Categories Articles, Service

For some people working in the service industry, measuring customer satisfaction is difficult.

Let’s use a local pizza shop as an example. The guy who runs it has a couple ways of telling if customers are satisfied. He looks for smiles and listens for thank you’s.

But some dissatisfied customers fly under his radar. Like that woman who ordered a pepperoni pizza for delivery, but had a red pepper pizza show up at her door. It wasn’t what she ordered, but she ate it anyway because she was hungry.

She was dissatisfied. But the pizza guy had no idea because it’s not in his place to survey customers after each interaction — that would be a little much.

However, you’re not the local pizza guy. You’re a customer service manager running a team of reps. You use software like Zendesk or Salesforce Service Cloud to manage your interactions with clients. You have the ability to measure the satisfaction of your customers, and you should be taking advantage of it.

What is Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score?

Customer satisfaction score is just what it sounds like — it’s a way of measuring how satisfied your customers are with your service. It allows customer service managers to conduct quality checks and ensure that they are making customers happy.

How is CSAT score calculated?

The first step in calculating your customer satisfaction is surveying your customers at the end of each interaction. The survey consists of one straightforward question: “How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the service you received?” Customers are asked to quantify their satisfaction on a scale from 1 (very dissatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied), but scales can vary. These scores are then averaged and translated into a percentage, with 0% being complete dissatisfaction and 100% being complete satisfaction.

Most CSAT surveys will provide an optional field where customers can justify their score and explain their reasoning. This is an effective way to get customer feedback, and it won’t turn people off from responding to your survey.

Other CSAT surveys will include multiple questions to get a better sense of the customer experience. But listing too many questions can be a nuisance for customers, and it may cause them to skip your survey. You’ll get more responses to your surveys if you keep it brief.

Why does CSAT score matter?

Customer satisfaction is an essential to customer service team, but without surveying customers, it’s virtually impossible to quantify. Tracking your customer satisfaction score allows you to accurately measure short-term happiness. You can (and should) leverage this information to manage your team more efficiently.

By looking at the long-term trend of your customer satisfaction score, you can analyze the effectiveness of your service over time. If your CSAT score is increasing over time, that’s great! It means you’re satisfying more customers. But if your CSAT score is decreasing, it’s a sign that you’re doing something wrong. Thankfully, there are ways you can get your CSAT score back on track.

The Ultimate Guide to First Contact Resolution »

How can you improve your CSAT score?

1. Simplify Your Survey

Before trying to improve your CSAT score, you should make sure that your survey is optimized for user experience. Customers can be confused or intimidated by long surveys. You’ll get better results if you make your survey simple. Ask one straightforward question right after each case has been resolved. Don’t send a 10-question survey a week later.

You can make your survey really simple for customers by asking them to give a thumbs up if they’re satisfied or a thumbs down if they’re dissatisfied. If you use a numerical scale, be sure to label the ends of the spectrum accordingly. Use green and red fonts to represent good and bad experiences, respectively. Simplifying your CSAT survey will lower the barrier to entry, increasing your overall sample size and accuracy. Just make sure that your data is statistically significant before diving into the analysis.

2. Make a Last(ing) Impression

After your survey has been optimized, you can work on improving the actual customer experience. One easy way to improve customer satisfaction is to make an effort to end each interaction on a positive note. This should involve apologizing for the hassle, showing your appreciation for their time, understanding and business, and asking if there’s anything else they need help with. Your closing should have some sort of consistent structure, but avoid canned responses that lack sincerity. Use the customer’s name to remind them that they are being treated like the real human being they are.

3. Ask for More Feedback

Sometimes, it can be difficult to find ways to improve customer satisfaction. But there are always more customers who have valuable insights that they haven’t given to you. It’s up to you to go fishing, not for compliments, but for criticisms. In your survey, after asking customers how satisfied they are, you should provide a form where they can type out a response. You have a few different options here. It’s most common to ask customers to explain why they gave you the score that they did. You can pick more customers’ brains by phrasing your question/statement more clearly. For example, you could ask: “What could we have done differently to improve your experience?” By being upfront about what you’re asking, customers will provide you with more insightful responses.

4. Act on Feedback

Take advantage of the qualitative responses customers provide you with in their surveys. Read each and every suggestion, question, and comment written by customers. This database is a goldmine. Keep a running document of the most useful and actionable feedback you have received from customers. Make an effort to address issues and improve the customer experience. For example, if a customer tells you that they had a hard time finding your phone number on your website, then you should add a clearly visible button to your front page. Some customers may even have deeper insights that are incredibly valuable, such as suggesting that you create a knowledge base because they had a few simple questions that they shouldn’t have had to call you about.

Customer satisfaction score is one of the most telling customer service metrics. It’s an easy way to gain quantitative and qualitative feedback from customers about their experience. If you don’t measure your CSAT score, you’ll never really know how many of your customers are satisfied with your service. Keeping tabs on your CSAT score will open your eyes to the customer experience and allow you to pinpoint areas where you can improve.

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Collin Burke
Collin is a Marketing Associate at InsightSquared. He studied anthropology and geology at Bowdoin College before starting his marketing career. Follow him on Twitter @CollinABurke.
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