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Looking for the perfect Customer Satisfaction Metric: CSAT, NPS or CES?

We return to the previously described three indicators: the Net Promoter Score, Customer Effort Score, and Customer Satisfaction Score. We already know that they can be used together or separately, but each of them is measured slightly different aspects of the relationship with the customer. Which customer satisfaction metric is best?

Let us remind the most important information. The following table ordered meters from the oldest (known since the nineties CSAT) to the youngest, CES.

So much theory, and now the little details and practical examples.

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Customer Satisfaction Metric – CSAT

CSAT measures customer satisfaction — as a whole, but also at various points of contact with the company. For this reason, it is used:

  • after the introduction of new goods, services, implementation of big changes
  • channels in direct contact with the customer, eg. for call centers
  • as soon as possible after exposure, when it is fresh in the memory of the recipient

For example, after a conversation with a consultant automatic interviewer calls back to the customer with a request to express an opinion, using technology to Interactive Voice Response (IVR). Remuneration consultant’s bonus depends on, among others, the number of positive ratings. In this way, CSAT use telecommunications company (for example. T-Mobile).


Customer Satisfaction Metric – NPS

NPS measures customer loyalty and his tendency to remain in a relationship with the brand. We use it:

  • to measure the overall customer experience and brand
  • regularly (eg. daily for 0.5% of the portfolio of clients)

Example: Interested popular Swarm for the “check” in various places, from time to time shows its users questionnaire NPS in its interface immediately after the launch. The decision on the use ratio was related to controversy that followed the separation of the functionality of Swarm another major application Foursquare.


Customer Satisfaction Metric – CES

CES measures the effort that the customer has to put in the settlement of his case in a company (eg. The purchase, explain to obtain information) so that we identify the potential source of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. It can be used in studies of customer satisfaction, but its performance is a predictor of loyalty. CES apply:

  • immediately after contact
  • at any point of contact

Example: CES is used by the company British Telecom in all channels of contact with the customer. Warren Buckley, responsible for the overall corporate service processes, declares, however, that despite the satisfaction of the results of studies using the methodology does not intend to give up the use of indicators NPS and CSAT.


Can you easily compare all of the above-mentioned research methods? Probably not — NPS and CSAT measure the amount of the overall customer experience and operate at the macro level, while CES focuses on the so-called micro-experiences. The first two indicators show a client’s emotions perfectly in relation to the brand, while CES sticks to concrete, except for “chemistry.” So you can not be said of a “CSAT disadvantage is the inability to measure customer loyalty.” It is as if someone wanted to measure the weight with the help of decibels or kilocalories. Aaron Turner, a former director responsible for research in the healthcare department of Market Strategies International, even wrote in his article that soon will be a new research holy grail, because none of these indicators is perfectly reliable.

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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.