On our blog and website, we have already written a lot about popular research methods: NPS and CES. It’s now time for the last of the triad of the most popular indicators: the Customer Satisfaction Score, or CSAT. With its help, you can examine the level of customer satisfaction with the products or services offered by the company.

CSAT appeared before NPS and CES, therefore:

  • it has been researched to the greatest extent
  • it is the easiest to implement
  • it has a wide range of applications, regardless of the industry
  • it can be used separately for each point of contact

Regular use of this type of study allows you to monitor the dynamics of changes in a process. If you plan to introduce a new product offer or new services, CSAT will be a good measure. Moreover, the main question can be modified and adapted to a specific situation (unlike NPS, whose concept and procedure are protected by a trademark). The CSAT element may also be part of a larger survey without losing any value. As a result, this methodology is still an important part of the organizational culture in many companies.

What questions are asked to measure customer satisfaction in CSAT? Here’s the main phrase:

How satisfied are you with the level of the service provided? Select using scale:

very dissatisfied 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 very satisfied

very dissatisfied 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 very satisfied

The higher the value, the better. A score below 3 (or 4 on a seven point scale) should raise concerns. Bill Gates once said that “your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” The first alarms, indicating customer dissatisfaction, must be detected at an initial level and responded to as quickly as possible. This is called closing the feedback into a loop. The authors of the book “Capitalizing the Voice of Customer” even showed that if our reaction to customer criticism is counted in minutes, the chance of stopping them is 80%.

Of course, CSAT has some disadvantages (and these are the reasons why more indicators were developed):

  • it applies to a specific situation, e.g. sales or hotline calls (hence the importance of immediate response)
  • it is difficult to measure loyalty or long-term relationships with CSAT

Therefore, it is good practice to combine CSAT with NPS to overcome the above-mentioned inconvenience.

Who is CSAT for?

This type of survey was implemented by most companies in customer service departments – although probably not many of them were aware that it was the CSAT indicator. Here are the most interesting examples of using this methodology (and at the same time evidence of its effectiveness):


Talkdesk, an American supplier of call centre software, recommends CSAT used in surveys after contacting the hotline. According to the company, this is the optimum solution because call centre managers are given the opportunity to test additional questions in the survey, which allow to identify the reasons of customer frustration when contacting the hotline. Talkdesk also indicates that it is worth sending surveys via SMS after contacting the call centre. The company decided to do so because customers complained about a large amount of e-mail correspondence (including surveys). It turned out that the response rate then increased by 25-30%.

Western Union

The financial services giant, Western Union, conducted a survey in 2015 which showed that as many as half of the customers who used the company’s services in the past, have left. Therefore, a remedial program was implemented in the network of call centres providing services to the company’s customers. After conducting research using the CSAT index customer satisfaction with Western Union services increased by 15%.


An interesting correlation between the high level of customer satisfaction (as measured by CSAT) and employee satisfaction was reported in the United States. In 472 points of an American restaurant chain a customer satisfaction survey was carried out. It turned out that in these places customer satisfaction was above average, and the staff employed there were equally satisfied. And vice versa – in restaurant chains, where customers complained about various problems, only 21% of employees declared that they were satisfied with their work. By taking care of customer satisfaction, you increase the satisfaction of your employees.


In the next article, we will compare all the recently discussed indicators: CSAT, CES and NPS – we will compare them and show which ones are best for using in surveys after contacting a call centre or other points of contact between the customer and the company.

Do you want to learn how to improve service in the customer contact department?

Start a satisfaction survey with the Startquestion platform and choose the option of traditional sending of surveys by email or the new possibility of sending an invitation to a survey via SMS.

Send an email to [email protected] to learn about the best practices applied in your industry and receive a tailored solution for your company.