The Most Important Scores in Measuring Customer Satisfaction

Knowing the what is just as important as knowing the how.

In other words, understanding which metrics measure customer satisfaction best is just as important as going out and obtaining those metrics (the how).

The following are three customer scores that help gauge a customer’s satisfaction level.

Customer Satisfaction Score

Perhaps the most flexible and widely-used is the customer satisfaction score (CSAT).

This score is easily obtained through surveys and feedback forms and predominantly uses questions such as “How would you rate your experience with our sales/customer support/delivery/etc…?”, in order to get a definitive customer satisfaction levels.

The benefits of this score are as follows:

Versatility: Questions can relate to all client interactions.

Immediacy: A company or business can know right now how the customer feels about their interactions with them.

One of the biggest drawbacks of this score, however, is that it only measures short-term customer satisfaction and cannot measure long-term satisfaction and how it relates to business growth over the long haul.

Another major drawback is the biased nature of the questions as most mildly-satisfied and unsatisfied customers tend to respond more positively to “how do you feel” questions, which can affect the metrics in favor of the positive.


Net Promoter Score

The net promoter score or NPS is the best score to use when trying to figure out customer satisfaction and how it relates to long-term growth.

NPS measures how willing a customer is in recommending a brand’s product or service to their friends, family, and peers.

The information for coming up with this score can also be obtained through surveys and customer feedback forms.

The score uses a numerical scale to measure customer willingness.

While the numerical values can range as high as low as 1 and as high as 100, the typical NPS range is 1-10.

Here is an example of an NPS question:

“On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend our product/service to a family member?”

The higher the number, the more likely a customer is to recommend the product, which ultimately tells the business that they did a good job in promoting customer satisfaction.


Customer Effort Score

While the other two scores measure both short-term customer satisfaction and long-term customer growth, the customer effort score (CET) goes one step further and measures customer loyalty.

It is proven that a customer who is satisfied with a brand’s product and service and who says that they are likely to recommend the company to their peers in the future, does not necessarily equate to a loyal customer.

The reason is that the two parameters of current customer happiness and willingness to suggest a product or service do not deal with how easy or hard it was for the customer to obtain a product, get their questions answered, or their problems solved.

Sometimes, it is better to make the customer’s life easier than to put more effort into satisfying them.

Here is where CES scores and questions come into play.

Allowing the customer to add additional comments to standard customer satisfaction questions can uncover areas of a business that make the customer work harder to get what they want.

Adding an additional comments box under a customer satisfaction question where they can vent their frustrations and express suggestions and concerns is invaluable to producing higher levels of customer loyalty.

“The customer support was helpful; however, if there were an FAQ section on the website, I would not have had to even call for an answer.”