Best Practices for Measuring Customer Satisfaction

Survey Tips
May 2, 2018

What is Customer Satisfaction?

Customer satisfaction (CSAT) is a measurement that gauges the degree to which a company’s products or services meet or surpass a customer’s expectation. 

As a key performance indicator (KPI), customer satisfaction should be kept top of mind at all times by leadership as well as all other employees throughout the organization.

By continuously measuring customer satisfaction, businesses are able to highlight aspects of their products, services, or operational processes that are leaving their customers less than satisfied. 

Knowing a company’s customer satisfaction benchmark, depending on their industry, helps to raise a flag when the CSAT score dips or spikes compared to the benchmark. This can then inform strategic action when necessary.  

How to Measure Customer Satisfaction

Surveys are a fantastic method for keeping your finger on the pulse of customer satisfaction. 

Below we outline several types of surveys that can be used to measure customer satisfaction.

Option #1: High-Level Customer Satisfaction Surveys

The first option for measuring customer satisfaction is fairly straightforward — simply ask your customers how satisfied they are!

High-level customer satisfaction surveys can come in three forms. Choose the one, or combination, that best suits your business insight needs.

In-App Surveys

If you are in business of selling software, surveys that appear while customers are using your product are a great way to capture feedback from customers while they are using your product. 

By catching survey respondents at the exact time that they are interacting with your product, you’ll be able to maintain confidence that you are receiving accurate and meaningful feedback.

Pro Tip: While customers are using your product, randomize a pop-up survey that asks them about their experience, and how satisfied they are with your product.

Post-Service Surveys

Post-service surveys are sent to respondents after the respondents have had an interaction with your internal team, and focus on that service interaction in particular. 

This is a great way to receive direct and detailed feedback on how satisfied your customers are with your client-facing employees.

Pro Tip: Post-service surveys are most impactful when distributed to respondents via email, directly following an interaction with support, or in a live chat box at the end of a support session.

Email Surveys

Email surveys are a great forum for asking  questions that require longer form answers. Your respondents will be able to provide answers to these questions on their own time, and can thoroughly think through their responses prior to providing them. 

This is a great opportunity to ask your customers about their happiness levels with open-ended questions, so that you can hear their explanations in their own words.

Option #2: Net Promoter Score (NPS) Surveys

NPS® surveys allow businesses to efficiently measure customer satisfaction by revealing insight into customer loyalty.

NPS surveys only require one question to be presented to respondents: “How likely are you to recommend XX to a friend or colleague?”

Respondents then arrange their answers on an 11-point continuum ranging from “Not at All Likely” to “Very Likely,”

“Detractors” are respondents who answer on the “Not Likely” end of the spectrum (0-6), “Passives” are respondents who answer in the 7 to 8 range, and “Promoters” are respondents who answer in the “Very Likely” range (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 then leave this metric as a percentage, such as 43%, or change it to a whole number, in this case 43.

To begin distributing NPS surveys to your customers, login and install Alchemer’s NPS Survey Template today in your templates.

Option #3: Customer Efforts Score (CES) Surveys

In this survey, instead of asking your customers about their level of satisfaction or their likeliness of referring your products or services to others, you simply inquire about the effort that it took them to have their latest issue resolved by your team. 

Similar to the NPS survey outlined above, a CES survey leverages a Likert Scale, however, this time respondents are typically asked to plot their answer on a seven-point scale ranging from “Very Low Effort” to “Very High Effort.”

Again, similar to your NPS survey results, the results from your CES survey can then be turned into a percentage score, and your ultimate goal is to bring that score down to as low as possible by focusing efforts on enhancing customer experience when customers are trying to get an issue resolved.

It’s important to note that while NPS surveys are a great tool for measuring customer loyalty, CES surveys are the preferred mechanism for predicting consumer behavior. 

Option #4: Intention to Repurchase Surveys

Intention to repurchase surveys are fairly self explanatory — they simply consist of asking your customers, “Do you intend to return to XX in the next 30 days?”

Depending on the product or service that you’re offering, you may want to consider adjusting the window of time that is mentioned in your question. 

However, if you are a business such as a restaurant or gym, asking customers if they plan on returning to your establishment in the next month can reveal a lot about your levels of customer satisfaction.

If a large portion of your respondents indicate that they have no plan to return and repurchase, then you’ll want to think about implementing some strategies such as discounts or special offers for returning customers.

Don’t Let Customer Satisfaction Slip Through The Cracks

Customer satisfaction should be top of mind for all employees across your business. At the end of the day, businesses do not exist or survive without a satisfied customer base. 

By proactively asking customers about their satisfaction levels, you are communicating the message that your customers truly matter, and that their voices will be heard. This is a powerful method for humanizing your brand, and showing that your business is customer-centric in an age when the consumer holds the true power in the business landscape.

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