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What is CSAT (customer satisfaction score)?

3 min read
CSAT is short for ‘customer satisfaction’ and is a key performance indicator that tracks how satisfied customers are with your organisation’s products and/or services.

How CSAT is measured?

CSAT is measured by one or more variation of this question that usually appears at the end of a customer feedback survey:

‘How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the [goods/service] you received?’

Respondents use the following 1 to 5 scale:

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

CSAT measurement infographic

The results can be averaged out to give a Composite Customer Satisfaction Score, although CSAT scores are more usually expressed as a percentage scale: 100% being total customer satisfaction, 0% total customer dissatisfaction.

Calculating CSAT

To do this, only responses of 4 ‘satisfied’ and 5 ‘very satisfied’ are included in the calculation, as it has been shown that using the two highest values on feedback surveys is the most accurate predictor of customer retention.

(Number of satisfied customers (4 and 5)/ Number of survey responses) x 100 = % of satisfied customers

How does CSAT differ from Net Promoter Score (NPS)?

CSAT measures customer satisfaction with a product or service, whereas Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures customer loyalty to the organisation.

CSAT targets a ‘here and now’ reaction to a specific interaction, product or event, but it is limited when it comes to measuring a customer’s ongoing relationship with a company.

CSAT can also use multiple questions to focus on specific parts of the customer experience, e.g. ‘How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the telephone service you received /helpfulness of assistant/delivery?’.

Conversely, NPS’s single-question loyalty measure ‘How likely is it that you would recommend [Organisation X/Product Y/Service Z] to a friend or colleague?” asks customers to take a much wider view of the brand or product, and focuses on their intention, rather than their overall feeling of satisfaction.

Using CSAT

CSAT, like NPS, is just a measure of customer experience. It’s what you do with the scores to drive and improve it that really counts. CSAT (and NPS) scores should be supplemented with further qualitative research to understand the drivers behind the scores so you can take action to improve key areas.

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