How to measure customer satisfaction

Did you know that 40 percent of customers who have a bad experience with a business will avoid it for the next two or more years? That’s why it’s so important to know how your customers feel about your products and services.

There are many ways to measure customer satisfaction — from personal methods like meeting in person, chatting on the phone, or emailing back and forth to more scalable methods like customer surveys.

The key is to find a method that allows you to collect customer feedback regularly. This can help you gauge overall customer sentiment and improve your products, services, and total customer experience.

In this post, we’re going to discuss the three most common ways to measure customer satisfaction: CSAT, NPS®, and CES.

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What’s a customer satisfaction survey?

A customer satisfaction survey is the most common and scalable way to receive feedback.

With software like Jotform, it’s easy to create customer satisfaction surveys in a matter of minutes.

Just so you know

Here are some free customer satisfaction survey templates you can choose from and customize to meet your needs.

What are the three most common ways to measure customer satisfaction?

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

The CSAT is the most common way customer support teams measure feedback after support interactions via phone, ticket, live chat, etc. You can get a CSAT by asking a customer, “How would you rate your experience?” The customer then chooses a number, typically from 1–3, 1–5, or 1–10, to rate their level of satisfaction.

CSAT scores are usually calculated as percentages. The easiest way to calculate the score is to take the number of respondents who selected the same response — for example, those who chose “very satisfied” — and divide that number by the total amount of responses to the survey. Then multiply that number by 100.

The main benefit of CSAT is its simplicity, which makes it an ideal tool to use for various touchpoints in the customer journey. You can use it to identify potential bottlenecks in a process.

This survey should be brief and intuitive. Respondents should be able to fill it out in seconds. You can customize the scale based on your needs and incorporate emojis or stickers instead of numbers.

Because the survey is so quick to complete, it has a higher response rate than other types of surveys. However, a potential drawback to this type of survey is the fact that most customers who had a neutral experience won’t fill it out. This means that results could skew toward people who had either a poor or a great experience.

Customer Effort Score (CES)

The CES is intended to measure customer experience with a single question using a seven-point scale. The scale should range from “very difficult” to “very easy.” This allows the company to gauge how easily a customer was able to use their service or product and whether or not a customer is likely to keep using it.

A CES gives a more accurate response than asking if a customer was satisfied or not — as with a CSAT. They may have liked the service overall and ranked it highly in a CSAT, but a CES could reveal that the transaction was difficult.

Measuring CES responses involves finding the average of all the responses. To get the numbers, simply subtract the percentage of respondents who replied “easy” from the percentage who selected “difficult.” The result will be between -100 and 100, with a positive score being the goal. The lower the score, the more difficult it is for customers to engage with your company.

The main benefit of a CES is its ability to predict future purchase behavior. To improve the effectiveness of a CES survey, consider using it at specific points in the customer journey — for example, immediately after a touchpoint that leads to a customer making a purchase or signing up for a trial. Another helpful time to introduce the survey is after an interaction with customer service.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

NPS focuses on measuring long-term happiness and customer loyalty. It does this by asking the client about the likelihood of their recommending the company, product, or service. This customer loyalty metric is based on the assumption that the more the customer likes their experience with the company, the more likely they are to recommend the company to family, a friend, or a colleague. NPS surveys typically use an 11-point rating scale, ranging from 0–10, with 9–10 being the Promoters and 0–6 being the Detractors.

To calculate the NPS, subtract the percentage of Detractors from the Promoters. You’ll get a result between -100 to 100. Like the CES score, the goal is a positive number. The higher it is, the stronger the customer loyalty toward your brand.

You should send NPS surveys at regular milestones in the customer lifecycle instead of as a follow-up survey to a customer support interaction, because the feedback will be based on that communication.

These are the three most popular ways to collect and measure customer satisfaction.  Once you have this important feedback, get to work analyzing and acting on it so you can improve your products and the overall customer experience.

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.

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