What is Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)?
No matter in which industry you are working, your biggest concern must be customer satisfaction. Whether you are only starting your business, or you are already a successful businessman, you must be aware of the importance of your stakeholders.
This goes to every person or a party that’s responsible for enabling your organization or company to do business successfully, but also the most important one – customers. If the customers aren’t satisfied, it won’t matter to anyone how good your product or service actually is, since they will lack trust in you.
A good voice is widely heard, but bad one even more – that’s why every successful company invests in measuring and tracking customer satisfaction, all with an aim of finding the area that can be improved, and therefore the customer satisfaction higher.
The only challenge is that there are various types of tests and tools for measuring customer satisfaction, so the question is – which one is the best?
Further, we will cover everything you need to know about Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) and why it would be a good thing for you to use.
WHAT IS CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SCORE?
Customer satisfaction score is a methodology used to determine customer satisfaction. Usually, it consists of a short survey that customers fill in, answering questions regarding the recent event or contact they had with the company.
This survey can take many different forms, but the main goal is to ask the customer to rate their experience on a scale ranging from bad to good and great.
Questions can vary from “How would you rate your experience with us?” to “How much did we fulfill your expectations?” and beyond, followed by a couple choices such as bad, okay, good, great.
Bear in mind that the questions and choices should be thoughtfully chosen to make it accessible to customers to accurately express their impression after interacting with your company since there are many perceptions of the same question or statement.
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is the most effective customer satisfaction survey methodology, as it is completely straightforward and it measures customer satisfaction with a business, purchase, or interaction.
The score is calculated by asking various questions, for example, “How satisfied are you with the latest version of our application?” The answers are graded on a scale, from least to the most, and the scale itself can be 1 – 3, 1 – 5, or 1 – 10.
HOW IS CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SCORE MEASURED?
While creating the customer satisfaction survey, you can choose the way you want your customers to grade their experience. We’ll enlist the possible choices.
1. Average Score
This method is used to calculate the percentage of satisfied customers from the total number of customers. It is applicable to questions like “How satisfied you were with the support you got from us?” where the answer could be any number on a scale, for example, 1-10.
The average score is calculated by dividing the sum of all grades and a total number of collected answers, all presented in percentages. For example, 5 customers graded their satisfaction with the following grades: 4, 10, 5, 7, 8; so the customer satisfaction score would be: 68%.
2. Satisfied vs Unsatisfied
This method is used for a quick check of a product or a brand, as it is quite simple for customers to fill in. There is no numbered scale, but there are emoticons instead. Their values can vary, but are usually 1-3 or 1-5, covering the following impressions:
Although this type of survey is quite easier for customers to fill in, it may lack some important information that could be used for further analysis.
Therefore, it is strongly recommended to ask customers additional questions on how to make improvements in particular segments when using this method of calculating the customer satisfaction score.
3. Star Rating
This method is quite popular and well seen, especially in the hospitality and catering industries, as well as many online businesses.
The customers are asked to grade their experience on a scale 1-5, which creates a clear picture of a brand and gives an instant feedback to the company.
This method became quite popular and will remain at this firm place, due to the fact that it is also usually visible to other customers, giving them relevant information about the thing of their interest.
Taking this into consideration, companies are being very careful when it comes to customer satisfaction and its impact on the business.
4. The “Top-2-Box”
Another study gives us a different point of view when it comes to calculating the customer satisfaction score.
This method takes into consideration only two highest ranked answers and furtherly comes with the percentage of satisfied customers.
There are a couple of KPIs (key performing index) that we track while determining our customer satisfaction score. Those are # of satisfied customers as well as # of satisfaction survey responses. The formula was created to calculate the average satisfaction score, and it goes:
# of satisfied customers / # of satisfaction survey responses x 100% = % of satisfied customers
Studies elaborate that the two highest ranked options are the most accurate ones and the best prediction of the future retention rate.
PROS AND CONS OF CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SCORE
Before deciding the way you want to question the customer satisfaction, you should be aware of all the advantages and disadvantages of the customer satisfaction score.
For the starters, the main advantage of this method is the fact that it is quite simple, making it accessible to everyone everywhere, and really easy and short to fill in. People fill it in instinctively, without thinking too much, which boosts the response rate.
Another thing that distinguishes customer satisfaction score from other methods is its flexibility when it comes to the grading scale. As mentioned before, you can use various tools, from numbers, emoticons, stars etc. It is completely up to you and what you find most fitting for your customers.
Nothing is perfect, which goes for customer satisfaction score too. When we talk about disadvantages, the most common one is the fact that the grades could be perceived in different manners in different countries. This is especially important for companies who do business on the international market.
For example, it has been proven that Americans are more likely to choose extreme grades, such as completely unsatisfied or completely satisfied. On the other hand, people from Japan and some other Asian countries are most likely to choose something in between, for example, satisfied, unsatisfied or neutral, even though they are feeling the same as Americans.
This is the thing of a culture and it is not that easy to overcome, especially for big companies that cooperate with many countries. It requires custom-made surveys, which is not that easy to deliver.
Therefore, whenever you are analyzing the customer satisfaction score, you should take into consideration who are your customers, and if they are coming from different backgrounds, make sure you create the common bases for making the conclusions and taking the action.
Another thing you should take into consideration is the fact that the result of customer satisfaction score will show you how people feel based on the last touch point they had with you.
This might not be a bad thing (if you are doing customer satisfaction surveys regularly, after each interaction and getting a feedback on the last one is your goal), but if you want to collect general impressions, you might won’t be able to get objective answers.
