CSAT: A Guide to Measuring Customer Satisfaction


Guest Writer

⏱ Reading Time: 7 minutes

A satisfied customer is contagious. Likewise, so is an unsatisfied one.

Customer satisfaction has been at the centre of attention for quite a while now. And  with the COVID-19 pandemic and all the repercussions it caused, it has become more important than ever to make sure your customers are satisfied with what you’re offering.

🚀Read Customer Service: A Guide for Successful Business Growth🚀

There are several ways to measure customer satisfaction and one of the most fundamental ones is by measuring CSAT (customer satisfaction score). In this article we’ll dig a bit and go through the definition of CSAT and various ways how small businesses can use it to their benefit.

What Is a CSAT?

As already mentioned, CSAT is short for customer satisfaction score. It is used to measure satisfaction at key interaction times, such as onboarding, customer service, purchase, etc. It’s basis is rather straightforward. You can research the level of satisfaction with a service, product or an interaction with a company. For example:

“Overall, how would you rate your satisfaction with <firm name> today?”

Of course, you can phrase this question in many different ways. Consequently, the customer answers by choosing one of five options. You can assign each option a score:

  1. Very Unsatisfied
  2. Unsatisfied
  3. Neutral
  4. Satisfied
  5. Very Satisfied

The answer is then assigned its numerical result. You then average the results to get a composite score. And this indicates the level of customer service achieved by the business.

This measurement is not meant to exist in a vacuum. You can link customer satisfaction to revenue or customer lifetime value. It is also linked to customer service delivery. Also, it is used within the context of financial services. In any case, it allows for service improvement.

Read 9 Customer Service Metrics to Track Right Now


Customer Satisfaction vs. Net Promoter Score

One alternative to the customer satisfaction score is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). The NPS doesn’t ask how satisfied the customer is. Instead, it asks the following:

“How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or family member?”

You give your customer a sliding scale of zero to ten. In this case, zero means “Not Likely at All” and ten means “Very Likely”. However, these scores are not averaged. You divide the scores between promoters and detractors. Promoters respond with a nine or ten. Detractors answer six or less. You then apply the data within the following equation:

Number of Promoters / Total Respondents = % of Promoters

Number of Demoters / Total Respondents = % of Demoters

% of Promoters – % of Demoters = Net Promoter Score (NPS)

With this method, the end result can range between -100 and 100. The NPS assesses total customer sentiment year-on-year.

How to Measure CSAT

CSAT measuring requires great care. You can link the measure to cognitive attachment. The stronger the attachment to a brand, the more satisfied the customer. Further, you should connect with customers in the right way. It’s best not to intrude on a customer’s privacy. So bear this in mind when you ask for feedback. You’re likely to get better results. 

Link Customer Satisfaction to Activity

The satisfaction score requires context. This means that you have to link it to an event. Linking to an event allows you to track revenue and business operations. Examples of events include:

  •       Online checkout processes
  •       Customer interactions with call centers
  •       Online help sessions.

Read How to Achieve and Measure Customer Satisfaction

Use Data to Apply Changes

Researching customer satisfaction requires useful data. Businesses need to adopt a plan of action where results are poor. They have to know how they will address issues to improve scores. After you make changes, you need to measure customer satisfaction again. This way you will understand the impact of your changes


Picture 2. Data collection

Measure Quickly

You should measure customer satisfaction right after scores are improved. There is no use surveying someone days after the event. Make the survey a part of the checkout process. Additionally, make it part of the automated script at the end of a phone call. You need to measure customer satisfaction close to the event for accurate results.

Read Small Business Marketing Automation Platforms

Encourage Feedback

When you want to do a survey, let the respondents know. Further, some data can be collected in an automated phone message. Ask your customer to stay on the line for this purpose. Likewise, tell the customer to expect an email requesting feedback. If the email is quick, they are more likely to give feedback.

Make It User Friendly

User-friendly options make for a better collection of data. So, a happy and less confused customer is more likely to participate. This may require you to give visual cues. These help customers express their satisfaction level. Consequently, this makes the experience more user friendly. Feedback collation is more successful if the process is less clinical.

Forms of Data Collection

There are many ways to collect customer satisfaction ratings. You can link the rating to specific business activity. Indirect methods involve the collection of customer feedback. However, it is done without a review request. There are many ways to achieve this, it just depends on what your business is trying to gain. Sometimes the collection means are just as meaningful as the content.

Indirect Feedback: Social Media

You can also use social media to determine customer satisfaction. In this case, reverse lookup tools are very helpful for getting more data on your customer․ Even if you have a negative review in question, contacting the customer and knowing his/her problems will help you to understand their needs and deliver the best customer service ever.

Actually, it’s more like an unprompted method. You don’t request for reviews directly. Facebook and Google reviews scale from one to five stars. So consider these ratings as a form of customer satisfaction score. However, this data collection method fails to link customer satisfaction to an individual event.

Read Importance of Social Media Marketing for Business

Direct Feedback

You can certainly ask customers for direct feedback. Thereafter, simply collect this feedback and ask for your customer’s opinion. This can actually be as simple as:

  • An automatic email sent after the customer has checked out
  • A request for feedback on their receipt or invoice
  • A punchy, automated survey at the end of a phone call
  • Face-to-face scenarios. For example, if you set up tablets in-stores. This is actually an effective, quick way to get customer feedback.

Picture 3. Conducting a survey is a way of collecting feedback

Other Ways to Contact Customers

Reverse lookup tools collect data from your business websites. This includes data from the online checkout systems and apps. You can also easily use the user’s information to find customer data. Thereafter, you would contact them directly to request their feedback.

When is This Data Collected?

There are many opportunities to rate customer satisfaction. The CSAT is best collected when attached to a particular event or business unit.


The best time to request customer feedback is right after purchase. So you would need to implement a process right after an order is made. You can gather this feedback online, in an app, or by sending an email.

Other Events

You could also rate the impact of after-sales service. Similarly, you may want data on a non-sales related business unit. So, the scores tie back to the business activity. This way you can investigate which department is impacting business.


These scores are essential to business or government activity. Also, you can use the score to gauge the likelihood of repeat business. Moreover, you also want customers to recommend your business. Any organization needs to gain insights on how to increase profitability. Yet, this is useful only if the data gets collected and used efficiently.

Ben is a Web Operations Executive at InfoTracer who takes a wide view from the whole system. He authors guides on entire security posture, both physical and cyber. Enjoys sharing the best practices and does it the right way!

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CSAT: A Guide to Measuring Customer Satisfaction was last modified: February 4th, 2021 by Martina Pranjic
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