As a business owner, you should have clarity over how happy your customers are with the products and services you offer.
Using customer satisfaction metrics strategically to solicit honest customer feedback can put you on the fastest route to improving customer experience across your organization.
One of the key customer satisfaction metrics is the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT).
In this guide, we will discuss the CSAT survey and score in detail.
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What is the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)?
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is essentially a customer satisfaction metric that measures customer satisfaction with a product, service, process, interaction or brand.
This metric makes it quite easy to measure and improve customer satisfaction, as it collects responses to simple questions like “How satisfied were you with your experience?”
The responses can be collected through a survey with a scale ranging from 1-3, 1-5, or 1-10. CSAT scores differ by industry. However, a good customer satisfaction score would fall between 75 and 85 percent.
What are the key customer satisfaction metrics?
There are several key customer satisfaction metrics that companies track to assess the overall CX. Let’s discuss them and their pros and cons.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
We have discussed Net Promoter Score (NPS) in great detail in some of our previous posts. Net promoter is essentially a growth-indicating customer satisfaction metric that helps businesses determine customer loyalty.
Through NPS surveys, you can check how likely customers are to recommend your brand to other people.
- High response rate
- Questions are larger in scope
- Determines long-term customer satisfaction
- Provides a bigger picture of customer loyalty
- Prompts word-of-mouth promotion
- Indicates likelihood of repeat purchases
- NPS provides accurate data that can be benchmarked
- Solicits honest feedback to overall CX
- Inefficient without proper follow-ups
- NPS scores can only act as suggestions or recommendations
- Doesn’t translate into specific action or improvement
Customer Effort Score (CES)
Customer Effort Score (CES) is another customer satisfaction metric that we have covered exclusively in our previous posts. CES surveys are a strong indicator of behaviors and trends related to future purchases.
As the name suggests, this customer satisfaction metric determines how easily customers are able to use a service, product, feature, or move through the buyer journey.
- Quickly determines weakness in product’s ease of use
- Helps spot customer expectations and desired outcomes
- Predicts future purchase behavior
- Indicates likelihood of word-of-mouth promotion
- Indicates customer loyalty
- Offers short-term relevancy
- Inefficient without follow-ups
- Customer segmentation is not possible
- Predicts purchases only for specific customer groups
- Generates subjective feedback
- Considers only the transactional aspect of CX
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
Let’s discuss the Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score in detail as a customer satisfaction metric, shall we? We’ll share the definition, pros and cons, method of CSAT score calculation, and more. Let’s get started.
Pros and Cons of Customer Satisfaction Score
Indeed, customer satisfaction score leads you to insights into customers’ experience with your brand, products, and services, especially in areas that need significant improvement. But, it does come with its downsides.
Thus, you should consider the pros and cons associated with customer satisfaction scores.
Advantages of Customer Satisfaction Score
1. Helps build rapport and improve customer loyalty
Sending CSAT surveys shows that you want a conversation between your brand and customers. It’s a way of making the customers’ voices heard and turning them into brand ambassadors.
2. Identifies areas that function as expected
CSAT surveys will help you identify areas in your operation that are working efficiently. In other words, it prevents blind changes to products and services.
3. Discovers new opportunities for improvement
At the same time, it will provide you with new opportunities to improve customer experience, positively impacting customer loyalty and repeat business.
4. Invite customers for a conversation
Neutral or dissatisfied customers are likely to not return for repeated purchases. They generally do that to prevent any confrontation. Sending them the CSAT survey will show that you are open to having a discussion and receiving negative feedback.
Disadvantages of Customer Satisfaction Score
1. Cultural bias
The responses to CSAT surveys can be rigged with cultural bias as responses of customers in individualistic countries can differ from those of customers in collectivistic countries.
2. Ambiguity in ideal CSAT scoring
The internet is filled with wide-ranging CSAT benchmark data across industries. Thus, it can be quite challenging to know what score is good or bad.
3. Reflects short-term sentiments
CSAT surveys can often solicit short-term sentiment, especially if the feedback is collected based on the last customer touchpoint. It can also be affected by how customers are feeling on a given day.
4. Lack of adequate responses
While satisfied customers might share honest feedback, customers who are neutral or dissatisfied with you will often not even fill out the surveys, which can produce skewed results.
How to measure Customer Satisfaction Score?
Now that we are well-acquainted with Customer Satisfaction Score, let’s dive deeper and learn what the process of measuring customer satisfaction entails.
Ask proper questions and use the right scale
To calculate the customer satisfaction score, you will have to start by asking customers questions related to their overall experience at your store. The question has to be straightforward, for example —
- How likely are you to purchase another product from us?
- How satisfied are you with our onboarding experience?
- How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the event you recently attended?
- How satisfied are you with your recent experience on our website?
- How would you rate your satisfaction with your recent online purchase experience?
- How satisfied are you with your recent customer support experience?
- How would you rate your overall satisfaction with [brand]?
Regardless of your question, the respondents must have the freedom to answer using a five-point scale. Now, the scale can be presented in a typical 1-5 pointer ranging from “not likely” to “very likely” or “very unsatisfied” to “very satisfied.”
Besides, you can include more space on the page for customers willing to add context to their responses.
