer the question.

#12: Uses one or two open-ended questions. This invokes direct, well thought out answers.

Types of Survey Questions

Here are some of the most common survey question types you could use:

  • Multiple Choice Questions
  • Open Ended Questions
  • Close Ended Questions
  • ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ Answer Questions
  • Rating Scale Questions

Good Survey Questions to Ask

Depending on your subject matter, here are some examples of good survey questions to ask about a product/service or a brand/company.

  • What could we improve on?
  • On a scale of 1-10 how easy was it to use our product/service?
  • Would you recommend our product/service to a friend?
  • Why did you choose us over a competitor?
  • Did our product/service help you accomplish your goal?
  • Did we solve your problem?
  • How can we be more helpful?
  • What would you like to see from us?
  • How would you rate our customer service from 1-10?
  • Why did you choose this product/service?
  • Why are you canceling your service? 
  • Where did you hear about us?

Your survey will want to give you the right data so make sure to ask the right questions and phrase it in a way that’ll achieve what you’re looking for.

Looking for More Advice on How to Craft Effective CX Surveys and Good Survey Questions?

Over our decades of experience improving customer and employee experiences with the world’s most beloved brands, our experts have collected plenty of best practices and compiled them into various resources to help you inform your efforts! Wondering how to measure survey success? We’ve got you. What about increasing your response rates? We’ve got you there, too.

Check out this list of our most game-changing survey best practices here:

Focus on Your CX Program to Improve Your Response Rates

Clients frequently ask InMoment XI Strategist Eric Smuda how they can improve their response rates, which is a significant issue in the customer feedback and market research arenas. However, he believes the obsession with them is misguided and stuck in traditional market research methodology. The quality of the feedback you are getting is much more important than how many people answered a given question or the statistical significance of that sample size. Learn more here!

When to Send a Traditional Employee or Customer Experience Survey

What questions warrant sending a survey? Our experts advise a process of elimination that helps you understand which listening tools to use and when—and they’ve laid it out step by step in this asset!

How to Achieve Meaningful Listening Through Surveys

It can be tempting to send out surveys whenever you have a question, but effective surveys are part of a much larger strategy. Wondering how to craft that strategy? Our expert Andrew Park has you covered in this quick article.

How Short Should You Make Your Survey?

Most customer experience surveys are designed to be five minutes in length or shorter. However, we have seen a trend toward companies requesting even shorter customer experience surveys, often due to the impression that shorter surveys increase response rates. Their assumption is that customers are overwhelmed with surveys and therefore will only answer short ones. Is there empirical evidence to back up this perception? Find out in this white paper by expert Dave Ensing!

The Art and Science of Email Survey Invitations

We don’t know about yours, but our email inboxes are constantly flooded with requests from brands! So, how do you make your email survey invitations stand out, fetch great response rates, and collect quality data? Dave Ensing has the answers here!

Looking for more advice on how to craft good survey questions and even better surveys? Contact an InMoment sales representative today to inquire about InMoment Survey Design & Data Gathering Best Practices Consulting Services. And/or, sign up today for one or more survey training courses at InMoment University.

What is a Customer Journey Map? A Beginner’s Guide:

What Is A Customer Journey Map?

A customer journey map is a diagram of all the places customers come into contact with your brand, online or off. Each of these touchpoints influences the customer, and by analyzing customer behavior, feelings, and motivations around each touchpoint, you can begin to identify opportunities to establish more positive relationships by giving customers what they need at any given stage of their journey.

The goal of a customer journey map is to gain a deeper understanding of your customer, how they interact with your brand, and how each interaction affects your relationship. It’s also a way to ensure that the brand experience remains consistent for each customer across touchpoints.

“With the number of touchpoints a customer has with a brand increasing with the proliferation of technologies and channels, the need to create a consistent experience is critically important.” – McKinsey & Company

But the big picture goal is why there is so much buzz around customer journey maps now:

A Customer journey map can move you towards more conversions, greater customer loyalty, and improved customer experience from end to end (or from end to forever, if you are subscription-based and there’s no bottom to your sales funnel).

But a customer journey map can be complicated to create, and the results can be difficult to track and interpret from end to end. Many businesses are tempted to ignore it altogether in favor of lower-hanging fruit to increase conversions.

