There’s a reason companies want to measure CSAT, a.k.a. customer satisfaction. Of all the KPIs businesses track, it’s arguably one of the most important.
That’s because satisfied customers are to businesses like water, food, and air are to people. No venture can make it without customers and none can survive—for long—without generally happy customers.
Methods of Measuring CSAT
Companies measure CSAT by directly asking customers to rate their satisfaction using a standard scale, such as 1 to 5, the lowest satisfaction to the highest satisfaction:
- Immediately following a transaction or interaction with an employee (“How did we just do?”)
- Every X amount of time, on an ongoing basis (“How are we doing?”)
- When there’s a sign of trouble, i.e. a customer hasn’t made a purchase recently, has canceled a subscription, or has just returned items (“What can we do differently?”)
CSAT is calculated by taking the average of the survey responses you collect, and the higher the score the better. CSAT scores can also be tracked at the customer service agent-level and shared in real time to help improve their performance by encouraging self-correcting.
The Top 4 Factors That Impact CSAT Scores
In the book Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization, authors and customer service leaders Leonardo Inghilleri and Micah Solomon share the top factors that influence customer satisfaction.
It’s no coincidence that separately, a 2018 report that analyzed the main reasons customers decide to switch to competitor brands cited nearly identical drivers of overall sentiment. The truth is, what makes customers feel negative or positive about a company is pretty universal.
The good news?
Committing to improving in the key areas outlined here can lead to measurable results, especially if you’re keeping a steady pulse of your overall CSAT.
#1: The quality of your products and services
While the quality of your organization’s overall products and services may not be within the customer service team’s control, most CX employees are on the frontlines fielding steady (if not constant) input about what your brand is doing right (and wrong).
And, if that feedback isn’t taken into consideration, there’s a risk customer sentiment could fall.
Taking a proactive approach, Stella Connect client Birchbox leverages customer feedback to steer product and policy innovation, iteratively improving in direct response to CX trends.
#2: Customer interactions with your employees
It’s no mystery why customers prefer positive, friendly interactions to encounters that are less helpful.
The challenge is, customer service agents may not always know when or how they can improve. That’s where in-the-moment coaching, offering real-time feedback and QA based on specific customer reviews, can make a real and noticeable difference.
This kind of mentorship is known to improve customer agent performance by as much as 12%. Democratizing access to customer feedback is another way to improve outcomes.
When agents get updates about how they’re doing as they’re going, they’re more likely to be more engaged and motivated. This kind of real-time feedback helped Stella Connect client Peek.com improve CSAT from 85% to 92%.
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.
#3: Your company’s overall timeliness, responsiveness
Nobody likes feeling like they’re on hold forever. That they’re being passed around from person to person. Or, worst of all, that they’ll never find the answers they’re looking for.
That’s why prioritizing first-call resolution—to the point where customer issues are consistently addressed in a timely manner—is crucial to growing CSAT.
Every time a customer has to call back again, both CSAT and revenue suffer. Fortunately, our team has developed 26 strategies for improving first-call resolution rate, many of which can be implemented right away.
#4: An effective customer service resolution process
Negative feedback is inevitable. But without the proper systems in place, customers fall through the cracks, their problems unresolved.
Not only is this avoidable, but companies that manage to solve for it by developing an effective service recovery strategy have a competitive advantage.
The secret weapon of high-performing CX operations, service recovery systems ensure no piece of negative feedback gets left unaddressed, helping businesses retain customers and produce measurable changes in customer sentiment.
The Big Payoff of Measuring (and Improving) CSAT
- 73% of businesses with above-average customer ratings outperform competitors financially
- U.S. consumers will pay 17% more with companies known for customer service
- Strong performance can cut the overall cost of customer service by 33%
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.