Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
What is Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)?
Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) is an indication of customer happiness. It’s usually based on a short survey that customers fill out, typically after a conversation or ticket is resolved. This survey can take many different forms, but at its core asks the customer to rate their experience on a scale ranging from good/great to bad.
As an example, you might ask “How would you rate your experience with us?” followed by a couple choices such as good, okay, bad. Of course, both the question and choices should be thoughtfully chosen to make it easy for customers to accurately express their sentiment after interacting with your support team.
Advice from Customer Support Experts
“When it comes to online interaction, customers certainly aren’t shy about letting their opinions be known, all you have to do is listen and provide them with a means of expressing themselves.” - Amar Zagorica, QA Analyst at randrr
“CSAT is a broad term that covers many question types that all attempt to uncover how satisfied current customers are with the product, or a particular interaction they have just completed. It should be remembered that mildly satisfied or dissatisfied customers are less likely to complete your survey thus skewing the results.” - Charlie Cowan, Sales Director, EMEA at Appirio
“There are many ways to measure customer satisfaction. But making it ubiquitous and extremely lightweight is key to getting a large number of users to respond.” - Jeff Gardner, Director of Customer Support, Intercom
“Conducting customer satisfaction research, such as CSAT surveys, can provide your company the insight to make informed decisions related to the retention and expansion of your customer base.” - Luis Hernandez, VP of Customer Success at Geckoboard
How to calculate Customer Satisfaction
(#) positive responses
(#) total responses
Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) is calculated by dividing all the positive responses by the total number of responses and multiplying by 100. This results in your CSAT percent.
For example, if you have 35 positive responses and a total of 50 responses, your CSAT would be 70%.
35 / 50 x 100 = 70%
Customer Satisfaction is helpful in understanding the quality of your support. It’s a quick way to measure the customer’s experience, typically on a per-ticket or per-conversation basis. Since this survey can be placed in the signature of an email or sent automatically after a ticket is closed, it helps capture how your support team is performing across conversations.
The key with this survey is to make it nearly effortless for customers to respond on a consistent basis.
Any kind of customer survey can easily be skewed since not everyone will respond. Since mildly satisfied or unsatisfied customers are less likely to respond, your survey results can easily seem more positive than it actually is.
Also, Customer Satisfaction has significant limitations since it only shows a customer’s response to a single event or transaction, not their overall relationship with your brand. This is where Net Promoter Score (NPS) can be more effective since it asks customers how likely they are to recommend your business (as a whole) to others.
Relevant Customer Support Metrics and KPIs:
If you’re adding Customer Satisfaction to your support dashboard, you might want to also consider tracking these related customer support metrics for context.
While many ecommerce businesses might feel pleased if their CSAT rating is over 70%, the most recent benchmark for internet retailers is 80%.
The average global Customer Satisfaction benchmark that includes all industries worldwide is 86%. For more benchmarks broken down by country or industry, see this report from Zendesk.
CSAT is a great metric to track in addition to your Net Promoter Score (NPS). Since NPS is usually tracked less frequently (once every three or six months), CSAT gives you a daily pulse on the customer experience. These two metrics complement each other and are most effective when tracked together.
Unlike ticket volumes and first response times, a number of services can “hook” to your ticketing system to provide CSAT or add granularity to it. Customer Thermometer is one of the most popular ones.