Top Tips to Better Measure Customer Satisfaction

Philip Cleave
October 1, 2019

Unsatisfied customers can be extremely costly to your business. According to a recent study up to 80% of customers would be prepared to switch companies after a poor service experience. So, it makes good business sense to keep them happy.

What is Customer Satisfaction?

Essentially customer satisfaction (CSAT) measures the degree to which a company’s products or services meet or surpass a customer’s expectation.

CSAT is simple to measure using a 5-point scale from very satisfied to very unsatisfied. It is then calculated by dividing all the positive responses by the total number of responses and then multiplying by 100.

By continuously measuring customer satisfaction levels, businesses can use the CSAT key performance indicator (KPI), to identify aspects of their products, services or operational processes that are leaving their customers less than satisfied. They can then use this information to benchmark their performance against others in their industry and make the necessary improvements if this figure deviates too far away from what they believe to be acceptable.

Ways to measure customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction surveys are a great way to keep abreast of how satisfied your customers are.

In this post we will explore a range of survey options, so you can choose the best one to meet your business needs.

Choice 1: High-Level Customer Satisfaction Surveys

The first and most obvious option is simply to ask customers how satisfied they are.

High-level customer satisfaction surveys are available in three main forms:

In-App Surveys

These are ideal if you are in the business of selling software, as they will appear while your customers are using your product.

Catching survey respondents at the exact time that they are interacting with your product, maximizes your chance of gaining accurate and meaningful feedback.

A randomized pop-up survey is one of the best ways to ask them about their onsite experience and how satisfied they are with your product.

Post-Service Surveys

Post-service surveys are typically distributed following a respondent’s interaction with your internal teams. Focusing on the quality of those service interactions, they are a great way to gather direct and detailed feedback on how satisfied your customers are with your client-facing employees.

For best results, post-service surveys deliver the greatest impact when they are distributed to respondents via an email, directly following an interaction with your support teams, or via a live chat box at the end of an online support session.

Email Surveys

On occasions when you require longer form answers, the email offers one of the best ways to achieve this. Your respondents can answer your questions in their own time, giving them more time to thoroughly think through their responses before they provide them.

This can also be an ideal time to use more open-ended questions that allow customers to provide longer explanation answers that will give you a deeper understanding of their happiness levels.

If you would like more information about distributing your survey by email, you might like to take a look at the helpful masterclass we’ve put together with tips to help you set this up.

Choice 2: Net Promoter Score ® (NPS) Surveys

NPS surveys are an efficient way of measuring customer satisfaction, as respondents are only required to answer a single question namely: “How likely are you to recommend [this company] to a friend or colleague?”

Respondents can then arrange their answers on a 10-point continuum ranging from “Not at All Likely” to “Very Likely”

These answers will then be split up into three groups consisting of:

  • “Detractors” who answer on the “Not Likely” end of the spectrum with a score of between (0-6)
  • “Passives” who answer in the 7 to 8 range
  • “Promoters” who answer in the “Very Likely” range with a score of either (9 or 10)

To calculate your organization’s official NPS, all you need to do is take the total percentage of Promoters and subtract the percentage of Detractors (you can use an online NPS calculator to do this).

For more information about this why not take a look at our Net Promoter Score (NPS) page.

Choice 3: Customer Effort Score (CES) Surveys

In this instance, rather than asking customers directly about their level of satisfaction, CES looks to measure the actual effort it took for them to accomplish their goal. This could be anything from how simple it was for a customer to solve a problem, to how easily they completed a particular transaction.

Similar, to the NPS survey, CES uses a Likert Scale, but under this method respondents are asked to plot their answer on a seven-point scale ranging from “Very Low Effort” to “Very High Effort.”

Again, similarly to the NPS survey, the results of the CES survey can be turned into a percentage score. The ultimate goal is to bring that score down to the lowest value possible by focusing efforts on enhancing customer experience when customers are trying to get issues resolved.

However, while NPS surveys are a great tool to measure customer loyalty, CES surveys are the best mechanism for predicting consumer behavior.

Choice 4: Intention to Repurchase Surveys

These surveys are pretty basic in format, simply asking customers “Do you intend to return to XX in the next 30 days?”

The window of time presented in this question can be adjusted to best suit the product or service that you offer.

This type of survey question can be especially insightful for certain business types like a health spa or restaurant, helping to reveal a lot about your current levels of customer satisfaction.

If lots of respondents are saying they have no plans to return or repurchase, you can then consider adjusting your strategy to include special offers or discounts for returning customers.

Better measure customer satisfaction by selecting the right survey for your needs

While there’s no one size fits all method of measuring customer satisfaction levels, from the survey options we have outlined it should be possible to find a good solution or mix of approaches to best meet your business needs.

Ultimately the most important thing to remember is that no business can exist or survive without a satisfied customer base. So, the sooner you start measuring your customer satisfaction levels and get working to make them the best that you can, the more successful your business will be.

NPS®, Net Promoter® & Net Promoter® Score are registered trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company and Fred Reichheld.

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