However, that hesitancy to use customer journey maps is quickly disappearing as more companies are seeing the results from properly customer journey mapping.

And, if your company is struggling with the question: “Why aren’t customers completing (or repeating) purchases?” – there is no better time to create a customer journey map that will lead you to that answer.

SaaS companies optimize the customer journey with this 4-touchpoint approach from InMoment.

Customer Cartography: Where to Begin on a Customer Journey Map

“We found that a company’s performance on journeys is 35 percent more predictive of customer satisfaction and 32 percent more predictive of customer churn than performance on individual touchpoints. Since a customer journey often touches different parts of the organization, companies need to rewire themselves to create teams that are responsible for the end-to-end customer journey across functions.” – McKinsey & Company

What’s Included in the Customer Journey Map?

Before getting started on a customer journey map with the steps below, here’s an overview of some of the key components that make up the map. Be sure to weave these key components into your customer journey mapping process.

  • The Buying Process: The customer buying process includes milestones from start to end with their purchasing journey. You’ll want to draft the path you intend the customer to take by listing the buying process stages.
  • User Actions: This explains in detail what a customer may do before initiating a transaction such as seeing the ad of the product and hearing about it from their social circle.
  • Emotions: Adding emotions into the process helps to understand how the customer feels when they’re searching for solutions to solve their pain points.
  • Pain Points: This element gives insights into where a customer might encounter a negative experience and helps us understand why.

Solutions: This last part of the customer journey map is for your team to brainstorm where to improve based on the customer journey.

Gather Your Customer Journey Map Cross-Functional Team

As customers go through the various stages in the sales funnel, they cross departments from marketing to sales to product to customer success and customer service.

So it only makes sense that, when choosing your team for your customer journey mapping project, you have a representative from each of these departments involved. Having a cross-departmental team is vital to gaining the kind of understanding that is the whole point of the customer journey management exercise.

“When a manager takes the lead to form a cohesive, customer-centric, interdepartmental team, it not only facilitates learning and accountability throughout the whole company, it can even change company culture for the better.” – Jessica Pfeifer, VP & General Manager, InMoment.

Defining Customer Segments for a Customer Journey Map

Once your team is assembled, ask marketing to list out each key customer segment for the customer journey map.

Customer-Journey-Map-for- a-segments

Example of a segmented customer journey map

It’s extremely likely that each customer segment’s journey will be different. They’re likely finding you, and communicating with you, in different ways depending on demographic and psychographic variables.

That means, unless you only have one ideal customer persona, that you’ll actually be creating several customer journey maps, one for each segment.

Plotting Touchpoints for a Customer Journey Map

Once you have your customer journey map segments identified, it’s time to plot out your touchpoints for each one. How and when does your customer interact with your brand, your product, your team?

You can decide whether you will tackle the pre-acquisition journey, post-acquisition journey, or the whole customer journey map.

touchpoint customer journey map

With touchpoints, there are the ones you have control over, and the ones you don’t. There are the ones you can track easily, and those you can’t. If your company advertises via billboard, for example, that can be hard to track, even if you survey customers.

Of the ones you can control and track, online touchpoints are the easiest. So start there. Ask your marketing team members to fill you in on what the top of the funnel looks like, what links are bringing people to your website, and how those people first heard of you. In the post-acquisition phase, Customer Success and Support own certain customer touchpoints, and are likely already gathering feedback about them from customers. These touchpoints may include the end of the onboarding cycle in SaaS, order delivery in ecommerce, and customer support interaction. The Product team may articulate customer journey map points that are driven by behavior, such as feature adoption in SaaS or a purchase threshold in e-commerce. 

And, if the team doesn’t know already, don’t be afraid to ask the customers themselves – every step of this customer journey map should be grounded in real customer data. At the same time, don’t let the exercise become overwhelming. You and your team may already have an intuitive sense of the customer journey map. Get something documented and work to refine it over time. 

Gathering Customer Data for a Customer Journey Map

You need more than touchpoints for your customer journey map. You need to know what’s happening at and around each touchpoint. You have to get inside the minds and hearts of the customers at every juncture to find out what they’re thinking, feeling, and needing to do.

