These Are 5 Customer Satisfaction Metrics You Really Need!

Customer Satisfaction

In this post:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Customer Effort Score
  • Customer Churn Rate
  • Net Promoter Score
  • Customer Service Satisfaction

Knowing how customers feel about your brand is *everything*. 

But it’s never easy to translate that feeling into a number you can act on. 

Today, let’s check out five customer satisfaction metrics you can’t live without in the inbound call center.  

#1 Customer Satisfaction (CSat)

CSat is probably the most basic metric you can measure. This measurement will tell you how happy customers are in a general way. 

How to measure CSat

It’s pretty straightforward. The first thing to do is ask your customers to rate you, ideally on a scale of 1-3. 

Your next step is to divide the number of positive responses by the total number of responses and multiply by 100. 

The resulting number is a percentage that represents your satisfied customers. 

On a 1-3 scale, 3 is a positive response. 

What’s great about CSat?

  • It’s quick and easy to discover
  • It’s easy for customers too, so response rates are often high
  • You get a clear target for customer service

What’s not great about CSat?

  • Because it isn’t standardized, CSat is good for benchmarking
  • There are cultural differences which lead some people to score differently
  • This metric isn’t considered especially precise

#2 Customer Effort Score (CES)

The best thing about CES is that it measures something specific – the effort involved in dealing with your business. (You can boost this with simple strategies to improve First Contact Resolution.)

How to measure CES

You calculate CES by asking customers how easy or hard it was to get what they needed. 

Give customers a scale of 1-5 where 1 is very easy and 5 is very hard.

You can then figure out your effort score by dividing the sum of those scores by the total number of respondents. 

Remember, the effort is bad! You’re looking for the lowest possible score. 

What’s great about CES?

  • It gives you a clear target: making service smoother
  • CES is a good predictor of satisfaction
  • You can get granular by measuring the effort for different tools or agents

What’s not great about CES?

  • CES doesn’t measure broadly 
  • No standardization means it can’t be benchmarked 
  • Easy encounters can still be negative!

#3 Customer Churn Rate (CCR)

You may not think of churn rate as a customer satisfaction metric. But if you think about it, customer loyalty is probably the ideal way to discover whether customers like you. 

How to measure CCR 

You don’t need to survey customers to reach this number. In fact, you should already have access to this data.

All you need to know is:

  • How many customers did you have at the beginning of a defined period*
  • How many customers did you have at the end of the defined period
  • How many customers did you lose during the defined period

(*You choose what the ‘defined period’ is. Businesses usually like to measure by financial quarter.)

Here’s the equation:

Add the customers you already had to the customers you acquired. That’s your first total. 

Then, divide the customers you lost by that first total. Time the result by 100. The result is your churn rate!

(A good churn rate is usually below 8% – but it depends on your industry!)

What’s great about CCR?

  • It helps you to identify broad patterns in customer satisfaction
  • It’s linked closely to your revenue
  • It’s *very* easy to benchmark

What’s not great about CCR?

  • It doesn’t tell you anything about the satisfaction of individual customers
  • Your attempts to reduce churn could cost more than customers are worth…
  • Non-subscription businesses have trouble defining ‘churn’

#4 Net Promoter Score (NPS)

We couldn’t leave NPS off this list! 

In theory, NPS should tell you whether customers would recommend your product or services  to others. 

How to measure NPS

We need to cover a few steps here.

Step 1. You’re going to ask a specific question: “how likely are you to recommend us to friends and family?”

There’s a little wiggle room with the wording but not much. If you do deviate from the wording, your score won’t really represent NPS. 

Step 2. Ask customers to rate you on a scale from 0 to 10. Again, you can’t deviate from this – it has to be 0-10 (Not 1-10!)

Step 3. Group your scores into these three groups:

  1. Detractors – unhappy people  
  2. Passives – neutral people  
  3. Promoters – happy people  

Step 4. Subtract the detractors from the promoters. Divide by the total number of responses and times by 100. (Here’s a great NPS calculator.)

The result will be a score between -100 and +100. You want a high number. 

What’s great about NPS?

  • NPS is super easy to benchmark
  • It’s also easy to track
  • NPS correlates with business growth

What’s not great about NPS?

  • NPS groups customers with varied opinions (customers who scores you 0 rank the same as those who rank you 6)
  • People may rate you low because the question is… strange. I might like my broadband provider, but would I recommend them to friends?
  • The approach to scoring means that there are always different ways to reach the same score

#5 Customer Service Satisfaction (CSS)

CSS is a little different from CSat. Where CSat is about the complete experience of your business, CSS only looks at specific interactions. 

Businesses usually approach this by putting a CSS question at the end of a phone call or a web chat. 

How to measure CSS 

CSS uses a very simple scale, usually 1-5.

You can use the results in one of two way:

  1. Split the results into ‘positive’ and ‘negative’. Divide positive responses by the total number of responses and times by 100. The result is the percentage of positive responses. 
  2. Add all the scores together and divide by the total number of responses. That gives you the (mean) average score. 

What’s great about CSS?

  • It sums up the effectiveness of specific touchpoints
  • It often sees high participation  
  • CSS pinpoints friction points

What’s not great about CSS

  • It doesn’t contextualize low scores
  • CSS can’t shine light on broader product issues
  • It often misses problems with multi-channel journeys
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