How To Calculate CSAT

Philip Cleave
December 14, 2023
Picture depicting the customer satisfaction score

For any organisation to be successful and maintain it, good customer experience should be at the heart of everything they do. This is because, not only does it help keep customers content, but it can help make more of them excited about your brand too.

There are a number of metrics you can use to measure customer contentment including Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Effort Score (CES). However, one of the most commonly used and trusted ways to evaluate the effectiveness of the customer support and the customer experiences you’re delivering is through the customer satisfaction score (CSAT) metric.

Consequently, we’ll go on to show you how to calculate your own CSAT score, as well as to highlight what constitutes a good CSAT. But before we do that, we need to delve into the concept of CSAT in a bit more detail.

What is CSAT?

CSAT is short for ‘customer satisfaction score’ and is a metric that is used to measure a customer’s contentment, every time they interact with your organisation’s product, services or the experiences you deliver for them.

Customers are then asked to express their satisfaction on a five- or ten-point Likert scale, which is presented as a percentage of between 0 and 100, depending on their satisfaction levels.

How to measure CSAT

Once you’ve collected a number of responses through your customer satisfaction survey, you’ll be in a position to measure your CSAT with the following simple question:

"How would you rate your satisfaction with (our company, product, customer service, etc.)?"

Then depending on whether you’ve selected a 1 to 10, or a 1 to 5 scale for your customer satisfaction, your respondents can express their level of contentment anywhere between very satisfied to very dissatisfied.

CSAT scores are based on closed-ended, quantitative, or structured style data, with each response having a corresponding number value. This makes them simpler to calculate.

CSAT surveys are also typically sent via email, or pop ups in chats, immediately after a customer has interacted with a customer service person or any other key customer touchpoints such as an e-cart.

Why should you measure CSAT?

The CSAT metric is an effective way to measure and understand general satisfaction levels among your customer base, as well as the first step towards driving business-critical decisions through data. And because it’s one of the most significantly benchmarked customer experience metrics outside of NPS, it also offers a really helpful way of measuring your business performance against the competition.

Using CSAT to measure customer satisfaction, can provide great insight for organisations that can impact the success of any new products, solutions or services they introduce. This is because CSAT surveys provide a quantitative measure of how satisfied customers are, along with qualitative feedback that helps explain why. It can also help reveal where you’re failing your customers, so you know where you need to improve.

How to calculate CSAT

To work out your CSAT score, you need to collate your number of satisfied customers (those who rated you a 4 or 5) and divide that figure by your total number of responses, before multiplying it by 100, to give you a CSAT percentage.

For instance, if you received 100 responses and 65 of them were positive, this would result in a CSAT score of 65%.

Generally, working out your CSAT score is a relatively quick and straightforward process. However, if you’ve got a very large or fast-growing customer base it can be a bit more challenging. However, we offer a handy, free to use CSAT score calculator, which can quickly calculate that figure for you.

What constitutes a good CSAT score?

While in the simplest terms, scores closest to 100% reflect the highest levels of satisfaction, and those at the other end of the scale the lowest contentment levels, CSAT scores will generally vary by industry. However, even when this is taken into account a good CSAT score can be considered to be anywhere between 75% and 85%.

Since CSAT only measures the scores of your promoters, getting a near-perfect score is really challenging. Yet, obtaining a score of 75% means that three out of every four customers gave you a positive score instead of a negative or neutral one. So, from that point of view that’s really impressive.

However, to get a more useful barometer of how well you’re performing, you can always refer to resources like The UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI). This offers benchmark scores by organisation and sector type, so you can compare yourself with others in your industry.

It should be noted that while CSAT scores are designed to provide a general view of customer happiness, they shouldn’t be used as a sole indicator of customer service performance or business success.

However, its useful to continually monitor and track your CSAT score, to see if there are any sudden dips, so you can quickly make any changes you need to improve it.

What are the pros and cons of CSAT?

When it comes to the pros and cons of CSAT, the main benefits of using this question type, is that it’s quick and simple to calculate, and able to generate higher response rates, as there’s only a single question to answer. It’s also easy to add the CSAT question to an email signature or have it pop up in an app or on your website following a customer interaction.

The availability of CSAT benchmarks means you can easily see how you compare with other businesses, while simple data collection and fast results make it simple to track daily.

One of the main drawbacks of CSAT however, is that you don’t necessarily get a response from every customer, which can end up skewing your results. CSAT also lacks granularity, meaning that you don’t get any explanation of why your customers were satisfied or unsatisfied with the experience they received from you.

This is where you could consider adding an open-ended question straight after to get more context around your score. The great thing about adding an open-ended question here is that customers can now express their feelings in their own voice. So, as well as explaining why they rated your business the way they did, it can also provide valuable additional insights about your customers that you might not otherwise have picked up.

Concluding thoughts

We hope you found this blog interesting. And wherever you are on your journey with customer satisfaction, you’ve been able to learn something from it that will be useful for your business.

The key thing to take away from all of this is that, if you’re going to become successful and keep it that way, you need to know how to correctly calculate your CSAT and keep monitoring and measuring it. If you can do this, you’ll always know what the overall sentiment is from your customers and where you need to improve to maintain customer satisfaction.

Boost customer satisfaction by delivering more of the right experiences

Being able to measure, analyse and make ongoing improvements to your customer satisfaction score is crucial if you’re to maximise customer contentment. However, if you’re to make more of them excited about your brand too, you need to be delivering the right experiences for them, and that requires the right survey tools.

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