What Is A Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)?

Customer satisfaction has always been a defining factor in business success. Even more so in recent years with the proliferation of social platforms and online forums that make it easier for customers to openly express their sentiment.

Products and services, in particular, are key elements that need to be continuously monitored. Existing as the center of business activity, a product or service should always meet or exceed customer expectations.

For businesses that are just starting out, or businesses looking to enhance their customer experience, establishing key performance indicators or KPIs are a great place to start. Whether a Net Promoter Score Survey (NPS), a Customer Effort Score (CES), or a Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), can help measure multiple aspects of the customer journey and help maintain a great customer experience.

In this article, we’re focusing on the later and more advantageous KPI: the CSAT score, so you can ensure your product or service is meeting consumer demands and your business model is aligned with the right experience.

What Is CSAT?

A more formal definition written eloquently by The Business Dictionary, states a CSAT or “Customer Satisfaction Score” is the “process of discovering whether or not a company’s customers are happy or satisfied with the products or services received from the company, and may be conducted face to face, over the phone, via email or the internet, or on handwritten forms”.

It’s a widely used key performance indicator that gauges customer satisfaction in relation to a specific product or service. Commonly used alongside other indicators like NPS or CES, CSAT provides direct visibility into a customer’s satisfaction with a product or service.

How Do You Measure CSAT?

A Customer Satisfaction Score is measured by asking a single question:

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

From this question, a customer can respond on a scale of 1-5, where 1 equates to “Very Unsatisfied” and 5 equates to “Very Satisfied.” The more customers who provide a CSAT score of 4 “Satisfied” or 5 “Very Satisfied”, the greater the customer retention.

In order to get a more holistic view of customer sentiment, you can average out multiple CSAT scores. Using the two highest scores (4 and 5) as a basis for “Satisfied Customers” you can leverage the following equation to understand the percentage of overall satisfied customers.

(Number of satisfied customers (4 and 5) / Number of survey responses) x 100 = % of satisfied customers)

CSAT Best Practices

Like any business venture, there are steps you can take to attain the most favourable results possible. Here we outline some of the best practices when implementing your CSAT survey.   

Pair It With Qualitative Questions

Although a CSAT score can provide you with a high-level view of your customer’s sentiment, pairing it with other KPI’s or more qualitative questions can help you understand the customer from a more granular perspective. This is beneficial in that the more granular you get, the more opportunity you have to resolve negative experiences and identify the root of the problem.

Keep It Short

Despite the fact that you’ll want to include more than one question, it’s important that you are cognizant of the customer’s time. The customer should look at the survey and get excited about providing feedback rather than feeling daunted by it. We suggest keeping the questions to a maximum of 10, with a variety of multiple choice and qualitative questions.

Deploy In-Moment

The sooner you deploy the survey, the more authentic responses you’ll get. As a best practice, ask your probing questions while the experience is still top of mind for the customer; a 5-hour time-frame from their departure or purchase is ideal. This will make the survey more relevant for customers in addition to giving your team the most accurate reading of your product or service.

Optimize For Mobile

According to Statista by 2021, 40 percent of the world’s population is projected to own a smartphone. With the rapid growth of smartphone usage, you can be sure that in most instances your CSAT survey will be received on a mobile device. That means making sure your CSAT is both mobile responsive and visually appealing should be a top priority in order to optimize response rates.

The Benefits Of CSAT

A CSAT score, when leveraged correctly, can help in a multitude of ways – with cost and administration being the top differentiators. Being a simple one phrase question, it’s easy to implement into an existing survey and can provide you with an overarching view of your product/service performance. What’s more, coupled with a tool like a Customer Experience Management (CEM) platform, you can get more granular insights like specific product/service elements that aren’t favourable, extensive details on your customers, and location-based data.

CSAT surveys can also help display flaws within your product or service. If you’re consistently scoring low it might be time to hold a team meeting or to take a deeper look into your product or service capabilities. This gives your team more accountability over the success of the business and can help support future enhancements.

Lastly, a CSAT can help engage the current customer and reduce the number of people who share negative experiences online.

For the modern customer, being vocal about an experience is second-nature, which unfortunately is amplified in instances involving negative experiences. According to a Forbes article by Daniel Newman “Americans tend to mention a good brand experience to an average of nine people, but will talk about a bad one to 16 people.” A bad experience has almost double the reach of a positive one, making it important to constantly stay on top of customer sentiment.  

With a CSAT survey, you can take steps to avoid negative feedback or comments reaching the public by prompting customers with a question immediately after their experience. What’s more, by taking their feedback and using it, you create a more engaging experience the next time they come in. Paired with a CEM, you can go one step further by resolving issues in-the-moment from one unified platform – a simple and effective way to recover at-risk customers and elevate the experience in real-time.

CSAT and The Loop® Platform

It’s clear that in order to deploy the most effective CSAT survey, a CEM solution is a promising consideration. With the Loop® Platform specifically, you can aid your CSAT efforts by both implementing it effortlessly into your survey, deploying the survey, and then measuring the experience every step of the way – all the while remaining on-brand and visually appealing for both offline and online survey applications.  

Example: Kiosk CSAT Survey

When Loop captures feedback on specific products and services, it can help businesses further understand how each is performing from a satisfaction, loyalty or effort perspective. For example, 80% of customers are satisfied with the menu in a given restaurant location or 60% of customers are satisfied with a specific type of room in a hotel. If you already have a survey provider and looking for more measurment capabilities it’s still just as simple, as the Loop Platform has the capabilities to work alongside your current survey solution.


Example: Mobile CSAT Survey


Regardless of industry, Customer Satisfaction Surveys are a valuable tool to understand your customer and better engage with them. Through a CSAT’s 1-5 ranking system, you gain direct visibility into customer sentiment and can hold your teams accountable. What’s more, by using the right tools to help deploy these surveys, such as a CEM platform like Loop, you can easily implement it into your current survey and measure your results in real time. Qualities that in the long run, will help you deliver unmatched service.



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