What is a customer satisfaction score - and should it matter?
Updated: Dec 14, 2022
When running customer support operations, it is important to be able to measure its success and performance and spot areas for improvement. As companies have understood the consequences of customers' happiness, many have started to measure Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT).
As the name of the metric indicates, the purpose is to collect information on how satisfied a customer was with one individual interaction with your company, usually to a specific ticket that customer support solved.
The purpose to send the CSAT survey is to
Offer a possibility for customers to share feedback, giving them a channel to address their opinions
Measure the level of customer satisfaction
Collect data internally to coach your team members and see trends/patterns
“A customer talking about their experience with you is worth ten times that which you write or say about yourself.”
David J. Greer
You can also follow if there are changes during the individual customer’s journey or has the feedback remained stable. Alternatively, it can be an additional motivator to your customer support representatives, when they have received good feedback from the customers.
Naturally, the happier your customers are, the more they trust you and your business and want to show loyalty to you by staying as your customers.
How to survey?
Many ticket management tools used in customer support organizations do offer the possibility to send out CSAT survey after the customer's request was solved.
CSAT-survey should be very simple. It is just one question, asking the customer to rate previous support experience. It's based on the last touchpoint a customer had with your company and how they're feeling on a given day. The survey can ask customers to choose thumbs up or thumbs down, or it can be a scale from 1 to 5 or 1 to 10. There should be always a possibility to leave free comments to allow customers to share details about their ratings. These details will be extremely useful for you!
When receiving a bad score, it is important to show customers that sharing their opinion has an impact. This means it would be worth to contact the customer and walk through their experience and learn from it. If you do not demonstrate actions taken, the customer might not be so keen to share feedback in the future anymore, as they did not experience their opinion being valuable to you.
Depending on the business you are in, you could tag unhappy customers in your system so that the next time they contact you, they would be routed e.g. to some special support representative who is fantastic at handling customers and could take corrective action to make the customer happy again.
Scoring and how to improve?
To calculate the mean average of the answers, you can use the following formula:
CSAT Score (%) = (Sum of All Scores) ÷ (Sum of the Maximum Possible Scores) × 100
Several resources state that a good CSAT-score is usually somewhere between 78 - 85 %. However, it is also important to think about this from your business perspective.
Seeing what is happening in the market and staying competitive, is, of course, important, however, sometimes there are topics, where it is totally fine to just concentrate on your own doing.
If your CSAT has been previously e.g. 60 % and you are able to increase it to 70%, that is already a good sign!
“Unless you have 100% customer satisfaction, you must improve.” Horst Schulze (Founder, Ritz-Carlton)
CSAT should be a rate that your customers give to the specific ticket, but of course, the quality of your customer support operations, processes, and team members do have an impact on this. Therefore, CSAT is a lagging Key Performance Indicator, that tells how did you perform. It is a result for example following leading indicators:
Speed of the answer/call wait time
Handling time/time to resolve
Knowledge/training of the support representative
Quality of the conversation
To improve your CSAT-score, it is recommended to start concentrating on one of the leading Key Performance Indicators at a time.
How about the response rate? Customers whose experience was "neutral" or "dissatisfactory" often don't fill out surveys, making the potential for skewed results high. The Internet is full of average response rates, suggesting what is a reasonable expectation. However, this average varies between 15% to 33 %.
If you are on the lower end of the scale or even below it, please keep in mind that trying to increase the answer rate in various ways, can potentially backstab you. You can exhaust your customers with reminders or prizes to collect more answers, but there is only so much you can do to increase the answer rate. Therefore, remember, you cannot force your customers to share feedback, it is out of your control.
Now that you understand that customers' opinions truly matter and how to measure their happiness, I invite you to think if this CSAT is all you should care about.