9 January 2015 – Andrew Burns
A company’s customer satisfaction score, or CSAT, may not be a crystal ball for understanding every aspect of your customers’ needs, but it can be an important indicator of whether a company is growing or slipping.
The New Year rolls round and already the customer survey bandwagon is getting pretty crowded. Last year, we saw a dramatic rise in companies actively investigating what their customers are thinking, saying and wanting – which is exactly where metrics like CSAT come in. More companies started realising that they’re at risk of falling by the wayside if they’re not focused on customer feedback and customer satisfaction.
By now, any company that thinks their customers depend on them is misguided. The reverse couldn’t be more real: companies depend on their customers. With our instantly connected world, customers have the power at their fingertips to compare competitors, voice their experiences (both good and bad) and make or break a company’s track record. With social media creating the perfect digital soapbox, customers can easily go to sites like Twitter or Facebook and read about other people’s experiences or share their own.
Giving your customers the opportunity to voice their perceptions of your company’s customer service levels directly to you, rather than via other channels, is one way to catch and fix problems as they arise. A CSAT score is one way to achieve this.
Leveraging your CSAT score
In its simplest form, the customer satisfaction score, or CSAT, is designed to measure how satisfied a customer is with a service received. The CSAT metric is expressed as a percentage between 0 and 100, with 100% representing complete customer satisfaction. Companies that boast high customer satisfaction are those with CSAT scores in upward of 80%, though how this is measured is of course significant. Every company would love to see a perfect score, but few know how to use survey metrics like CSAT to improve their service levels and decrease customer churn.
For a start, CSAT can be used to measure the effectiveness of processes and procedures within a company. Surveys like this can be used to track the correlation between changes in call centre agent training and the customers’ satisfaction levels. If CSAT surveys are undertaken intermittently over a period of time, a company can track and measure the efforts made to improve satisfaction levels.
It is essential that the method used to measure satisfaction does not change between the initial CSAT survey, implementing changes to the specific procedure and then the follow-up survey. If the survey questions changed at any point, the results cannot be correlated. Likewise, if the survey is used in a different context, the results will be meaningless in the context of its original purpose.
CSAT is often determined by a broad question in surveys, along the lines of “How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the service you received?” – the emphasis is on the overall experience. On the down side, this metric doesn’t take into account that often moderately satisfied or conversely moderately dissatisfied customers aren’t inclined to complete surveys.
It fails to take into account factors that impact customer satisfaction, such as speed of service, ease of transaction, technical support, after-sales support or how valued the customer feels as a result of interacting with your company.
CSAT scores also do not reflect how loyal a customer is likely to be – a more in-depth survey would be needed to achieve this level of insight. Yet, while having high levels of CSAT levels may not lead to customer loyalty, a company cannot achieve customer loyalty without having customer satisfaction.
Benchmarking your company based on your customers’ satisfaction levels provides a measurable means of tracking the efficacy of the steps you take to improve your services. Ultimately, conducting customer satisfaction research, such as CSAT surveys, will provide your company with the necessary insight it needs to make informed decisions, in order to retain and increase your customer base and improve customer relationships.
If you’d like to speak to us about survey solutions that best suit your organisation, please contact us for further information.