How to Measure Customer Satisfaction












Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) Customer Effort Score (CES) Net Promoter Score (NPS®)*
Question How would you rate your experience with your … (e.g. recent support requirement)? The organization made it easy for me to handle my issue On a scale of 0-10 how likely would it be for you to recommend [company name] to a friend or colleague?
Scale Very unsatisfied / unsatisfied / Neutral / Satisfied / Very satisfied Strongly disagree/ Disagree/ Somewhat disagree/ Neutral/ Somewhat agree/ Agree/ Strongly agree Scale from 0-10
The essential thought behind this score “Service organizations create loyal customers primarily by reducing customer effort – i.e. helping them solve their problems quickly and easily – not by delighting them in service interactions.” Customers are more likely to share negative experiences than positive ones. By monitoring your detractors and getting them back on board of passives or promoters, you can enhance your NPS score.
Method of measurement CSAT score is the sum of respondents that answered somewhat or very satisfied. Obviously, the higher the number the higher your customer satisfaction will be. After aggregating the replies, a high average indicates that your company is making things easy for your customers.
A very low number means that customers are putting in too much effort to interact with your company.
The Net Promoter Score = % of promoters (respondents that gave a  9-10) – % of detractors (respondents that gave a 0-6)
Applicability CSAT is versatile because it allows you to ask customers a variety of questions Easy to pin-point actionable service improvement areas Able to measure the customer’s opinion across channels, contact moments and experiences
Limitations Focusses on specific interaction (support event or product) and not on wider relationship with the company
  • Measurement is limited to service
  • CES can address obstacles for customer service, but doesn’t delve into why customers have any issues in the first place or what those obstacles may be
  • As the question is  generic it is not easy to pin-point actionable improvement areas unless you use an open follow-up question
  • There is  no proof your promoters actually will recommend you in real life


10 Metrics You Can and Should Measure

1. Speed of Service

Depending on the kind of service or product you provide, support rates vary. The overall response time for delivering support for instance usually lies within 24hrs of receiving the question/complaint.

When inquiring after the speed of service, think of the 3 stages in which your customer could have experienced service: before purchase, during purchase/use, after purchase.

2. Quality of service

Following the speed of service, it’s as least as important to discover how high your customers rate the quality of your delivered service.

A few subjects you could keep in mind are:

  • Attitude of your staff (both support and sales)
  • The availability and knowledge of your representatives
  • How complaints are solved
  • Openness and responsiveness towards inquiries

3. Pricing issues

This one is pretty basic, give your customers room to express how they feel about pricing. Not only the total cost of your product or service, but also value for money and how they see this compared to the market price.

4. Complaints

Always, always, always evaluate complaints thoroughly. Take time to look into unsolicited feedback that you can find online in reviews, comments and social media posts to broaden your analysis.

Make sure you contact users who’ve taken their time to describe a specific issue or complaint. Look for a possible solution with follow-up questions and try to turn that frown upside down.

5. Overall Satisfaction with the product or service

A good one to integrate into that first short survey we mentioned above. Have the needs of the customer been answered? “Overall, how satisfied are you with…?” will help you along.

When your audience provides you with responses that result into attributions of quality, you have the first and most important indicator of positive customer satisfaction.

6. Attributional Satisfaction

Another type of satisfaction to measure that can be divided in two:

  • Did you like/dislike the product or service?
    This part has to do with certain product benefits or characteristics.
  • Was the product or service useful/meeting expectations?
    The cognitive half is more about judgment and if the product was of any use to the customer.

Tip: You’re right to be curious and measure attitude towards a product or service that your respondent hasn’t used yet. But be careful not to mix this up with questions measuring satisfaction.

7. Customer Loyalty

If there’s one good starting point for insights into customer satisfaction, it’s customer loyalty. The behavior of returning customers and new customers providing you with good reviews is your first insight into their loyalty.

Of course, this can also be integrated with questions in a survey after purchase. But keep in mind that actual behavior tells you more than the intention a person expresses.

Customer Loyalty also provides the base for Net Promotor Score. This term is often used in research and specifically in how to measure customer satisfaction. It comes down to one question:

“Would you recommend the product or service to your friends or family?”

A respondent is usually asked to indicate the intent to refer your product to someone else with a number from 0 to 10. (Where 10 is very likely and 0 not at all.)
Curious to see what the current benchmarks are for your industry? Great to keep in mind when you collect your own data. Have a look at them here.

The score clearly shows us the chance of your customer repurchasing the products.
Loyalty should be used in combination with other metrics. A few questions to combine it with:

  • Satisfaction with the product or brand
  • Likeliness of repurchasing

8. Intention to repurchase

Together with customer loyalty, the intent to repurchase a product or service is an indication of customer satisfaction. It validates the customer’s past satisfaction with your brand and increases the likeliness for the respondent to communicate to others about your product.

A simple question to include this into your customer satisfaction metrics: “Do you intend to repurchase the product or service within the next month when you need it?”

9. Other needed services

A small extra, but one that can make all the difference to the satisfaction of your customers:
“Is there anything else we can do for you?”

Customer satisfaction can be increased by keeping an open mind towards questions or remarks a respondent might have, apart from the product or service you’ve delivered.

Qualitative Research is Subjective but Insightful

“What did you think of the product when you first purchased it?” (An example of an open-ended question)

  • In this type of research, there’s room for personal opinions, emotions, and more subjective responses
  • It’ll give you clearer insights of the perception of your customer
  • Best in combination with personal contact, like interviews, personal follow up, focus groups, …
  • The information is harder to process and requires more resources from your end
  • The data might not answer a few specific questions you have

Quantitative Research Has Scale But Misses Details

“Will you buy the product again in the next month?” (An example of a closed-ended question)

  • This approach provides you with to the point information, but only answers to what you asked
  • There’s little to no room for nuance and context
  • Data is more objective and easier to measure
  • Works well if you’re researching larger groups of customers

Don’t Just Measure, Benchmark!

When you’ve gathered your first insights, you can start creating strategies on how to improve customer satisfaction. Establish a satisfaction benchmark, based on past results and insights that you can measure up to. Earlier in the article, we talked about the NPS, easily look at your industry benchmarks here. Don’t forget about your competitors either, add their figures to your mix to create a reasonable benchmark.

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