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The Importance of Customer Satisfaction

CSat is a crucial metric for your customer service operation. Do you have the tools in place to measure it?

November 17th, 2016


Becca Le Blond

Measuring customer satisfaction (CSat) is the standard for understanding how customers feel about your customer service (CS). And for good reason. CSat scores are a great indicator of customer loyalty and brand advocacy, both of which affect your sales. Once collected, you can use them to look for improvements in your CS by identifying trends in interactions that lead to low scores.

In this blog, we’re going to talk about measuring customer satisfaction, why it’s important, and how you can improve your CSat score.

How to measure customer satisfaction

Before we dig too deeply into this topic, we first need to answer a fundamental question: what does customer satisfaction measure?

It really is as simple as ‘how happy your customer was with the service they received’.

CSat is usually shown as a percentage, with 100% representing complete satisfaction. To capture this data, brands present customers with a survey at the end of a CS interaction.  The questions in this survey aren’t set in stone, but the very minimum you need to collect CSat is a field asking them to rate your service out of 5 or 10.

Meauring Customer Satisfaction Meauring Customer Satisfaction

We recommend recording this data by operator and by team, as well as an overall score. This amount of visibility lets you recognise high flyers, differences in CSat by channel (e.g. email versus web chat), and trends in clients' CSat over time.

Measuring CSat by Issue Measuring CSat by Issue

Measure against productivity KPI’s

Customer satisfaction is typically analysed against productivity metrics like response time or contacts per hour.

Faster responses lead to happier customers, until responses are being received too quickly to contain enough detail to completely resolve the issue.

Measure CSat and Efficiency for Service Balance Measure CSat and Efficiency for Service Balance

This tipping point is worth identifying in your team (and it does vary by team, there’s no industry standard here). Having this comparison of CSat and productivity readily available makes it easier to identify ways to improve your customer experience, and so your customer satisfaction.

Why is customer satisfaction important?

The importance of customer satisfaction lies in its ability to indicate how loyal your customers are, and how likely they are to be brand advocates. CSat doesn’t measure them directly, but instead serves as a signal of how likely your customers are to prefer, and recommend, your brand.

The UK Customer Satisfaction Index  (UKCSI) of July 2017 found that 92% of customers who gave an organisation a CSat score of 90% or over said they were 90% likely to recommend a brand. But the kicker is how this compares to customers who had a satisfaction score of 80-89% - only 48% of these customers said they were likely to recommend the brand.

The same report also found that supermarkets that had the largest increase in customer satisfaction in the year to July 2017 also saw the largest increase in sales and market share. This, combined with the fact that it costs 5 times more to attract a new customer than it does to retain a current one, makes the benefit of a high CSat score to your bottom line clear.

Customer Satisfaction and Customer Recommendation Customer Satisfaction and Customer Recommendation

How to improve customer satisfaction

Reply to low scores

CSat is great for determining areas that need improving within the business and its products, but it also acts as an early warning system of the quality of advice your operators are giving. If you see low scores you can then assess them pragmatically – was the operator at fault, or did the customer not get the answer they were looking for?

Our Chief Executive Officer, Sally Chandler, found a way to use this level of analysis to increase the same customer’s satisfaction:

“We go back to a customer [that left a low CSat score] and say, ‘you were right to feel let down, and this is what we’re going to do to make it right.’ This makes you look proactive and gives you massive credibility.
We ran a survey that asked, ‘in the event you have had a claim with us are you more likely to come back to us, or not?’ The response from customers who had made a claim was overwhelmingly ‘yes, I’m more likely to come back’ because their complaints were handled so well.”

Speedier resolutions

If you’ve spent enough years in customer service, you’ll have noticed that every time you get busy a lot of the messages you receive are from customers chasing a response to their previous message because they’re frustrated.

It’s a fair assumption that these customers are going to leave a lower CSat score purely for the inconvenience of waiting longer than usual for a response.

Proactively Reply to Customers Proactively Reply to Customers

You can prevent these lower scores by keeping customers updated on the amount of time it will take for them to receive a response.

If it usually takes you less than an hour to reply on Facebook Messenger, but this extends to four hours because of volume, let them know. Customers will then either choose a different channel to contact you, or they’ll know they need to wait a bit longer than usual for a response. This may not influence a customer that was going to leave a low score simply because they had to contact your CS team, but the rest of your customers will appreciate the tip.

Customers will also get faster answers if your team actively chases first contact resolutions (FCR’s). Every 1% increase in FCR rate sees a 1% increase in CSat.

How do you boost FCR rate? Make sure operators are providing full answers that explain the rest of the customer’s journey and anticipating any follow up questions the customer might have.

CSat and FCR CSat and FCR


Customer satisfaction scores are essential to understanding how your CS team is performing. Productivity scores alone can’t tell you how customers perceive the service you provide. Ignoring CSat means you could be losing customers without realising why.

Create reports that show you how CSat changes with other key KPI’s so you can identify trends that lead to low scores. And prevent the loss of customers by proactively contacting them if they’ve left a low CSat score.

Improving customer satisfaction is a constant process, and our tips here will send you on your way to great CS.


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