What is CSAT and how do you measure it in your contact center?

Celia Cerdeira

By Celia Cerdeira

0 min read

Man with a bag talking to a woman with a headset in the middle of a semi-circle with icons for CSAT scores

Customer satisfaction score (CSAT) measures the level of customer satisfaction with a product, transaction, or interaction. It is commonly measured using a CSAT score obtained through feedback surveys. This score signifies the percentage of satisfied customers, with 100% indicating an exceptional experience and 0% representing a poor one.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at CSAT and explore what role it plays in your contact center.



How is CSAT measured?

To measure CSAT, directly ask your customer base to rate their satisfaction with an event, product, or service you provide. You’ll typically do this via a survey communicated to the customer using a channel such as direct mail, email, or phone.

The exact wording of the CSAT question and the corresponding rating system used in surveys varies from organization to organization. This means that there is no industry-standard way to measure CSAT. A few commonly used questions include:

  • Were you satisfied with ___? (Yes/No)
  • On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with ___?
  • How would you rate your satisfaction with ___? (Unsatisfied, somewhat satisfied, very satisfied)

For CSAT questions that don’t simply require a binary answer, it’s up to your business to decide which answers count as “satisfied” and which do not. You may decide that, on a scale of 1-10, anything above a “6” rating counts will be deemed as satisfied.



What is a good CSAT score?

CSAT scores don’t have one unified measurement, they vary widely based on the type of CSAT question asked. So there is no one definition of what a good CSAT score is. A general rule of thumb is to try to get your percentage of satisfied customers as close as possible to 100%. It may also be useful to benchmark your scores against other companies in your industry.

Depending on what exactly your business is having customers rate their satisfaction on, your CSAT score may also constantly be in flux. For example, your customer service team’s CSAT score of interactions with customers will change in real-time with the conclusion of every new interaction. On the flip side, if you send out a quarterly survey to measure CSAT on a specific product, you will only have one score until you send out the next survey.

Given these differences, most businesses have their own internal definition, which is usually a reflection of how customer-centric the organization is in its overall strategy. For example, a company with no CSAT measurement or definition likely hasn’t made customer satisfaction a priority at all, while a company that has a 5-point scale and sets a high bar of 4 or better as “good” has clearly included customer satisfaction in its definition of success.

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How to calculate CSAT.

The formula for calculating CSAT is:

(Number of satisfied customers (those who rated their experience 4 or 5) / Number of survey responses) x 100 = % of satisfied customers.

This will give you the percentage of respondents who are satisfied with your business. Remember, this score can range from 0% (all customers are dissatisfied) to 100% (all customers are satisfied).



When should you measure CSAT?

CSAT should be measured on a regular interval, whether that be quarterly, monthly, or after every customer interaction. The specific time frame should reflect your organization’s goals for obtaining customer feedback. Requesting feedback directly after an interaction or transaction while it is still fresh in the mind of the customer is recommended.

It is also beneficial to measure CSAT when you are collecting other metrics, such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) or customer effort score (CES). This way, you can get a more complete picture of the overall satisfaction level of your customers. These efforts help to reduce customer churn by continually finding ways to improve the customer experience.



Pros of measuring CSAT scores.



Real-time feedback.

CSAT provides almost real-time feedback, allowing you to promptly address customer issues. This immediate feedback loop allows businesses to quickly rectify any negative experiences, improving overall customer satisfaction and potentially preventing customer churn.



Identification of problem areas.

CSAT helps identify specific areas of concern, enabling targeted improvements in products or services. Understanding which aspects of their offering are falling short allows you to focus efforts on those areas, leading to more efficient problem-solving and better use of resources.



Cons of measuring CSAT scores.



Response bias.

Some customers may provide extreme ratings, while others may avoid responding, leading to response bias. This could skew the results and paint an inaccurate picture of overall customer satisfaction. Be aware of this potential pitfall and consider it when interpreting CSAT scores.



Limited insights.

CSAT provides a single numeric score, lacking detailed insights into the reasons behind the rating. While it’s helpful to know how satisfied customers are overall, the lack of qualitative data can make it challenging to pinpoint exactly what’s driving their satisfaction or dissatisfaction. So you might need to use additional metrics or methods to gather more comprehensive customer feedback.

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How is a CSAT score different from NPS?

While both CSAT and NPS are measurements of customer sentiment, they are very different in practice. The first major difference between the two is that NPS has a very defined process and measurement trademarked by specific organizations, while CSAT is a more general concept. This is apparent in the “guidelines” (or lack thereof) for each. For instance, NPS is a registered trademark, there is a standard customer survey question to ask when measuring it. CSAT, on the other hand, is fluid.

The second major difference is in what the two values measure. NPS is typically said to be a measurement of customer loyalty to a brand. In contrast, CSAT scores are strictly a measurement of customer happiness.

This means that while CSAT scores can help predict customer churn, they can’t predict customer retention the way NPS scores usually can.

We understand this doesn’t always make sense. Low satisfaction does generally lead to attrition, which is logical, but high satisfaction doesn’t necessarily guarantee repeat business, which isn’t. Unfortunately, a customer may be very happy with your service and still decide not to return for other reasons, so relying on CSAT scores to determine loyalty isn’t as reliable as we all might wish.  