Of these three, understanding customers’ emotions shouldn’t be given short shrift: 69% of consumers say that emotions count for over half their experiences. Consider adding emotions into your customer journey map.

Unless you have robust research from marketing and customer success departments already, you may want to gather all of this data, asking members of each segment – around every identified touchpoint – these questions:

Questions to Ask for a Customer Journey Map

  • What they’re thinking at that touchpoint
  • What they’re feeling at that touchpoint
  • What they need most at that touchpoint (use this as an indicator of buyer stage – awareness, research, choice reduction, purchase)
  • What their ultimate goal is (why are they here?)
  • What they do/did at that touchpoint (or use a session recording program to see exactly what they did, like hitting the “back” button when they land in the cart, etc.)

To get a pulse across your entire customer base, consider tracking core CX metrics. These include Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score. You can use your customer feedback software program to deploy at specific touchpoints, alerting you to places where people are experiencing trouble that will require more of your attention.

You may also need to conduct analytical research for a customer journey map, taking a deep dive into your website/product analytics to find what users are doing and where they might be experiencing difficulty.

And don’t discount the data your customers volunteer on social media and review sites. You can gather valuable anecdotal evidence for your customer journey map from a social media listening tool – as well as from the stories of your own customer success and customer service managers.

With this data, you can start to build a customer journey map for each segment persona, for each purchase stage, and each touchpoint, with an overlay for what they are thinking, feeling, wanting, doing, and most importantly, what they’re hoping to achieve.

The Customer Success Component of a Customer Journey Map

This is where we add Customer Success to the mix, ensuring that at each step, we have a crystal-clear understanding of each customer segment’s success milestones and ideal outcomes, so we can bridge any gaps between them.

Including customer success metrics, (particularly success milestones) in your customer journey map isn’t often. This is likely because customer journey mapping has been traditionally focused on the top end of the funnel – Acquisition, Decision, and Purchase phases.

But SaaS is different. The funnel doesn’t end with the purchase. The goal isn’t to sell once or twice, but to retain customers via subscription, which requires continually providing and increasing value.

SaaS businesses – you need to chart much more than any other industry and make each post-purchase touchpoint count towards getting your customers closer to their desired outcome.

And that focus turns touchpoints into stepping stones towards success milestones.

In practice, this means you’ll need to consider how touchpoints, especially after purchase, can be used to help your users make real, tangible progress.

Customer Journey Mapping Examples for SaaS, eCommerce, and Brick-and-Mortar Stores

There are so many ways to create a customer journey map, and it can be difficult to decide what has to be in, and what may be less important to you depending on your type of business and your goals. Here are a few customer journey mapping examples from different types of industries that are mapping their customer journeys effectively. 

First, let’s look at two of the main ways you can organize your customer journey map data: Linear or chart.

Linear: Works best when customers have fewer options for how they interact with you, or when you want to create a customer journey map along a timeline.

Customer Experience map

Chart: Works best when you have touchpoints that meander in a nonlinear fashion.

Chart format customer journey map

Clearly, both types of charts can hold a lot of widely-varying information. And there are many more ways to create a customer journey map too, like with emotion-centered maps.


Or customer journey map by departments

Customer Journey map with department touchpoints

By need


Whichever way you choose to create your customer journey map, be sure to include what the customer feels and needs at every touchpoint, as well as how you can improve the one and deliver the other.

Here are some more customer journey map examples by industry. Notice that no single map has everything.

SaaS Customer Journey Map example by InMoment

SaaS Customer Journey Map example by Telefonica

Saas Customer Journey

eCommerce: Lancome’s Brand Experience Map in Two Ways:

Experience journey

lancome cx journey

A slightly different angle on a customer journey map :


Brick-and-Mortar: Starbucks

Starbucks Customer Journey Map

Improving Customer Experience (CX): Start with a Simple Customer Journey Map

As you can see, there are many, many valid ways to approach a customer journey map.  The customer journey map examples above reflect deep thinking and research — the result of intensive project work by these companies. Use them for inspiration.  Don’t let them stop you and your team from drafting a simple journey flow to get the ball rolling.

