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Customer Satisfaction Score

What is Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score – Definition, Calculation, Benefits, and More

Jan 27, 2022

11 mins read

Manisha Khandelwal


What is Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score – Definition, Calculation, Benefits, and More

What is CSAT Score: The Meaning

What is the customer satisfaction score aka CSAT score? How do you measure it? Is it worth your and your customers’ time? What are the benefits of calculating the CSAT score?

Let’s get all these questions answered under one roof. So, let’s start with….

Customer Satisfaction Score, commonly known as CSAT Score, is a business metric used by companies to gauge customer satisfaction after a certain interaction or on the overall experience of the customer. 

It is a strong indicator of customer retention and product repurchase. It helps you understand customers’ needs, identify their sentiments toward your products or brand, and segment them based on their expectations of you. 

The collected responses help you evaluate why a customer like your product, why they prefer you over your competitors, and what are experiences you should reinforce to encourage customer loyalty and retention. But why is it important…

What is the importance of the CSAT Score?

Did you know that customers with positive experiences talk about it with 9 people on average? On the other hand, customers with negative experiences share their experiences with an average of 16 people.

Satisfied customers return and buy more from you. They are the ones that tell others about how incredibly happy they are to be with you. 

In fact, as per the stats, onboarding a new customer costs 5 times more than retaining an existing one! 

So, stick to them.  

Perspective On CSAT score

Sharing her perspective on the Customer Satisfaction Score, Shari Smith, Founder of Shari Sells says, “I believe that the customer satisfaction score leads the business to success. It is the measurement of how your products and services impact customer expectations. It will be the basis that you can use to measure success in giving your customers the highest level of service you could offer.

Oftentimes, a customer who gives high customer satisfaction ratings towards a brand tends to promote and recommend the brand to his colleagues, family, and friends resulting in an increased conversion rate and higher revenue.”

Before calculating the CSAT Score, let’s dive into the types of Customer Satisfaction Score questions you can ask your customer.

Types of CSAT survey questions

Customer satisfaction is an emotional response of the customer to any interaction with the brand. That is why it is imperative to take the survey just after the key moment to get unbiased and honest responses. 

The CSAT Score questions help you evaluate customers’ sentiments towards the interaction. So, while designing a Customer Satisfaction Score survey, make sure that you frame the questions and use words such that they are unbiased, precise, and apt to acquire honest feedback.

Let’s get into it!

  • Rating scale questions

These are the type of CSAT questions that give the respondents a numeric scale such as 1 to 5 to choose from. The rating scale gives your audience a range to choose from during the CSAT score survey. You can use this to get reviews on your product, customer support, or new features.

rating scale is a csat score question type

  • Binary scale questions

These are the type of CSAT questions that give the respondents one of two possible answers. For example, a yes or no, or thumbs up or thumbs down. This can be used where you need an absolute reaction such as if your customer got support from your customer experience team, or if he found what he was looking for in the help article.

binary scale is csat score question type

  • Likert scale questions

These are the type of CSAT questions that give the respondents a 5 or 7-point scale where 1 is the lowest number and 5/7 is the highest number. Likert Scale Questions are used to evaluate the customer’s sentiments towards the product. Here 1 and 7 are extreme emotions, 2 and 4 are moderate, and 3 is neutral.

likert scale is a csat score question type

  • Semantic differential questions

Similar to Likert Scale questions, these also give the respondents a 5 or 7-point scale however the semantics of the options offered are more descriptive. It allows the user to choose an answer that represents their opinion the best.

semantic differential question is a csat score question type

SurveySensum enables you to ask the right question at the right time.  Try these custom CSAT questions now!

Now that you will collect the responses using the types of CSAT questions given above, here’s how you can calculate the CSAT score.



How to calculate the CSAT score?

You can calculate your CSAT score by dividing all the positive responses you have received by the total number of responses. Multiply the result by 100 and you will get your CSAT percent.

Let’s calculate the Customer Satisfaction Score of the following question, 

how to calculate csat score

In the above question, 1 map to the extremely dissatisfied, 2 to the moderately dissatisfied, 3 to the neutral, 4 to the moderately satisfied, and 5 to the extremely satisfied sentiment of the customer with the product.

Let’s say you gather the responses of 100 people. Here 65 people have chosen options 4 or 5. So according to the CSAT score formula, which is:

CSAT score % =(Number of positive responses / Number of total responses) x 100

Your Customer Satisfaction Score would be

(65/ 100) * 100 = 65% 

You can do this for all types of Customer Satisfaction Score questions!

Till now, we’ve covered what type of questions you should ask, the CSAT score formula, and how you can calculate the Customer Satisfaction Score from it.

Now let’s discuss, when should you send a CSAT survey

When should you send a CSAT survey?