The CSAT measurement does provide more flexibility than NPS, which is limited to one set of survey questions. CSAT questions are easy to customize according to individual business needs and goals, making it easier to use them to explore specific patterns in customer interaction.



How does CSAT apply to a contact center?

Given how frequently contact centers interact directly with customers, it is common to employ CSAT surveys to help assess their quality of service. This survey is usually delivered over the phone immediately after the call ends or via email at a later time. More innovative approaches include surveying via SMS for a fast, low-friction experience.

Another way is to ask customers to rate their satisfaction after a case or ticket has been closed. Unlike the first use case where the survey is sent as soon as the call is over, the CSAT survey is sent out after the customer’s issue has been resolved. In this instance, the customer is rating their satisfaction with how their inquiry was handled from the first to the last contact.

CSAT is a particularly good fit for contact centers due to its versatility. Contact center managers can tailor the CSAT survey question in a variety of different ways to pinpoint areas they suspect may cause frustration for callers. For example, questions can be general, like “How satisfied are you with the help you received?” or more specific, such as “How satisfied are you with your wait time during your call today?”



What are some CSAT best practices?


1. Be consistent.

The key to ensuring your CSAT measurement efforts are valid is to be consistent. This means asking the same CSAT survey question every time. In addition, make sure to send out the survey at the same time for each customer, whether every quarter, after every interaction, or at another appropriate moment. Consistency makes for proper tracking to give you an accurate picture of your customer’s satisfaction.



2. Use targeted survey questions.

CSAT is a great way to assess your customers’ feelings about anything. As you brainstorm potential survey questions, think about the factors that go into the product, service, or interaction. Use these factors to guide the creation of your question. Be sure to use unambiguous wording to ensure your customers are in fact answering the question you are asking. This helps keep survey results accurate and valid.



3. Consider using other measurements.

CSAT plays well with other sentiment measurements such as NPS or CES. There’s no reason to limit yourself to employing only one of these measures. Using a variety can help provide a more nuanced understanding of your business’ performance.



4. Understand customer sentiment.

To enhance your customer service, you need to understand customer sentiment. Tools like Talkdesk Interaction Analytics™ use sentiment analysis to identify how customers are feeling. By analyzing the customer’s tone and keywords used during the conversation, this tool helps you identify key conversation moments and topics that help you understand customer intent, uncover trends, and provide actionable insights to the business.



5. Set up keyword-based sensors in your contact center system.

Implementing keyword-based sensors in your contact center system, like Talkdesk CX Sensors, can drastically improve your responsiveness to customer dissatisfaction. These sensors trigger alerts when specific words or phrases are used in a customer conversation, so your agents can address issues immediately, regardless of the time, creating a more satisfying customer experience.



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Maximizing your CSAT scores is crucial to business growth and Talkdesk Feedback can help you achieve it. It is an intuitive platform for gathering and analyzing customer feedback, helping you pinpoint areas of improvement and celebrate successes.

With Talkdesk Feedback, you can engage with your customers more effectively, understand their needs better, and tailor your services to meet their expectations. It allows you to turn every customer interaction into a learning opportunity and deliver exceptional customer experiences consistently.

Don’t just meet your customers’ expectations—exceed them. Learn more about Talkdesk Feedback today and take the first step towards boosting your CSAT scores and driving business growth.

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FAQs.



What is CSAT? 

CSAT, or customer satisfaction score, is a key performance indicator that measures customer satisfaction with a product, service, or support interaction. It’s typically calculated using a survey that asks customers to rate their satisfaction on a scale, often from 1 (very unsatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied). The scores are then averaged to derive the CSAT score.



Why is CSAT important in contact centers?

CSAT provides direct feedback on how customers perceive their interactions with the service team. It helps businesses assess the quality of customer service and identify areas for improvement. A high CSAT score shows that customers are receiving excellent service, while a low score can highlight issues that need to be addressed. By monitoring CSAT scores, contact centers can make adjustments to enhance customer satisfaction, improve customer retention, and increase revenue.



What are the 3 C’s of customer satisfaction?

The 3 C’s of customer satisfaction are consistency, consistency, and consistency. This mantra helps to remind businesses that when conducting surveys to calculate their customer satisfaction scores (CSAT scores), they must do so on a regular, timely cadence. Otherwise, they will not be effective in revealing the company’s overall level of customer satisfaction.



What is the difference between CSAT, NPS, and CES?

While they are all ways of collecting metrics on customer sentiment, CSAT, NPS, and CES are obtained in different ways. CSAT is a way of measuring customer satisfaction, and it usually happens right after the interaction. It focuses on a general feeling of satisfaction with a particular channel, product, or service. NPS, on the other hand, measures how a customer sees the brand as a whole and if they would be willing to recommend the product to others. CES measures the level of effort customers put forth to resolve an issue or accomplish a task.

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Celia Cerdeira

Celia Cerdeira

Célia Cerdeira has more than 20 years experience in the contact center industry. She imagines, designs, and brings to life the right content for awesome customer journeys. When she's not writing, you can find her chilling on the beach enjoying a freshly squeezed juice and reading a novel by some of her favorite authors.