focuses on usability of sites, user reviews, customer loyalty index
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Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Synonyms: 

The term 'CSAT 'comes from marketing and defines the methodology of customers' satisfaction measurement.

Illustrations for Salemove pricing page by Glia
Illustrations for Salemove pricing page by Glia

Definition

If to think about the easiest and the most direct way to explore customers' feedback about a feature of a product or service, CSAT seems to be the most suitable method. Although there are a variety of CSAT forms, it has a base of a single question that an interviewer shall respond to.

Depending on the form, the question might imply agreement or disagreement with the statement. For instance, "The client manager answered all my questions fully" phrase and YES/NO check-box.

Sometimes, for calculating CSAT, the question and multiple answers are used. 

The answer might contain a simple estimation, like in this example:

How do you feel about our customer support?

  1. Excellent
  2. Fine
  3. Fair
  4. Poor

It also can include a set of statements, and the interviewer chooses for the answer as the most appropriate.

"Are you happy with using FAQ?"

  1. Yeah, the structure is clear and easy-to-get. I spend less than a minute to find the necessary info.
  2. I find it a bit messy. It usually takes up to 5 minutes to get the answer.
  3. It is a disaster. I am always wasting hours looking up for solution.

Finally, the CSAT survey is often a direct question with the estimation scale, which might vary — 1 to 3, 1 to 5, or 1 to 10

Why Measure Customer Satisfaction?

Business and product owners often presume that they control the team well and feel aware of the business process's advantages and disadvantages. Meanwhile, even an employee involved in daily contacts with customers can evaluate the company's position inadequately, due to his perception of facts. Here a measured interaction with customers shall be applied. 

Knowing how many customers feel unhappy about the product or service provided helps to reduce customers' churn. 

Communicating directly with clients, and learning about their pains and dissatisfaction enhance retention, a key metric of business development. The aspect influences business stability and scalability — the growing number of regular customers mean lower client attraction costs and higher customer loyalty. CSAT is a simple and efficient way to determine painful points and work gaps.

Customer Satisfaction Score Pros & Cons

The most significant power of the survey lies in its simplicity. Just a single question of the correct form allows determining a problem at the moment, so implementing a solution and finally, broadening the horizons of customers' loyalty.

It is also flexible enough with answer types. Depending on the audience's context and tastes, use stars, emojis, rating scales, or word estimation.

The simple survey structure of a single or a few questions provides higher feedback. Besides, the area of usage of customer satisfaction surveys is wide:

  1. Implementing a new product or service
  2. After redesign
  3. Estimating new employees
  4. Lacking certainty on a particular stage of interaction with customers
  5. Testing a new sale channel and willing to know if everything works correctly
  6. Evaluating the quality of one specific channel (delivery, for instance)

It is convenient to get customers' feedback straight after one passes a particular stage, still being into his experience. Additionally, CSAT surveys can be tailored not only to getting to a crucial point, but also linked to a term. Due to its simplicity, CSAT measurement can be held regularly; therefore, its arrangement is easy to automatize. 

There are some imperfections in the methodology, though. Firstly, you should not expect a full picture of your business from customer satisfaction score measurements. As it was said before, the test reflects the freshest experience the customer gets interacting with a specific part of the service or the product. It is not capable of displaying the image of the entire business process. Furthermore, the feedback is somewhat subjective and depends on non-predictable factors of customers' environment. The customer might be merely not in the mood, answering questions as it is.

Secondly, customers of neutral or bad experiences are often to avoid taking part in surveys. That makes the results less objective.

If your audience is multinational, then you might face problems of cultural differences in defining "normal." Besides, people of Europe, Canada, and Northern America are likely to pick up extremes (from "amazing" to "terrible"). At the same time, Chinese, Japanese, or representatives of other collective countries often prefer neutral estimations. 

Despite the existing CSAT index for each of the industries, taken as standard, it is hard to evaluate the particular score as "good" or "bad." Because each company or business area's data is so different, there is no real chance to build up an impeccable estimation scale. 


How CSAT is measured

You have various ways to arrange CSAT surveys. Put a feedback bar on a website or an app. The customer is usually eager to give a quick response, staying engaged with the brand. Some free instruments like Google Forms or Monkey Survey can be convenient here.

If you communicate with the audience through messengers, use their options of voting to get immediate feedback.

Send emails with an estimating link straight after a specific interaction has been occurred. It might demonstrate poorer users' feedback compared with the previous variants but still allows gathering customers' responses. 


Calculating CSAT

CSAT survey is easy to hold and simple to process. Take the number of all high positive and positive answers (7-10 of estimation scale or 4-5 of star rate, "Very satisfied" and "Satisfied" responses, etc.), divide to a number of interviewers, and multiply it by 100.

CSAT= № of positive answers ÷ number of answers x 100

For instance, if you get 100 answers to the survey, and 80 are positive, you gain 80% CSAT score.

CSAT vs NPS

Not only CSAT score determines customers' attitudes to a product or a service. There is another metric called NPS (net promoter score) that measures customer loyalty. It differs from CSAT with the scope, covering not only a part but the entire product.

If CSAT lets you know whether the customer is happy with a new payment system, NPS shows how one finds the service or the company in general. 

NPS is a long-term metric, referring to opinion rather than to emotions or direct experience. That makes the index more objective. It reflects the customers' eagerness to recommend the company to acquaintance and friends. If the customer is willing to do it, it means one is really engaged with the brand. 

According to the existing opinion, NPS is tailored to financial marks. A higher index of NPS displays higher loyalty, that promises further purchases, extends lifetime value, etc.

Technically, NPS is calculated with the question of whether the customer will recommend the company to his surroundings. The formulation may vary with words, but the sense remains the same, while the usual evaluation scale is traditionally 1 to 10.


CSAT vs CES

CES also measures customers' satisfaction to some extent. It is focused on the efforts' volume a user takes to achieve an aim, for instance, purchasing something on a website. The lower index means a few attempts the customer does to complete the task; therefore, the greater loyalty he or she has to the company. 

Meanwhile, the survey uncovers all stumbling blocks and complications the customer faces while interacting with the brand. Using CES leads to great insights for enhancing the business.

Like CSAT, It is also based on a single question with multiple answers. The question is about how easy or hard it is to complete a certain task, and the answers grade from "Very Easy" to "Extremely hard".


Tips for Improving CSAT

  • Get in touch with your customers straight after a key event: a form filling, a purchase, an inquiry to customer service. Catch fresh experience and emotions.
  • Mind the score estimation, working with a 10 score scale. More neutral variants provide a blurrier evaluation. At the same time, do not turn the scale into a harsh choice of two alternatives.
  • Use precise formulations, letting the customers think short and give an exact answer.

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