Call Center Metrics: CSAT

Find out what CSAT is, how to calculate it and more.

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Learn why high a CSAT score is important for businesses of all sizes and how you can boost customer satisfaction in the contact center.

Your customers are the driver of your success, regardless if you’re running a small family business or a Fortune 500 global enterprise.  When it comes to their satisfaction, it’s vital to continuously have your finger on the pulse of their opinion. This is where a fundamental contact center metric comes into play – CSAT.


CSAT: What Is It?

CSAT is a metric that measures the degree to which your service meets customer expectations. It’s a simple way to measure how satisfied your customers are with your business and enables your team to make quality improvements to ensure customers stay happy.


How is CSAT calculated?

To calculate your customer satisfaction, you will need to survey customers after each interaction. The survey only needs to consist of one simple question:

How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the center’s service?
In a CSAT survey, customers are asked to quantify their level of satisfaction on a scale. The scale can be from 5 (very satisfied) to 1 (very unsatisfied) or something similar. The scores are averaged and calculated into a percentage. A high score indicates a high rate of customer satisfaction, and a low score means improvements need to be made.

Most businesses will also offer an optional field to let customers provide more detail about their reasoning. This can be a prime source of customer feedback. CSAT surveys can also be more complex with multiple questions. However, it’s important to keep in mind that most customers find too many questions inconvenient and will be reluctant to participate in anything other than a very short survey. In other words, you will get more responses with a shorter survey.


How does CSAT differ from Net Promoter Score?

While CSAT is beneficial in measuring customers’ short-term happiness, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) is focused on measuring customer loyalty. NPS was introduced in 2003 in a Harvard Business Review article and has been adopted by more than two-thirds of Fortune 1000 companies. It is calculated based on responses to one single question:

How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?
Customers who respond with a score of 9 or 10 are considered to be Promoters who will exhibit value-creating behaviors. Those who respond with scores from 0 to 6 are labeled as Detractors who will show few to no value-creating behaviors. Customers who respond with 7 or 8 are labeled Passives and have the opportunity to become either Promoters or Detractors depending on the ongoing quality of the service and products provided.

Some contact customer experience experts believe that the NPS offers a better predictor of customer behavior than the CSAT. However, most will agree that there are benefits to using both metrics because of their own applicability and limitations. Regardless of what customer satisfaction measurement tools you choose to use, it’s important to know how to improve and sustain high scores for long-term business success.


How to Improve CSAT?

Of course, it’s not enough to simply measure and evaluate customer satisfaction. The real effort should be placed into continuously improving it. Here are some of the most fundamental ways to do so.

  • Designate a customer satisfaction leader
    To truly take customer satisfaction seriously, you need someone in charge of it. This is a big job that involves not only keeping track of the metric, but also developing and implementing the right set of initiatives to achieve specific customer satisfaction goals.
  • Link customer satisfaction with performance evaluations and compensation
    Customer satisfaction needs to be a priority for everyone within an organization. By tying customer success with every employee’s success, it gets everyone focused on the same goal.
  • Welcome complaints
    Most dissatisfied customers will remain quiet or leave without sharing any complaint. This is why it’s important to encourage customers to share any issues they have. When you consider that even top performing businesses will lose between 10 and 30 percent of their customer base each year, you can understand the importance of gaining insight into service-related issues.
  • Use social media as a service channel
    Social media is an excellent marketing channel, but it also offers a wealth of opportunities to understand customer issues and improve service. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter provide you with a direct way to engage with your customers. Not only can problems be addressed in real-time, a customer who gets a fast resolution can share their happiness about it with their online community.
  • Consider improvement to be an ongoing responsibility
    Customer satisfaction shouldn’t be considered a “fix it and move on” task. Rather, it’s essential to make it a driving, fundamental focus for everyone and everything happening. By spending time each day to understand and improve the customer experience, you can support the necessary CSAT levels you need to be successful.

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