What Is a Customer Satisfaction Score?

A customer satisfaction score collects consumer satisfaction levels through a one-question survey. CSAT score questions ask customers to rate their satisfaction on a brand’s products, services, or overall experience. Customers answer based on a scale from “extremely unsatisfied” to “extremely satisfied.”

CSAT questions give you direct access to the mind of a customer. Part of the appeal of CSAT surveys is simplicity. There’s no need to spend hours interviewing customers to find out how they felt about their interaction with your business.

Reasons to use a CSAT score

Customer satisfaction ratings provide fast, accessible data on the experiences of your customers. Reasons you should consider CSAT scores include:

  •  It’s easily understandable. Customers understand what you want when you ask them a satisfaction question. You don’t need them to overthink or give overly-complex answers; you’re asking whether they enjoyed their experience with your brand or not. Since they don’t feel like you’re speaking down to them, customers are empowered to answer your question.
  • Examine specific interactions. Customer satisfaction score surveys allow you to monitor the entire customer journey. You can initiate the process at each touchpoint without overloading your customers. For example, you could add a CSAT question after a transaction is made or when a customer speaks with the service department. The responses you receive help you pinpoint areas of improvement for your business. If customers aren’t satisfied with the checkout process, you can dive deeper to learn what they dislike.
  • Save time. Satisfaction surveys are easy. They take almost no time to set up and no time for consumers to complete. You don’t need to craft a full questionnaire to get the answers you need. You’ll save time and gain valuable insights for your business.
  • Easy to analyze. Just as they’re easy to implement and simple for consumers, CSAT surveys feature straightforward analysis. Customers are satisfied with your business, or they aren’t. If they are, you can continue what you’re doing. If not, you can look for ways to improve.

How to Measure Customer Satisfaction

The easiest way to measure satisfaction is through a survey. Simple, one-question customer satisfaction score surveys take minutes to create. QuestionPro even offers ready-made templates, so you don’t have to waste any time collecting opinions.

Once you’ve set up a CSAT question, calculating your CSAT score is easy. To get your overall score, divide the number of satisfied customers by the number of respondents. These customers include those who answered “satisfied” and “extremely satisfied.” Multiply this number by 100 to get the percentage of satisfied customers.

Let’s say you run an e-commerce store. You ask people who buy from your shop to rate the checkout experience. Of the 500 people who answer the survey, 250 say they were either “satisfied” or “extremely satisfied” with the process. By dividing 250 by 500, you get 0.5. Multiply this number by 100, and you have a customer satisfaction score of 50%.

Understanding the CSAT Score Scale

The simple nature of CSAT scoring means customers only need to answer a short question or two about their experience. It’s easy for them to understand and easy for you to design.

Set up your questions using a CSAT score scale. You assign values from 1-5 based on the answers to your question. In most CSAT surveys, this means the scale runs from extremely unsatisfied (1) to extremely satisfied (5). You can also use a 10-point scale, where 1 is extremely unsatisfied and 10 is extremely satisfied.

Be wary of using a CSAT scale that’s too long. Although more options allow for more nuanced responses, you risk pushing customers away. When they see many options for one question, they tend to lose interest. This is especially true for mobile users.

You’ll also want to avoid inverting your scale. People are programmed to view low as bad and high as good. By switching the values, with 1 being extremely satisfied and 5 being extremely unsatisfied, you risk respondents choosing the opposite of their real opinion on accident.

NPS vs. CSAT Score

A customer satisfaction score isn’t the only method you can use to determine satisfaction. Net Promoter Score (NPS) provides a look at the number of customers likely to recommend your brand to family and friends. These customers are known as promoters. Those who would not recommend your brand represent brand detractors.

You can calculate NPS using a simple survey utilizing a 10-point scale to ask a customer if they would recommend your brand, products, or services to friends. The biggest difference between CSAT scores and NPS lies in the focus of the question. CSAT survey questions target specific interactions with customers. NPS questions look for a broader view of brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.

For example, you might send a CSAT score survey to a customer who recently spoke with customer service. You tailor the question to find out the customer’s satisfaction with your service department and representative. However, in an NPS survey, you ask customers if they’ll refer friends to your brand or products based on their overall experiences with the company.

When to measure satisfaction

You can measure customer satisfaction at any time you interact with consumers. This includes touchpoints before prospects become customers. You can also use CSAT as a follow-up to encourage past customers to return.

Some important checkpoints for satisfaction:

  • Beginning of the journey. Ask potential customers to rate their experience with your brand before they make a purchase. They’ll enjoy knowing you care about everyone’s opinion- not just those of your customers.
  • Checkout. The end of the checkout process is a natural point to inquire about satisfaction. Customers are ready to tell you whether or not your brand provided a smooth purchasing process.
  • Throughout use. Periodically ask customers how they enjoy the regular use of your products or services. This helps you keep tabs on the overall experience of customers once they’ve made their purchase. For example, ask members of your subscription service if they’re satisfied several months before they need to renew. This gives you an ongoing picture of your customer satisfaction and allows you enough time to remedy issues before a customer deserts your brand.
  • Following customer service or support. Be sure to ask for satisfaction levels following a direct interaction with customer service or support. Providing great service and support is essential for long-term business success. If customers aren’t getting their issues resolved, you need to look for better solutions.

Find Your CSAT Score With the Right Tools

You can get started evaluating your customer satisfaction score using QuestionPro. Sign up for a free account and start sending CSAT surveys today.