Agent Motivation

Everything You Need to Know about CSAT vs NPS vs CES

When your life’s work is dedicated to making things easier, better, and simpler for the people your business serves, customer centricity is more than a buzzword; it’s a calling, a purpose, a mission. 

And when you’re passionate about what you do, you want to know how things are going and if there are opportunities to improve.

That’s what measures of customer sentiment like customer satisfaction (CSAT), net promoter score (NPS), and customer effort score (CES) can help customer service professionals, CX teams, and companies understand—how well you’re meeting the needs of the individuals that matter the most to your business and driving longer-term loyalty. 

Here’s everything you need to know about three of the most popular CX key performance indicators (KPIs), how they’re different, and when to use each.

CSAT vs. NPS vs. CES: Three Key Measurements of CX


It’s a measure of… how happy (or unhappy) customers are. It’s gathered by directly surveying customers and asking them to rate their experience on a standard scale.

Use it when… you want to know how your customers feel in the moment, based on any given transaction or interaction. 

Brands gauge customer satisfaction on an ongoing basis—such as immediately following a sale or phone call—by asking customers questions like “How satisfied are you with the service offered?”


It’s a measure of… how likely your customers are to refer brands to others, how your company compares to competitors, and how loyal customers feel after a given interaction with your brand.

Use it when… you want to know how loyal your customers are.

Are they your biggest fans? Are they considering a competitor? How are employee interactions impacting loyalty? You can answer these if you monitor your NPS.


It’s a measure of… how efficiently companies can address customer issues without requiring a ton of effort on the part of individuals.

Use it when… you want to know how CX is impacting sales.

CES explores how easy (or hard) it is for customers to get their problems resolved. Brands analyze this KPI to assess how likely customers are to make repeat purchases.

Looking for more insight on how to measure and improve your customer satisfaction metrics? Download our guide, An Introduction to Customer Satisfaction Metrics, for actionable ways to optimize the metrics that matter.

What Is CSAT?

Stella Connect Survey to Measure CSAT

When customer support is offered over the phone, text, email, or chat, brands want to know—how did it go?

When customers receive a product they’ve bought, companies want to know how satisfied they are with their purchase.

CSAT can be assessed via quick surveys in a variety of situations on a semi-annual or annual basis or immediately following interactions. It’s calculated by averaging customer survey responses.

If your scale is on a 1-5, you may find your average CSAT score is a strong 4.5 or you may find room for growth with a 3.0.

What Is NPS?

There are three main ways to track your NPS, with each measuring a different aspect of customer loyalty, including:

  • Relationship NPS: Businesses ask customers how likely they are to recommend the company and use this as a benchmark for how well they’re delivering on customer experiences.
  • Competitive benchmarks NPS: Based on market research of a general, broader population, these questions ask survey takers to share the companies they do business with and share insights to how likely they’d be to recommend each, with the results shedding light on potential threats to your business from potential competitors.
  • Experience NPS: Businesses directly ask customers how loyal they are, specifically following a given interaction. Because brands can see how interactions drive loyalty, this metric is used to illuminate clear opportunities for improvement.

What Is CES?

How do you measure CES?

Brands measure CES by directly surveying customers who have issues arise that are resolved by CX team members.

Immediately following the customer support call, email, text, or chat, companies send a short survey asking customers—as the name of the measurement suggests—to rate how easy the company makes it to get their needs taken care of.

This survey is usually rated on a scale of 1 to 7, and the metric is calculated by determining the percentage of people that respond with a 5 (“somewhat agree” that the company makes it easy to get their needs taken care of) or higher.

When Brands Track CX KPIs, Everyone Benefits

And it’s also a win for business. Companies that ignore crucial KPIs like CSAT, NPS, and CES suffer the consequences—in lost businesses—adding up to $75 billion per year.

Why should you measure CSAT, NPS, and CES?

When Williams-Sonoma partnered with Stella Connect to measure NPS—and drive improvements through real-time customer feedback and coaching for CX team members available through Stella Connect’s technology, the company managed to boost its NPS rating by 50%.

Ready to empower your agents to deliver exceptional experiences and watch your KPIs soar? Get the complete Introduction to Customer Satisfaction Metrics guide to set them up for success.

Try Stella Connect