Calculating Customer Satisfaction Score
Once you collect all the responses from the customer satisfaction survey, it’s time to crunch numbers.
Calculating customer satisfaction scores is quite simple. All you need to do is calculate the percentage of satisfied customers or respondents that come in the “satisfied” and “very satisfied” categories, i.e., 4-5 score.
Now you can divide the total number of “very satisfied” or “satisfied” customers by the total number of responses, and finally multiply the result by 100. This will give you the percentage of customers that are satisfied with your brand.
CSAT industry benchmarks
Check out your CSAT industry benchmark using the data compiled by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).
|Industry||CSAT Score Benchmark|
|Car Rentals||76% (2023)|
|Computer Software||78% (2022)|
|Energy Utilities||72% (2023)|
|Fast Food Restaurants||76% (2022)|
|Federal Government||66% (2022)|
|Full-Service Restaurants||80% (2022)|
|Health Insurance||73% (2022)|
|Internet Service Providers||64% (2022)|
|Life Insurance||78% (2022)|
|Online Retailers||80% (2023)|
|Social Media||71% (2022)|
|U.S Postal Service||70% (2023)|
|Video Streaming Services||74% (2022)|
|Wireless Phone Service||74% (2023)|
The overall customer satisfaction score in the US stands at 75.53 percent. Aim to achieve this score if you have just started out.
How to use the CSAT to improve customer satisfaction?
Once you solicit CSAT survey feedback and calculate the CSAT score, you can rely on this process to make the most of this customer satisfaction metric.
1. Create proper feedback alerts across departments
Make sure you have a proper system in place that alerts the right teams or departments whenever customers leave feedback.
The idea is to ensure the right people follow up with the customer. In this, you should specify the people responsible, the deadline, the medium of follow-up, the information to be collected, and the proper escalation route.
2. Know why you want to analyze the CSAT score
You want to consider the CSAT survey objectives, the questions, CX issues, data sources (survey in this case), and data segmentation when analyzing the CSAT score.
This will help prepare an analysis plan or roadmap to make sense of the solicited CSAT survey feedback.
3. Conduct data analysis
We highly recommend you break the customer feedback data down by identifying the key drivers and prioritizing CSAT score-driven improvements.
Data analysis should include unstructured data analysis, customer and employee data analysis, root cause analysis, feedback analysis, and more while linking the analysis with the overall financial impact.
4. Extend data and insights to related departments
The data analysis and insights should be communicated with the right teams and departments. The insights should be prepared in a way that helps the specific departments make the most sense of them and develop a solid action plan.
Besides, you should ensure that the departments have the clearance to invest time, funds, and other resources in CSAT feedback analysis and implementation.
5. Create a plan of action
You’ll need to strategize to create an effective action plan. What are the factors you should consider when creating a strategy?
We highly recommend you consider common issues, data trends, department-based responses to insights, and required improvements, and figure out whether or not the teams and departments responsible for action are on board.
6. Take solid action
Once you have a plan ready, you can take significant action to improve the current state of customer satisfaction at your company.
However, you will have to consistently solicit CSAT survey feedback, conduct data analysis, generate and share insights, and take action to improve CX across your organization.
Most importantly, you will have to let the customers know that you are incessantly working towards improving their experience.
Why Customer Satisfaction Score is used?
You can use customer satisfaction scores to improve customer experience across onboarding and post-purchase stages, before subscription renewals, and after demos, follow-ups, and related customer interactions.
One of the most common applications of customer satisfaction scores is during the customer lifecycle. You can trigger CSAT surveys when customers are at key points in their customer journey, for example, user onboarding.
This is an excellent way to generate customer insights by asking CSAT questions and determining the effectiveness of the meaningful part of the customer journey.
For instance, sending the CSAT surveys when the onboarding is complete can help you generate adequate insights about the effectiveness of the existing onboarding experience.
You may even use customer satisfaction surveys during subscription renewals. Six months prior to subscription renewal can be an important checkpoint to send a customer satisfaction survey.
This is because six months are enough for you to collect and implement the CSAT feedback.
With the CSAT survey, you will know what CX-related problems your customers are experiencing and use the six-month period to take action on a time-based schedule.
You may even conduct the CSAT survey multiple times to solicit feedback across multiple touchpoints.
This ensures that you approach CSAT surveys and scores as a means to keep the feedback and improvement loop going. We highly recommend conducting CSAT surveys before renewals to minimize the influence on customer feedback.
Lastly, we suggest conducting customer satisfaction surveys directly after critical customer interactions. These interactions can be communication with a customer support representative, follow-up interactions, or troubleshooting.
It’s common to send CSAT surveys to readers after they’ve finished reading an article or guide on your website.
The idea is to gauge the effectiveness of the interaction and learn how it impacts prospects’ buying decisions.
However, the feedback received after such interactions is based on the immediate customer experience or reaction. Therefore, these cannot be used as an indicator of the overall CX.
Improving customer satisfaction scores is key to boosting customer loyalty and retention over a long period.
After all, improvement in customer experience has a direct impact on a company’s bottom line as a positive CX plays a crucial role in fostering long-term customer relationships.
We hope this guide helped you understand CSAT as a customer satisfaction metric.