Making the Most of Your Customer Satisfaction Surveys

65% of customers strongly agree that it is essential for organizations to seek feedback on their customer service. Customer feedback could be a Customer Experience (CX) superpower; if you know how to use it. Perfecting your customer satisfaction surveys is the first step toward streamlining customer journeys, making the most of every interaction, and building customer relationships that stand the test of time.

However, perfecting the customer satisfaction survey is no easy feat. In this blog, we discuss:

  • The definition of customer satisfaction, and how it is calculated.

  • Strategies for surveying customer satisfaction.

  • Alternatives to the customer satisfaction survey.

  • The new AI-powered technologies that support customer satisfaction surveys.

Interested in diving deeper into customer satisfaction and CX metrics? Download Content Guru’s whitepaper, Beyond CSAT: 4 Tips to Elevate Your CX Reporting for a deeper dive into this topic.

Customer Satisfaction is Your Most Powerful Asset

Calculating customer satisfaction (CSAT) is simple. All it takes is a single question: ‘How satisfied are you with your experience?’ Customers are asked to respond of a scale from ‘very satisfied’ to ‘very dissatisfied’, and their answer are then placed on scale between 1 and 100. This score out of one hundred is the final product of a customer satisfaction survey.

Good CSAT varies from industry to industry:

  • Business-to-Business industries, such as consultancy, often see CSAT scores in the 80s or above.

  • Customer-facing industries such as media and retail usually see much lowers scores, even as low as the 20s.

  • On average, any score above 50 indicates approval from the majority of your customers.

CSAT can offer a holistic glimpse into your entire CX estate or can be used to identify the concerns of individual customers. It only requires the customer to answer one question; it’s this simplicity that is key to the flexibility of the metric. But CSAT isn’t perfect.

The Challenges of a Customer Satisfaction Survey

For all its flexibility, CSAT is not a perfect tool for gathering customer feedback. Customer satisfaction surveys have their problems.

  • Customers suffer from survey fatigue – Your customers are inundated with requests to fill out surveys from every business they use. Convincing the customer to respond to your customer satisfaction survey in particular is a challenge.

  • Survey fatigue leads to unrepresentative surveying. If only a small proportion of your customers are responding to your surveys, your CSAT scores aren’t going to reflect reality. Customers might use your CSAT surveys only when frustrated, turning your customer satisfaction surveys into a complaints box.

  • CSAT’s simplicity can be its undoing – it tells you little about where your CX succeeds and fails, the specifics of the customer journey, and what your customers would like to see improved. Sentiment can tell you that there is a problem; not where the problem is, or how to solve it.

Customer satisfaction surveys, then, are not the final word on CX reporting. To ensure that you’re collecting the right customer data, and tracking the right CX analytics, you need to broaden your horizons.

Beyond Customer Satisfaction

Beyond customer satisfaction, there is a huge range of metrics for measuring customer experience. Each attempts to bypass the simplicity of CSAT, in order to access a more genuine reflection of the customer experience.

  • Net Promotor Score (NPS) asks the customer: ’How likely are you to recommend our business to others?’ This question provides insight into the customer’s opinion of your business, while distinguishing between those who would actively advocate for your business and those who actively condemn it.

  • Customer Effort Score (CES) asks the customer to report on the effort they had to expend to reach a resolution to their problem. This metric offers feedback directly relevant to your CX, and in some cases, can help identify pain points in the customer journey.

  • New on the CX measurement stage is Value Enhancement Score (VES). This asks the customer how successfully they were able to use a product or service, and how confident they are with their purchase. VES prompts the customer to think critically about a product, and even to reflect on the sales process.

Each of these metrics provides a different, yet equally crucial, perspective on customer satisfaction..

AI-Powered Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Artificial Intelligence (AI) represents a CX revolution. AI can be used to support agents, empower customers to self-serve, and perhaps most importantly, provide real-time insights into every customer interaction.

  • Natural Language Processing  (NLP) and Large Language Models (LLMs) allow AI assistants to process unstructured speech in the way a human being would. Customer contact can be transcribed, and subjected to instant analysis.

  • This sentiment analysis attaches a sentiment value to each word, based on its emotional. From this, an overall customer sentiment can be extracted.

  • This score underpins a predictive CSAT value - a CSAT score generated without the need for a survey.

  • This allows you to draw CSAT from every interaction, effectively completing a customer satisfaction survey every time a customer gets in contact.

  • This predictive CSAT can be entered into databases, integrated into reports, and used to inform your CX strategy, all without the risk of exposing your customers to survey fatigue.

For maximum possible accuracy, predictive CSAT can be compared to surveyed CSAT at intervals, to ensure alignment and consistency. And this isn’t all AI can offer your CX ecosystem. AI assistants can offer live script suggestions to agents during interactions, supporting them when customer sentiment begins to drop. Interactions of concern can then be flagged to supervisors.

Customer Satisfaction Surveys with storm®

Customer satisfaction surveys are an essential tool for building outstanding CX. To make them a part of your CX ecosystem, you need a customer surveying solution that can operate over any channel, from voice, to SMS, to social media, and bring that data into a single, easy-to-use reporting solution. Content Guru’s cloud CX solution, storm® provides this through storm ASK™ and storm VIEW™, powerful surveying and reporting tools that put CSAT in the palm of your hand.

Ready to learn more about customer satisfaction? Continue your CSAT journey by downloading Content Guru’s whitepaper, Beyond CSAT: 4 Tips to Elevate Your CX Reporting, discussing customer satisfaction metrics and surveying strategies.