Custom satisfaction surveys are quick and effortless surveys that gather in-the-moment feedback at key touchpoints across the customer journey and analyze the performance at each touchpoint. 

It can be a major business ally when used strategically and deployed at important points of customer interactions. But the timing of sending the surveys is very important. 

Your customer’s experiences should be recent and fresh in their mind so that they can give you honest and unbiased answers. 

Let’s take a typical example of a B2B SaaS journey from awareness to purchase to renewal.

when to send csat survey

  • After webinar

Sending a CSAT survey after the webinar allows you to evaluate your webinar’s success and assess if the customer has moved from the awareness to the consideration stage.

send csat survey after webinar

  • After product purchase

Sending a CSAT survey after selling the product and before handing over the customer to the customer success manager helps you evaluate your after-sales performance. 

  • After onboarding

Sending a survey after the onboarding helps you evaluate the customer’s onboarding experience and if there is anything that you need to improve and where. 

send csat survey after onboarding

  • Product feature adoption

Sending a CSAT survey after the release of any product update gives you insights into how well are your customers adopting the new features and if they are liking them. You can do this using an in-app survey only after the user has tried the feature.

  • After customer support

Sending a CSAT survey right after a customer interaction is the most efficient and simplest way to understand how effective your customer support is and if your customers are getting the support they are looking for.

send csat survey after customer support session

  • Before renewal/ repurchase

Sending a CSAT survey before a certain period of renewal will help you identify how happy your customers are with your product. And if they are unhappy, it gives you enough time to evaluate their feedback and take the required actions on it.

send csat survey before renewal or repurchase



But why should you calculate the CSAT score at all? 

Here’s why…

  • It helps you prevent customer churn proactively

The only way to prevent customer loss is to first know that they are going to leave. Even today customer exit comes as a shock to many, and yes there are budgetary constraints responsible in many cases. However, a lack of customer satisfaction with the company is still the leading cause of customer churn.

CSAT surveys help you proactively prevent customer churn by sharing customer issues with you. The best way to know is by asking the customer directly. A simple question with straightforward answer options can go a long way in giving you the right insights at the right time to ensure customer continuity.

  • It helps you increase revenue generation from existing customers

CSAT surveys give you a clear picture of your customer sentiments. It helps you monitor their happiness and tells you who is satisfied with your product, who is extremely happy, and who is facing issues with it. It helps your customer success team to ensure that your customers are going up on the satisfaction ladder.

When a customer shifts from the score of unsatisfied to satisfied, this customer is much more likely to renew their account in the next billing cycle. This improvement of the CSAT score is directly responsible for generating more revenue from existing customers.

  • It helps in creating customer communities for product UX tests

Satisfied customers who have renewed their accounts for more than two years are an excellent source for product UX and feature feedback. They trust your brand and are loyal to it.

Connect them with the community managers typically from your UX and customer success team, and get their live feedback on an upcoming product or service update. Not only does it help you build customer-validated features, your customers feel exclusive, important, and heard.

CSAT vs NPS – The difference you should know about!

Well, there’s a lot of debate around this topic. CSAT score vs NPS, what makes them different? So let me simplify it for you.

While the NPS talks about loyalty and can be asked after a certain point in the customer journey, the CSAT score can be asked any time, after any interaction, at any touchpoint. 

For instance, after the first interaction with your customer, you can not ask ‘How likely are you to recommend us?’ but you can ask ‘How satisfied are you with the call?’ 

Customer Satisfaction Score helps you from the very start of the customer journey and plays a critical role in understanding your customers’ feelings about your product and brand.

At last, some key takeaways

  • Map your survey feedback with your operational data. This will prevent you from asking the questions you already know the answer to. 
  • Segment your audience based on their feedback such as who is responding and who is not responding before taking any strategic decisions.
  • CSAT surveys gather an emotional and behavioral response of the customer towards your brand. So focus on building relationships and try to win them!
  • Customer Satisfaction Score helps you find out what your customers are expecting from you. Bridging that expectations gap directly leads to a boost in customer loyalty.

quote on csat score survey

Dennis Bell, Founder and CEO at Byblos Coffee says, “Conducting a simple Customer Satisfaction Score survey helps in evaluating the customers’ experience. Improvements are necessary whatever the result is, to ensure a better customer experience in the future. The good thing about these surveys is that you can understand what they feel and identify areas for improvement. You’ll make your customers satisfied as their experience gets better.”

Let’s conclude

Considered to be the most straightforward and simplistic quantitative metric of all, the Customer Satisfaction Score helps you in predicting the customers’ happiness.

Measuring customer satisfaction is only useful if you are making use of feedback. When your customers are investing their time in taking your survey and sharing their thoughts with you, they expect something in return. Respond to them and keep them engaged. This is your chance to show them that you are listening to them and caring about them.


Manisha Khandelwal

Senior Content Marketer at SurveySensum

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