A customer satisfaction score, often abbreviated as a CSAT score, is used to measure how well a company meets or exceeds the level of expectation felt by a customer upon interacting with their products or services.
This information is acquired via short, customer service-oriented surveys which aim to assess an individual’s recent experience through either a single question, set of queries, or long form assessment. Answers are typically ranked by very unsatisfied, unsatisfied, neutral, satisfied, or very satisfied.
For instance, these emojis are used to denote the varying levels of satisfaction indicated below:
While there is no universal CSAT score scale, businesses should experiment with the length and type of feedback messaging they employ for the most optimal experience, ensuring the collection of information after key events or actions a person takes with a brand. Like, upon order placement, delivery, or a phone call / live chat ended.
How to calculate CSAT score
A composite Customer Satisfaction score can be achieved by taking the number of satisfied customers polled (values considered to be the most accurate) and dividing them by the number of survey responses. Results are typically expressed as a percentage, with 100% representing complete satisfaction:
Satisfaction Score = Number of Satisfied Customers / Number of Survey Responses x 100
There has been a lot of research done by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) on what a good CSAT score looks like per industry, here are just a few:
Internet Retail – 82% in 2017, -1.2% from the previous year
Hotels – 76% in 2018, 0% change from previous year
Internet News & Opinion – 75% in 2018, 0% change from previous year
Apparel – 80% in 2017, +1.3 change from previous year
Health Insurance – 73% in 2017, +1.4% change from previous year
It’s important to remember that due to the simplistic nature of these surveys, much can be lost in translation when it comes to determining accurate results. Customer satisfaction is often a very subjective concept, largely varying per person based on a number of factors including location, culture, familiarity with a business, attitude, emotional state at the time, etc. Therefore, the CSAT should be used as just one KPI for measuring overall customer happiness or loyalty.
NPS vs CSAT
While CSAT typically focuses on one topic or specific interaction at a time, producing a useful score to measure short-term happiness, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) aims to derive customer satisfaction over the long-term. Generally sent on more regular cadence, an NPS survey spans channels, touchpoints and experiences to provide a more holistic and qualitative analysis of a company’s detractors, passives, and promoters.