The Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is a straightforward measure of customer satisfaction. CSAT is calculated by asking customers “How satisfied were you with your experience today?” Responses are most commonly collected on a scale of 1-3, 1-5 or 1-10. CSAT can help you identify key areas where your customers are less than satisfied, and this can drive improvements in your business. Using CSAT well can increase long-term customer retention and keep your customers happy.
It’s important to understand what CSAT surveys can and cannot measure. Otherwise, you risk misunderstanding your results. By nature, the CSAT question asks about immediate satisfaction. As a result, responses typically indicate a customer’s sentiment towards their most recent interaction with your brand. This can be an advantage – measuring CSAT at different touchpoints can inform you about satisfaction with different parts of your product or service. However, it is generally considered inappropriate to use CSAT to infer broader attitudes towards your brand.
CSAT is measured using surveys, which ask your respondents to rate their satisfaction with your product, service, brand, or a specific attribute of your product. These surveys can be one question long, or can involve a series of rating scales and open-ended questions. Best practice is to keep your surveys as short as possible while still collecting the necessary data.
There are several different methods of calculating your CSAT score. Three of the most common ways are to use a Top 2 Box Score, an average, or a median. It doesn’t really matter which method you choose, as long as you are consistent in your calculations.
CSAT works best as a comparative measure. A CSAT score of 8 doesn’t mean very much, but the same CSAT score of 8 means a lot if you know that last quarter your score was 6. As a result, it’s important to track your CSAT score over time and across different areas of your company. In order to make this a meaningful comparison, it’s crucial that the rating scales, the wording of the questions, and the method of delivery are all kept the same.
Analyzing and Visualizing CSAT
Once you have all your CSAT data, it’s time to analyze it and extract key insights. It’s a good idea to collect CSAT data for not only overall satisfaction, but also for more granular aspects of your product or service. You can then use relative importance analysis to determine which attributes are most influential for overall customer satisfaction.
It’s useful to create CSAT dashboards which allow you to visualize your current CSAT, your CSAT trends over time, and any other notable data that you have collected. These dashboards allow you, your clients, and your colleagues to see at a glance the most important data about your customer satisfaction.
“One division was ready to spend a hefty amount of money to pay someone to generate crosstabs … I loaded her data in Q and showed her how quickly she could do all she needed – she almost burst into tears!”
Karina S., Manager, Research and Analytics | The Institute of Internal Auditors Inc.