How do you calculate the customer satisfaction score?

The customer satisfaction (CSAT) score is a way to measure customer satisfaction. 

It’s important to find out how satisfied your customers are. But if you don’t have a way to measure the results, it’s hard to say whether or not your customers are actually happy or not.

The CSAT ranks customer satisfaction on a percentage scale from 0 to 100. Getting a 0 would be an amazing accomplishment. But so would 100. And that’s the one you should probably aim for.

How it works

The CSAT asks one simple question: “How satisfied were you with our service?” It measures satisfaction based on a five-point scale that you’ve almost definitely seen before:

  • Very dissatisfied
  • Somewhat dissatisfied
  • Neither dissatisfied nor satisfied
  • Somewhat satisfied
  • Very satisfied

How to measure the CSAT

To measure the CSAT, take the two highest scores into account. This is a satisfaction metric, after all, so it only takes “somewhat satisfied” and “very satisfied” into consideration.

Then measure these scores against the total number of submissions. This is the formula:

(# of satisfied and very satisfied customers / # of survey responses) x 100 = CSAT score

For example, if you got 212 satisfied customers out of 285 who took the survey, your formula would look like this:

(212 / 285) x 100 = 74.39 percent satisfaction

When to use it

Collecting satisfaction information from your customers at the right time is very important. You want to strike while the iron is hot. If a customer had a major problem and called your customer service team, for example, you want to know how it went at the end of the call.

If you ask them two weeks later, they probably won’t even remember how the call made them feel. They may not even remember why they called.

Here are a couple more examples.

If you’re selling handmade wallets online, you probably want to know how your customers feel immediately after they receive their product. On the other hand, if you’re selling mattresses, you would probably want to wait a couple of weeks to give them time to evaluate their purchase.

If you run a hotel or restaurant, you should ask about your customers’ experience immediately after they’ve visited your establishment. 

But it may also be appropriate to ask about their satisfaction as they’re experiencing your services. For example, a waitress will almost always ask you how your food is while you’re eating. Doing so has the added benefit of showing customers that you care about their experience, and it can raise overall satisfaction.

How to use the CSAT

Knowing overall satisfaction is important, but gathering that data alone may not be enough to give you a clear picture of a customer’s actual experience.

It’s a good idea to ask specific questions. For example, if you ask a person about their satisfaction with their experience at your restaurant, you’ll probably get an answer based on food quality.

But you may want to know if your staff was friendly. Or maybe you want to know how clean and well presented the restaurant was. You could also ask about their satisfaction with your menu items.

There are a lot of questions you can ask your customers to learn more about your business. But remember, by answering your questions, they’re doing you a favor. Don’t waste their time or bog them down, or you might wind up getting worse scores.

You can ask one or two questions that rotate over time. For example, you may ask a couple of questions about cleanliness one week. The next week, you could switch to the friendliness of the staff.

Another technique is to incentivize your customers. You can do this by offering discounts on their next purchase or other freebies.

One last thing to consider is how to word your questions. Remember that you’re seeking honest, unbiased feedback. You’re not trying to get customers to stroke your ego. The five-point satisfaction answers help with this, but you should avoid leading questions like “How good was it?”

What else to consider when it comes to metrics

NPS®, which stands for Net Promoter Score®, determines customer loyalty. CES is the Customer Effort Score. It helps determine the level of difficulty your customer experienced.

Also, there’s the opposite of the CSAT. The DSAT measures customer dissatisfaction. It can help distinguish between customers who actually were unhappy and those who just weren’t interested in filling out the questionnaire.

These metrics may help you get a bigger picture view of customer satisfaction.

How to run CSAT surveys

Creating a CSAT is incredibly easy with a tool like JotForm. We make creating surveys from scratch quick and simple with our input table survey element. We also have hundreds of satisfaction survey templates to get you started.

After you’ve gathered data, you can use our Report Builder to generate reports and Jotform Tables to create sophisticated formulas to analyze the results. On top of that, our forms give you complete design control and are embeddable, so you can add them to any of your web pages and make them look like they’re part of the design.

Net Promoter®, NPS®, NPS Prism®, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., NICE Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. Net Promoter ScoreSM and Net Promoter SystemSM are service marks of Bain & Company, Inc., NICE Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.

Lee Nathan is a personal development and productivity technology writer. He can be found at

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