By dedicating even an afternoon to a cross-functional knowledge-sharing session you will likely come away with:

  • a more robust understanding of how your customers interact with and “experience” your company.
  • a basic journey map
  • 3-5 “low hanging fruit” opportunities for improvement

Your goal with all of this is to improve customer experience. Remember, there is a good reason for that. As Jake Sorofman, Research VP, Gartner says,  “As competition and buyer empowerment compounds, customer experience itself is proving to be the only truly durable competitive advantage.”

Good luck on your journey!

Measure and improve customer journey experience. Sign up today for free Net Promoter Score, CSAT or Customer Effort Score feedback with InMoment.

I Buy, Therefore I Am: The Psychology Behind Why We Choose Our Favorite Brands

What do the shoes you wear, the coffee you drink, and the car you drive say about you?

In what ways do your favorite brands help create your personal brand? How do they contribute to fulfilling your individual needs? And how do your shopping dollars help craft—and confirm—your personal identity?

Over the past few decades, InMoment has collected and analyzed feedback from billions of customer experiences. We’ve proven—time and again—the direct connection between the meaningful differentiation of these experiences and the success of a brand’s CX objectives, such as willingness to return to, recommend, and, ultimately, promote a business. The customer stories shared at various touch points throughout the customer journey not only capture the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes within each unique experience, but confirm the congruence—or lack thereof—between customer expectations and the reality of the experience delivered.

So, Why Do Customers Choose Their Favorite Brands?

While the intelligence derived from this feedback is critical for an organization to create optimal, personalized customer experiences that drive business value, there is another salient factor that drives consumer behavior: customer-brand identity.

This concept is derivative of social identity theory and describes “an active, selective, and volitional psychological process in which customers compare their own identity to that of the company and identify with the company if it can fulfill one or more self-differential needs.” This connection between consumer and brand is much deeper and more meaningful than a singular experience; therefore, it has a greater potential impact on long-term loyalty, advocacy, and value.

A Few Examples from Best-In-Class Brands

Best-in-class brands know if they create a promise, product, and experience that evokes an identity worth aspiring to, customers will pay to align with and even promote it—increasing the lifetime value of the relationship.


For instance, professional athletes across the world wear Nike; however, the sweeping majority of Nike customers are not actually world-class and/or Olympic athletes. Yet, when a shoe represents something we identify with or aspire to attain, we’re drawn to it. The truth is, most Nike customers are just like you and me: casual athletes or city dwellers who are drawn to the aura of innovation and inspiration associated with The Swoosh. This is a perfect example of a co-created brand identity that satisfies customer needs while staying true to the brand’s promise.

Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany & Co. is another example. The blue box and white ribbon exude elegance, class, and sophistication, and therefore, the legacy luxury brand has both the benefit and challenge of living up to a well-established customer expectation. The exclusivity and allure of the iconic Tiffany Experience throughout the entire customer journey—advertising, web presence, in-store experience, packaging, unwrapping, and ownership (of both the jewelry and box!)—is about so much more than a brilliant piece of jewelry. It’s about how we see ourselves, what we aspire to, our connection with the brand, and our identity. And that’s where true brand loyalty is born.

Retail Pharmacy

The same philosophy rings true for more utilitarian industries, such as a leading retail pharmacy. While these entities are most commonly visited when people are feeling under the weather, this brand has not resigned itself to being just a drugstore. Instead, it has deliberately positioned itself as a center for wellness, from its on-site illness-prevention services to its comprehensive loyalty program (aptly named wellness+) to its online and in-store imagery and messaging focused on healthy families and happy lives. Yes, you can visit Rite Aid to buy diapers or have your prescription filled, but the company’s promise is to be a partner in long-term health and wellness that goes beyond a single interaction.

Becoming a Part of Your Customers’ Lives

Brands like Nike, Tiffany & Co., and others have moved beyond simple, transactional customer satisfaction (which has low self-referentiality), and have found ways to integrate how customers see themselves within the brand’s offering. It’s more than a product or even an experience—it’s an identity. All things being equal, self-perception and aspiration are often the prevailing factors in choosing one product or brand over another.

Creating a strong, enduring customer-brand identity is also a competitive inoculation strategy. It is evident that the more customers identify with a brand, the more resistant they are to competitive attempts at winning their business. In addition, as their identity with a brand strengthens, so does their intent to repurchase and willingness to pay more for goods and services (e.g., waiting all year for a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte or immediately upgrading to the newest Apple iPhone).

