Next to NPS and CES, you can consider using the CSAT score as a key performance indicator of your customer experience management. What is CSAT exactly and what can you do with it? We will explain the meaning of CSAT in this article because it is a commonly used and simple survey method to measure customer satisfaction. So what can CSAT, the Customer Satisfaction Score, do for you?

What is CSAT?

CSAT stands for Customer Satisfaction. When measuring customer satisfaction, customers evaluate their experience, a product, a procedure or a service. The following question will be asked:

‘How satisfied are you about product x / service x / procedure x?’

Make sure that the satisfaction about something is well defined, specific and clear for the respondents. CYS uses a short 4 question research method, based on the Root Cause Analysis where you don’t just measure the CSAT score but also why the customer gave you this score with three simple follow up questions. Those questions, an open answer-box and the categorized follow up questions, are the most valuable. The customer gives real time feedback that can be used for improvement, coaching and adjustments in your company.

How do you measure CSAT score?

The CSAT is comparable to a school report grade. Respondents are asked to give a grade about a specific aspect. This is represented in a grade on a 1 to 10 scale. The score (the average) is shown as an absolute number. The score indicates how satisfied or dissatisfied your customers are with a specific experience, product or service. Because it is expressed as an average between 1-10, the CSAT score is easy to interpret and recognizable. You can also choose a 5 point scale, where 1 represents ‘very dissatisfied’ and 5 is the highest possible score representing ‘very satisfied’.

A little note: the CSAT methodology can differ per country. In the Netherlands it is common to use a 1 to 10 scale as a grade, but in other countries like the UK they are more used to the 1 to 5 scale. Keep this cultural bias in mind when you want to compare CSAT results from different countries.

When do you use CSAT?

The Customer Satisfaction score measures satisfaction after a certain touch point. CSAT is used specifically in situations where asking for a recommendation makes no sense or is not appropriate, for instance when evaluating health or governmental institutions or when there is no competition.

Not sure whether you should use CSAT or not? Contact one of our experts at CYS to help you and your organization with your questions about customer satisfaction research and customer experience.

How to improve your CSAT score?

But how can you improve customer satisfaction? There are many tips, but especially listening to the Voice of the Customer is very important. Don’t focus too much on the score. The story behind the score tells you much more. Why are your customers satisfied or why not? The feedback of your customers is most valuable input for improvements. And make sure you close the feedback loop by helping your customers ‘till the end. With a smile of course.

Some disadvantages of using CSAT

There are some traps if you only use the Customer Satisfaction Score as your customer feedback survey. The CSAT score is perfect for a quick short-term measurement of your customer’s satisfaction but CSAT doesn’t tell much about the customer’s loyalty. For instance, you can’t really measure if a customer will recommend your organization or not. To determine if a customer is willing to stick around, it's better to use a NPS (Net Promoter Score) method for measuring. A CSAT score is quite limited when it comes to the relationship with your customer, because it measures at a certain touchpoint on a certain day. But when satisfied customers are the norm, CSAT is a great KPI to use.

By measuring customer satisfaction with the use of CSAT, you can ask your customers indirectly how your company performs on certain aspects. The strength of a survey lies not so much in the KPI, but more in the probing and analysis, which enables you to influence it in a positive way.

Want to know more about measuring and managing experience?

If you want to know more about measuring and managing Customer Experience by using key performance indicators (KPI’s) such as NPS, CES or CSAT, download our free e-book with examples taken straight from real-life case studies.

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Which Performance Indicators (KPI's) are used for the measurement and management of Customer Experience and how can you set fair targets that will motivate everyone to create a truly customer-centric organization?

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