CSAT - measure customer satisfaction with an online survey

CSAT – Measure Customer Satisfaction With an Online Survey

Every company would like its customer to be… satisfied. That’s it. Customers’ satisfaction with the contact with the company, the purchase or the service determines whether he/she will become a brand lover and come back to your company, or vice versa: whether he/she will have a negative opinion about the company, which will certainly be shared with others. How do we know what the customer experience is? It’s very simple. All you have to do is ask them him about it. One of the most popular and simple methods of measuring customer satisfaction is the CSAT method, i.e. Customer Satisfaction Score.

Is your customer happy? How to test using the CSAT method

Do you have the impression that more and more customers are giving up on your products? This is a great excuse to start using the CSAT study at your company. The Customer Satisfaction Score allows you to measure whether, and to what extent, your product or service meets or exceeds customer expectations. To put it in the simplest terms, the online CSAT survey measures customer satisfaction. This measurement is made on the basis of a customer’s approach to a specific product, service, transaction, or contact with the company (e.g. with the customer support department, customer service, seller, etc.).

There is no clear answer to the question: how to test with the CSAT method. It all really depends on what goals the company wants to achieve thanks to the study – what specific information it needs, to what extent it should be detailed, etc. Therefore, the Customer Satisfaction Score method does not have precise guidelines, formulas or ready-made question sets to be asked in an online survey. However, what is usually common (or very similar) for all CSAT surveys is the main question. In a survey created on the Startquestion platform, it may look like this:

The main question and the entire questionnaire on the Startquestion platform can be freely adapted to your requirements and needs. To create a CSAT survey, you can use a slider question (as shown in the picture below), a matrix question or a single choice question – set horizontally. Note that the higher the value the respondent chooses, the better. The flexibility of the method also manifests itself in a scale. In the example above, it has 5 steps, but it might as well be 7 steps.

CSAT score – advantages and disadvantages

Over the years, CSAT has gained a large group of supporters. The key advantages of this research method include:

  • Simple implementation – requires notifying employees responsible for conducting the study and people who will interpret the results. However, the entire procedure is not as complicated as, for example, in the case of the Net Promoter Score.
  • Large level of versatility – they can be used to test satisfaction with services, products, customer service – almost all areas of the company’s operation.
  • Wide application possibilities – the study will be successful regardless of the industry or the size of the organization.
  • Flexibility of the method thus enabling to measure customer satisfaction at various points of contact with the company (e.g. after contact with the IT Department, Customer Service Centre, after purchasing an item, etc.).
  • Easy to modify – thanks to online survey creation tools, such as Startquestion, in CSAT surveys you can ask even personalized questions directly related to the company or industry. The questionnaire can also be as long as you wish.

This method is not completely flawless though. The flaws include the need to quickly conduct a survey (after all, it relates to a specific touchpoint from the Customer Journey, so it should be done immediately after the customer contacts the company). The disadvantages of the method include the fact that it would be difficult to measure long-term relations with the customer, willingness to recommend, and loyalty. For these purposes, it is better to use dedicated methods, such as the Net Promoter Score.

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When and who to test?

As mentioned before, the CSAT method requires the online survey to be sent at the appropriate time. The appropriate time? Which is? When there is any change taking place at your company or a new solution is implemented. The Customer Satisfaction Score is a survey that will be perfect for examining the point of contact on the customer-company line during the entire Customer Journey. It is, therefore, logical to ask the customer about their impressions or satisfaction AFTER such a contact. How long after? Usually the sooner the better. The CSAT online survey often relates to, for example, shopping, which is a rather simple activity. So if you don’t ask the customer about their satisfaction within 1 day or even within a few hours after the purchase, there is a good chance that they will not remember anything about the process. The same applies to other points of contact – contact with Customer Service, online shopping, etc.

When asked who should take part in the study, the answer is simple: customers. All of them. Some companies make a big mistake of targeting their online surveys only at select customer groups – those who are likely to give them a good rating. But what’s the point of the study then? CSAT isn’t just about showing off your results. Of course, if they are good, you can publish them on your website or present them in a newsletter mailed to customers, but this is not the purpose of the study. The goal is to discover what is failing and why customers are dissatisfied. And it is negative feedback that is supposed to drive the company to make changes for the better.

The great three: CSAT, NPS and CES

These three methods are usually mentioned by experts in one breath, due to the common goal – customer satisfaction studies. This does not mean that they are identical and can be used interchangeably – on the contrary, they differ significantly in the way of asking questions, interpreting the results or the scale used in the study. What makes them different is the length of the survey. The CSAT method is more complex and usually contains a few or a dozen questions. NPS and CES, however, focus on one fundamental question.

The CSAT method is the most popular one because it is also the oldest method, which in many cases also turns out to be… the best. This applies primarily to the general, basic satisfaction surveys. Net Promoter Score indirectly checks satisfaction because the main NPS question is whether the customer would recommend the product/brand etc. to friends. Using the Customer Effort Score the company asks about how much effort the customer put into a given process, e.g. online shopping or contact with customer service. As you can see, NPS and CES are methods that are more detailed and aimed at goals other than satisfaction.

All types of studies, i.e. CSAT, as well as NPS and CES can be created easily using the Startquestion tool. You will find a model of what customer satisfaction surveys can look like among several dozen examples of online surveys

Urszula Kamburov-Niepewna
Ula is a Content Manager with extensive experience in journalism and SEO copywriting. She is a specialist in creating content in HR and Marketing research, Customer Experience, and User Experience. She has been associated with Startquestion for five years and currently leads the Content Marketing team there. After work, Ula is an obsessive reader, a huge Harry Potter fan, and a traveler who grabs every opportunity to see a little bit of the world and taste (usually more than a little) good food.