Drawing Meaning from Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

In the Customer Experience space, one metric dominates. Customer Satisfaction, or CSAT, is the single most popular metric for assessing customer sentiment. This status makes sense; CSAT is a highly intuitive metric and relatively easy to measure. Its results are usually self-explanatory and don’t require too much high-level analysis to justify. What this means for CSAT is an unbroken track record of popularity.

In this blog, we discuss:

  • The meaning of CSAT,

  • How to calculate CSAT,

  • Moving beyond Customer Satisfaction,

  • The CX tech that makes reporting easy.

Outstanding CX begins with effective reporting. Understanding your contact center KPIs and performance metrics is the first step toward elevating your customer contact. Ready to learn more? Download Content Guru’s whitepaper: Keeping Up With the KPIs: The Contact Center KPIs Key to Outstanding CX.

What is the Meaning of CSAT?

Customer satisfaction begins with a simple question (the fiat lux of CX), ‘How satisfied are you with your experience?’ From here, customers respond on a scale from ‘very dissatisfied’ to ‘very satisfied’. These results fall on a scale of 1 to 10, from which you can calculate an average score across various populations, anywhere between 1 and 100.

What does this mean for CSAT? Well, CSAT will vary according to industry and demographics:

  • For consultancy and B2B services, inter-personal relationships are critical. CSAT is likely to be high here, and can average in the 80s.

  • For retail and media, specialized in serving a vast number of customers quickly, customer experience can suffer at scale. In these industries, CSAT might be as low as the 20s.

  • The higher the score the better, but expecting perfection is unreasonable. In general, a score above 50 indicates that the majority of your customers are satisfied. Anything above 70 is a major success.

CSAT is a great ‘first-glance’ metric, but to make it a part of your CX reporting ecosystem, you need to know how to measure it.

How to Measure Customer Satisfaction

CSAT is measured mostly through surveys. The question is sent out to customers via any channel of communication, and a result is calculated from responses. What this means for CSAT is that the metric can fall prey to surveying pitfalls:

  • Often, CSAT surveys will pick up only minority opinions; that is, those extremely happy with their service, or those extremely unhappy. Only these demographics will be motivated enough to answer the survey. The result is a skewing of the data. A vocal minority masks the opinion of the majority.

  • Survey fatigue is a significant problem for CSAT. Today, customers are bombarded with requests for feedback over email, SMS, webchat, and in person. The more oversaturated your customers become, the less likely they are to respond.

  • CSAT is pretty surface level. Usually, customers will respond to a CSAT survey immediately after an interaction, and only think about the content of that interaction. That means CSAT lacks perspective. It might show a lifelong customer as dissatisfied after just one poor interaction, or a one-time customer as highly satisfied. It simply doesn’t provide enough depth.

These problems might seem chronic, but there are measures you can take to get your CSAT back on its feet:

  • To perfect your surveying, make it easy for customers to give an answer. Digital customers don’t have time to click through an archaic surveying site. So make your surveying accessible, instant, and intuitive.

  • Keep the question short and sharp. Don’t waste time on unnecessary detail, and use as few words as possible. Your customers will thank you.

  • Diversify your reporting. CSAT is an excellent headline metric, but to get true depth, you’re going to need a much broader range of metrics.

Building on Customer Satisfaction

Customer loyalty is difficult to pin down, and can change on a dime with service quality fluctuations. CSAT is no different; it tells you what your customers think, but not necessarily why they think it. Customer Satisfaction might measure the customer’s attitude to your product, rather than their opinion on your Customer Experience. Without a comprehensive reporting suite, CSAT is just a number.

You need to be factoring in more than just Customer Satisfaction:

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)Net Promoter Score doesn’t just measure customer satisfaction, it measures customer loyalty. By asking which customers are likely to recommend your business, it serves as an effective indicator of which customers are likely to stick by your side in the long run.

  • Value Enhancement Score (VES) – A relatively new metric, VES asks two questions, ‘How successfully were you able to use our product/service?’, and, ‘How confident are you with your purchase?’ In answering these questions, the customer gives their opinion on both your business and the impression conveyed by your customer service.

  • Customer Effort Score (CES)CES measures how much effort a customer had to put in to reach a solution to their problem. Friction within your customer service estate, confusion on the part of agents, or a failure to resolve a problem all lead to poor Customer Effort Score.

Each of these metrics provides insight into different aspects of your Customer Experience. Ideally, your customer service should be both efficient and high quality. Reaching this high standard is a different matter entirely.

CX KPIs Made Easy with storm®

Once you understand the meaning of CSAT, the world of CX reporting is at your fingertips. But, CSAT isn’t the only CX metric you should be accounting for. To keep ahead of the competition, you need a complete reporting solution.

Content Guru’s CX reporting solution, storm® VIEW™, provides comprehensive, real-time, and historical Customer Experience reporting. Customer Satisfaction, Net Promoter Score, and endless customer metrics can be brought into a single pane of glass for easy access, or converted into secure, shareable reports. 

Want to learn more about key Customer Experience metrics and contact center KPIs? Download Content Guru’s whitepaper: Keeping Up With the KPIs: The Contact Center KPIs Key to Outstanding CX.