5 Steps to Becoming Your Customers’ Favorite Brand

So how does a brand integrate so seamlessly into a customer’s life? Creating a strong customer-brand identity that leads to fervent loyalty may seem like a tall order, only achievable by the most established brands. There are, however, steps organizations can take right now to begin building nearly unbreakable customer relationships.

Step #1: Listen to Your Customers (and Understand What They’re Saying and Feeling)

Most brands have formalized listening channels to track customer satisfaction in real time. And while guiding metrics like NPS and OSAT can serve as barometers for how well the company is meeting customer expectations, do not ignore customer stories (e.g., feedback, social reviews, and conversations) delivered through narratives, videos, images, and audio recordings. Customer stories, both solicited and unsolicited, speak the full truth about your customer-brand identity. For this, you need powerful analytics capabilities that can derive meaning from the explicit and implicit emotions that relate to identity, and arm your company with targeted insights, prescriptive recommendations, and predictive foresight.

Step #2: Understand Your Industry, Position, and Competition

Creating a strong customer-brand identity is also about offering a differentiated experience from your competitors. In addition to customer stories, competitive benchmarking can help your brand understand its position in the market; yet, going beyond simple rankings is imperative. As our team analyzes over one million pieces of customer feedback each day, we find that specific competitors are mentioned frequently—especially when an experience fails to meet expectations. These consumers often cite the reasons why a competitor fits better with who they are and why they may return to that brand despite past negative experiences. Understanding where you sit in your competitive universe is important, but unless you know the reasons why consumers choose products or brands, a clear and actionable path to meaningful customer experiences will remain a mystery.

Step #3: Engineer a Clearly-Defined—and Customer-Aligned—Brand Identity.

Understanding your customer base, and more importantly, what drives loyalty for your brand, is critical when crafting and delivering your promise to consumers. Your presentation and offering must be in line with their self-concept and aspiration—especially those with the highest lifetime value. Remember the Tiffany example? The customer-brand identity is at play throughout the customer journey, from research to purchase to ownership. Your brand’s identity must be omnipresent, continually feeding the customer-brand relationship.

Step #4: Create a Congruent Culture

Have you ever gone shopping and dealt with an employee who clearly did not want to be there? Of course you have. Likewise, it’s evident when employees are not only brand advocates, but likely, customers themselves. For example, at Cabela’s, the frontline staff (also known as Outfitters) are more than just salespeople and cashiers—they’re experienced adventurers with a passion for the outdoors. Further, Outfittersare experts in the department in which they work, allowing them to elicit each customer’s individual needs and give personalized advice. Employees are an extension of your brand, and trust me, your customers have taken notice. Creating products, processes, and a culture aligned with your brand’s identity is infectious. When leaders and frontline employees identify with and advocate for your brand, they will create experiences that exceed customer expectations.

Step #5: Connect Through Experiences

There’s no simpler way to build customer-brand identity and loyalty than through experiences that are meaningful and authentic to that specific, co-created brand identity. In the hospitality industry, nobody does this better than a major North American Quick Service Brand. This home away from home is modeled after a traditional Southern general store with a singular mission: pleasing people. So rather than waiting for your table in a sterile holding area or on a cramped bench, guests can browse aisles of delicious country goodness, creating a seamless retail + dining journey—nary found anywhere else. Experiences that are unique to your brand’s culture, are meaningful to guests, and show you care about your customers are worth their weight in CX gold.

Wrapping Things Up

Understanding the underlying psychological mechanisms that motivate consumers to choose, stay, and advocate for brands is a critical endeavor in creating competitive advantage. By moving beyond fulfilling customers’ basic, utilitarian needs and building an ecosystem where who the customer is—or wants to be—integrates with what the brand offers, companies can develop an identity that actualizes customers’ higher-order needs. Using the aforementioned strategies, it’s no wonder the world’s leading brands have outlasted their competitors—crafting products and experiences that fulfill the deep-seated psychological needs of their customers. If trends in CX continue on their current trajectory, the necessity of customer-brand identification will determine who wins in the marketplace.

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