How to measure customer satisfaction in 7 different ways

Customer satisfaction (CSAT) is an important customer experience metric to understand how your customers feel about your products or services. 

Connecting with your customers is the only real way to measure customer satisfaction.

By the way, don’t forget to download the free ebook: The Hacker’s Guide to Customer Experience, available toward the end of this guide!

How to measure customer satisfaction (CSAT)?

One of the most common methods of measuring customer satisfaction is through surveys.  Respondents record their feedback via multiple-choice questions, rating questions, open-ended questions, etc.  Customer satisfaction measurement tools can help you gather real-time insights through online surveys and deliver excellent experiences.

You can measure CSAT score from the responses to below question,

“How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the [product/service]?”

The options typically range from one end of the satisfaction level to the polar opposite.

  • Very unsatisfied
  • Unsatisfied
  • Neutral
  • Satisfied
  • Very satisfied

The higher the number of responses for ‘Satisfied’ and ‘Very satisfied’, the higher the score. It implies that the customers are happy with the products and services. They are likely to stay loyal and lead to stable business growth.

You can also use ready-made customer satisfaction survey templates for different businesses.How to measure customer satisfaction

Sometimes it’s hard for strategists and marketers to choose a course of action and measure customer satisfaction. The way you grow happiness and retention will be unique to your organization. Still, the elements of a satisfying experience can be measured with similar strategies, regardless of your industry and the products and services you offer.

We have outlined seven key steps for you to follow to gauge customer satisfaction successfully.

  1. Define your research focus.

Before starting your quest to measure CSAT, you need to set clear goals. Why do we measure it? Or why now? Your measurement or data may be skewed without a definite focus and not help you achieve your goals. You will receive a lot of data when you start with your exercise, depending on your brand, capabilities, etc. To put the data to good use has a clear goal in mind. It will help guide your plans and actions and will bear great results. Use insights from this to address gap areas and smoothen your processes.

  1. Devise a plan.

Now that you have a clear goal in your mind, you need a plan to achieve it. This plan should translate into actions based on the feedback gathered. It could mean improving your website navigation, customer support systems, creating a knowledge base, streamlining processes, etc.

  1. Select your CSAT survey metric

CSAT surveys are an excellent way to study and measure customer satisfaction. However, it is not a one-size-fits-all tool. Depending on your focus, you can select any one of the following customer satisfaction metrics.

  • Net Promoter Score® (NPS)

NPS measures customer loyalty by asking the question, ‘Based on your complete experience with the organization, how likely are you to recommend it to your friends and colleagues?’ NPS surveys can be distributed at various touchpoints of the customer journey. Based on the score at each point, you can identify improvement areas. For example, the NPS score of 5 for the customer support team means the users had a poor experience. They are not likely to recommend your business to others. Thus, it can be an action area for the management team to ensure their relationship with the users doesn’t end.

Learn more: How to calculate Net Promoter Score (NPS)

  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT score)

CSAT measures the level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with your product or service. Usually, customers rate their satisfaction on a scale of 1-3, 1-5, or 1-7. CSAT score is the percentage number of satisfied customers who enjoy using your products and services. They are likely to continue buying your offerings in the future as well. The CSAT score can be an excellent metric to forecast sales and make smart decisions.

  • Customer Effort Score (CES)

Quite similar to CSAT, CES works on customers’ ratings on the ease of operation or experience. It indicates if your users had a smooth, hassle-free experience at various touchpoints of their journey. For instance, you can use the below questions to calculate CES.

    • How easy was it to locate our store?
    • How easy was it to operate our machine?
    • How easy was it to connect with our customer service staff?
    • How easy was it to find the documentation you needed?
  1. Design effective surveys.

Designing your surveys is crucial, for it will determine your survey completion and survey response rates. You do not want the surveys to be monotonous and long. Keep it simple, asking only necessary questions and data from which you will refine your processes. Your customers might be willing to fill in surveys, but you certainly have to respect their time.

It is always a good idea to customize your surveys, use your brand colors and themes to make them credible and authentic. You can also segment your data and send different types of surveys for the best results.


If you’ve made it here, congratulations! Luckily, you’ve learned a bit more about Customer Satisfaction. If you’d like to take the extra mile and learn more about how customer experience can help you gain more happy, loyal customers and increase your business growth, download our free eBook: The Hacker’s Guide to Customer Experience – CX= Emotion x Value.


  1. Select CX measurement software.

If you are using an online CX measurement tool such as QuestionPro CX, you have a host of options to deliver your surveys. You can email surveys to your customers, send them via short messaging service (SMS), etc. Having these options ensures you have a healthy survey response rate, as these can be taken anywhere and anytime. SMS surveys get a 7.5 times higher response than email surveys.

  1. Collect and review the data.

If you’re unsure how to measure customer satisfaction levels, interpreting your survey data can also be confusing. Start by reviewing the feedback with a detailed eye. Yes, you will build a follow-up strategy from additional analysis, but first, you need to be familiar with what’s in the feedback. This way, you can recognize a strong or flawed step in your plans. 

