The customer satisfaction score (CSAT): Focus on your customer’s satisfaction

(Time: approx. 2,5 minutes read

Why do we recommend this KPI?

If there is one single way to start measuring customer experience, we recommend Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT). We recommend this measurement because it is simple, straightforward and highly actionable. CSAT measures the customer satisfaction with your product, service or interaction. Basically, the measurement reveals customer happiness related to a specific interaction.

In addition, the survey is quick which enable you to ask your customers across multiple experiences during a customer journey and thereby understand how your customer feel across various touch points. And, since it is hyper-focused on specific interactions, it enables you to find gaps in your customer experience and make improvements. The survey gives unhappy customers a chance to voice their issues and you an opportunity to regain their trust.

How do you measure and interpret the results?

CSAT is generally measured through a customer feedback survey sent out to the customer after a specific interaction asking the customer how satisfying it was, e.g. ‘How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the [goods/service] you received?’. The answer scale presented to the customers is typically scored between 1 and 7 from “Very unsatisfied” to “Very satisfied”, 7 being the most satisfied score.

When calculating CSAT, only responses of 5 or above should be defined as ‘satisfied’ and thus included in the share of satisfied customers. The result is presented as a range in share of satisfied respondents on a scale from 0 to 100 percent. This way the CSAT score provides an easy to cite metric showing how satisfied customers are with a particular part of their experience.

For example: Number of Satisfied Customers (5 or above) / Total number of Survey Responses x 100 = % of satisfied customers.

However, this average alone does not tell you the whole story. In order to analyze the data and interpret the results you need to dig deeper. We recommend you consider these three additional aspects presented in our next section: frequencies, top and bottom score as well as average score.

Three aspects to include in your analysis

1. Frequencies

Start by looking at the frequencies for each scale point. Create a table showing the number of respondents that selected each scale point and what percentage each group represent of the total respondents. This will give you a clear understanding of the difference between the groups.


2. Top and bottom score 

In order to further simplify the scale, look at the frequencies of respondents who selected either one of the top or bottom two scale answers (i.e. respondents who selected either 1 or 2 bottom answers or 6 or 7 top scale answers). You can sum up the numbers of the top and bottom categories and present them together. This can help you get rid of bias from the respondents who never select the top scale (e.g. customers who believes that “…there is always room for improvement”). 


Source: Displayr (2019) 

3. Average

The average can give you an idea of the overall satisfaction of the respondents’ experience. It will come out as a single number such as “4.9” and should be compared against the highest scale point (in this case 7).  

Source: Displayr (2019) 

Use it together with a complementary measurement 

Since CSAT targets the ‘here and now’ reaction to a specific interaction, product or interaction compared to focusing on measuring a customer’s ongoing relationship with a company, it is best complimented with another measurement in order to understand the overall customer experience. We recommend the The Customer Effort Score (CES) since it is both highly actionable and indicates customer loyalty. 

In addition, don’t forget to:


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