People often tend to think of themselves, their product, and service or brand all the best relying on customer satisfaction score and not taking into consideration the fact that many unsatisfied od neutral customers do not have any intention of filling in the survey, leaving the satisfaction score high.
This happened to many successful companies in the past, and you should definitely check whether this is happening to you, too. Remember, you are not here to take compliments, but to find the truth and get constructive feedback on your work. It is the only way you can improve your business and enable its growth.
Everything mentioned above is almost nothing compared to the fact that we don’t know how to explain the satisfaction itself. It is perceived differently by everyone in the world, due to the fact that we all have different standards and different expectations.
If we take a look at the definition of the quality, we might get a clearer picture: “Quality is the level at which customer’s expectations are fulfilled” opening the question on the expectations.
The main message from this should be: don’t take for granted your customers actual desires and wishes.
Make sure you ask appropriate questions in order to get relevant answers. If you really want to be successful, make sure you understand your customers’ expectations, and then exceed them.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO MEASURE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SCORE?
Some researchers have defined the customer path and all the process within them.
According to them, the best time to measure customer satisfaction score is at each of the phases of the customer path. The phases are the following:
- Exploring – the customer realizes that he or she has the need for something and start searching for the best solution
- References – in order to find the best solution, the customer is looking for all the relevant references that can be found either on the Internet or thankfully to the word of mouth method
- Purchase – actual purchase process
- Value delivery – the user experience a customer has with the product or service – the most important phase
- Connection – including connection to the particular product or service, but also to the entire brand, due to the fact that the customer was satisfied either with the product/service itself or the way your company handled all challenges the customer had experienced
- Brand advocacy – very important phase that helps your business grow; if you’ve done all previous phases correctly (exceeded your customers’ expectations), especially the value delivery, you should have no worries, as your customers will have a natural need to spread a good word about your company products and services. You will get no better confirmation of your customers’ satisfaction than this one, so when you get it, enjoy it completely.
These are all the phases within the customer path. The good thing is that you can adjust it to your company, product or a service. Most importantly, you should adjust it to your customers, as they should be in the center of your attention.
Never the less important, make sure you do customer satisfaction surveys in all of the above-mentioned phases, but also whenever you are trying an update, releasing a new product, making big changes or just notice that something is not completely right and you need some adjustments.
If you apply it regularly, you will show your customers that you care, and there is no way for you getting a low customer satisfaction score anymore.
HOW TO CREATE A GOOD CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SURVEY
So far you have probably decided to become more customer-centric and all you need to know now is how exactly to become that.
We’ll cover some basics and help you design an outstanding customer survey to gather all the information you need.
1. Choose your dictionary carefully.
The main goal of the customer satisfaction survey is to realize how satisfied your customers really are with some specific event, action or interaction.
For that, you need to ask appropriate questions.
That’s when the wording becomes really important.
The main characteristics of good questions are:
- simple and clear
- adapted to a classical scale format, asking for the source of satisfaction
- not complicated to think up and sounds natural
- definite, you are only asking about the satisfaction, nothing else
- completely neutral and doesn’t imply an answer direction
- concreting the subject of analysis, from the full customer experience to a specific phase or a process, for example, e-mail support that helped create an account
- able to be globally compared
As mentioned previously, you can ask general questions about the entire customer experience, or you can target a specific event, action or interaction. In practical use, it looks like this:
“How satisfied are you with our company?” – General question
“How satisfied are you with your shipping experience?” – Specific question
2. Choose the most suitable time for your survey.
It is most recommended to ask for feedback right after the specific event, action or interaction ended. It’s good to have regular from time to time surveys, but gathering information right after something happens is proven to be most relevant.
If you conduct the survey right after the relevant customer experience, you are increasing your chance to get the most accurate information, as it is still fresh in people’ mind and they can help you the most.
There are various ways to do this, such as releasing the questionnaire right after the specific event (end of a call with customer service etc.) or sending a follow-up e-mail to get the information. Both will work, but we still recommend the fastest possible solution which is publishing the survey in the same tab or worksheet the person was on, whilst talking to you or using your product.
Don’t get us wrong, e-mails are not bad – on the contrary they are a very creative method and you can try it, but just bear in mind that not all people will open an e-mail right after the specific event.
It can happen hours, days, weeks later and in any business, it’s quite a lot time, so we believe there are more effective ways to achieve this.
3. Set the scale appropriately.
It’s important to adjust the scale to your customers, in order for them to be more appealing and easier to fill in.
That’s why you should think twice about the choice you are making and the scale you are using.
As mentioned previously, it can be various things – from numbers to stars and emoticons. There isn’t a wrong choice, but if you want to work on your response rate, you should reconsider your decision.
CALL TO ACTION
After you have gathered all the needed information, it’s time for you to take an action. No customer satisfaction surveys will help you unless you do something with the information you get, in order to improve the CAST.
Think about the goals of your company and how related they are to the customer satisfaction score.
If you find that many people have challenges or problems with something, and usually it’s the same thing, it’s time for you to find the solution for that bottleneck.
Good thing to do after releasing the updated version is to conduct another survey and see if the impression of your customers has changed. That’s how you will know whether you are on the right path or not.
Living in the modern age has got everyone as a customer in the center of attention.
All organizations and companies are becoming more and more customer oriented, in order to survive on the market and enable growth.
Whether you are looking for a way to do that or you were just interested in seeing how customer satisfaction score works and why is it so relevant, this article probably helped you.
At least you know from where to start. Remember – it’s always the customer.