Once you know what’s in the raw data, you can quantify and analyze results and draw out key takeaways with our reporting tools. At this point, you have measured CSAT by referring to various metrics and asking carefully crafted questions. Next, you will take the scores and results you’ve revealed to create your strategy to achieve your established goal. 

When you follow these straightforward steps for calculating overall satisfaction, you will enable your organization with the feedback you need to improve, optimize CX, boost customer retention, and increase customer loyalty. 

  1. Collect, act, repeat.

All your above efforts will bear fruit if you collect data appropriately, act on it to bring about changes in your processes and systems, and repeat it. Your findings could bring to light issues with support or pricing or service. Knowing this will help you address any immediate concerns and ensure a smooth and excellent customer experience. It could be something after a while. It is crucial to note that this is not a one-time activity, and you should do this regularly with a cadence relevant to your organization or brand.

What are the methods to measure customer satisfaction?

While there are many ways to measure customer satisfaction, some of the proven methods to collect CSAT data are below:

  1. Online surveys

Online surveys are one of the best methods of CSAT measurement. They offer an easy and quick solution to data collection. Select your target audience and present relevant questions using survey logic. You can also insert images and multimedia files in the survey. The online survey tools offer capabilities to view the dashboard, generate reports, apply filters, and export results. Many CSAT surveys are conducted annually or half-yearly. While these are valuable and provide great insights into customer feedback, they may lack customers’ immediate reaction when interacting with your brand at various touchpoints. Try and conduct follow-up surveys to gather immediate customer feedback on their interaction with support, billing queries with accounting, etc.

  1. Marketing e-mailers

Emails are an ideal tool to engage with your customers and also collect quality feedback. Those who have signed in to receive updates will be happy to hear from you. You can survey them by sending questionnaires or adding links to them in newsletters.

  1. Social media

Customers sharing about you, talking about you, positively or negatively, indicates how they regard your brand, its products, services, and content. Social media has changed how your users provide feedback; it’s instantaneous, candid, and honest. They get to react or comment on what you’ve published on your social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter. The spontaneity seen on social media cannot be replicated via surveys or phone surveys. Use these channels and the options they provide, such as polls, reviews, etc., to maximum benefit.

  1. Live chats

Businesses operating in almost all industries have websites; these actively provide information about products and services, host case studies and whitepapers, and provide all sorts of information and support. Live chats within websites and apps are a rich source of information. You get to know what your visitors or customers are looking for, what they expect, etc. You can also engage with them in real-time rather than sending out surveys gathering precious customer feedback at the moment. All your previous conversation history is crucial information to look over and learn from.

  1. Short message service (SMS)

SMS surveys are incredibly convenient for respondents. They can answer questions using their cellphones while commuting, waiting in lines, etc. SMS surveys have high response rates; customers respond to SMSs 45% of the time, which is 6% more than emails. Research shows that about 31% of customers respond to SMS surveys, and you can use that to your advantage.

  1. Churn rate

Churn rate is the percentage of customers lost over time. If you regularly conduct surveys and know the number of unique responses, you can gauge the number of users who left without giving feedback. These customers are not engaged with your brand and are at risk of going to your competitors. Keep an eye out for these numbers and use them to devise plans.

  1. Web intercepts

A web intercept lets a certain percentage of your website visitors participate in online customer surveys. Visitors get a message on their screens about the survey, and they can choose to answer the survey. Web intercepts work since there are no redirections or pop-ups, ensuring you do not lose your visitors. You can set up intercepts on certain actions such as clicks, scrolls, hovers, etc., making it extremely easy to set up and deploy.

Customer satisfaction measurement tool 

QuestionPro CX is a highly rated customer satisfaction management platform. Some of the ways it can help you collect data, improve CSAT score, and transform the customer journey are:

  • Free surveys library

The customer experience management platform comes with a set of readymade survey templates that you can directly use to create questionnaires. These templates are also customizable; you can make edit questions and add logic to customize the flow.

  • Customizable dashboards

You get access to customizable dashboards that let you customize your reports by charts, labels, and filters. You can create multiple dashboards with information that is relevant to various departments and share them accordingly.

  • Role-based access

You can assign access to surveys based on the roles of your team members. It ensures information is passed to the relevant stakeholders. It also helps safeguard any sensitive information that you may have gathered through questionnaires.

  • Detractor recovery

You can follow-up with unhappy or dissatisfied customers and address any concerns they may have. Through tickets and effective management, you can resolve detractor’s issues on time. You can uncover patterns amongst promoters and replicate them.

Conducting a survey to know whether your customers feel satisfied or not signifies you care for them. It shows your customer-centric and data-driven approach to solve problems. The tools for measuring customer satisfaction can let you gain actionable insights and measure the improvement in scores over time.

QuestionPro offers some of the most advanced customer experience tools available. Gain valuable insights into your customers’ thoughts and feelings using QuestionPro CX software today.

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