Explaining CSAT [+ How to Measure It & Example Questions]

CSAT survey concept

When designing a customer survey, there are many customer satisfaction metrics to choose from. Perhaps the most popular is CSAT. 

Unlike other metrics such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Effort Score (CES), customer satisfaction (CSAT) can cover everything from rating an overall experience with your company to rating very specific categories.

In this article, we'll answer frequently asked questions about CSAT including:

Looking to measure CSAT for your company? Our customer satisfaction survey company can help. Get a quote from Drive Research by completing an online contact form or emailing [email protected].

What does CSAT mean?

CSAT stands for "Customer Satisfaction." It is a common metric used by companies to measure how satisfied their customers are with their products, services, or overall customer experience.

A high CSAT score means that customers are happy with the company's offerings and are likely to be repeat customers or recommend the company to others.

Additionally, companies use CSAT scores to identify areas for improvement and to track changes in customer satisfaction over time.

How is CSAT measured?

CSAT scores are usually measured by conducting customer satisfaction surveys or questionnaires where customers are asked to rate their satisfaction level on a scale of 1-5 or 1-10.

The anchors in the rating scales range from very unsatisfied to very satisfied.

example CSAT survey question

After the data is collected, buckets are created which group respondents into dissatisfied, neutral, and satisfied groups.

The common CSAT groupings on the 1 to 10 scale are as follows:

  1. Dissatisfied are those rating you a 1 to 3
  2. Neutral are those rating you a 4 to 7
  3. Satisfied are those rating you an 8 to 10

How can I conduct a CSAT study?

Customer satisfaction surveys come in many shapes and sizes. They can be conducted by mail, by email, through an online link, and through the telephone. 

Although, CSAT studies are most commonly completed online. That's because online surveys are the most cost-effective market research methodology and can be completed quickly. 

Below is the process our customer satisfaction survey company follows to measure CSAT for clients.

online survey process

1. Proposal

Although it may seem less expensive and better to manage a customer satisfaction survey in-house, think about the benefits of using a third party.

Usage of an outside customer satisfaction survey company can save you time and ensure results are unbiased.

These third-party market research companies can lend their experience and expertise to the process.

And the best customer satisfaction firms will work with you to customize an approach, methodology, and questions for the CSAT survey.

The scope of work will come to your business in the form of a proposal.

This proposal will include details on the process, timeline, and exact cost.

2. Kickoff

Once the proposal is accepted, you'll then have a kickoff meeting to cover the main objectives.

The core benefit of a kickoff meeting is for the CSAT company to learn about your needs, goals, and end results desired from the project.

Following the meeting, the consultant should prepare a project workplan for both teams.

3. Drafting the CSAT survey

The first step of the setup for the market research company is to write a draft survey document.

This survey should reflect the objectives from the kickoff meeting.

A good CSAT survey is a combination of customized questions and standard questions recommended by the consultant.

The market research company will design the survey for you and send you a test link if the survey is completed online or through email.

This gives you an opportunity to review the look and feel before it is finalized.

4. Soft launch the CSAT study

At Drive Research, we always recommend a soft-launch phase to test the survey before fieldwork begins.

This ensures the process is working correctly and respondents are comprehending the questions before sending invitations to all.

There is no rush in testing CSAT surveys to ensure they will meet objectives, and there are multiple opportunities to change or improve aspects before the survey reaches your entire customer base. 

5. Fieldwork

Now the fun begins. Once the survey is live and the data rolls in, you can begin getting an idea of the results.

Most customer survey companies will offer clients live data look-ins. This has become standard practice in recent years.

This data submitted from customers is up-to-the-second feedback.

Clients have the ability to go into the dashboard, filter, and customize looks at the data.

Drive Research customer survey portal

Use our interactive link to see how the client portal works

All surveys inevitably have respondents who have an issue or question about the survey.

These can be submitted directly to your third-party firm managing the survey rather than you. This saves you time and allows you to focus on other priorities.

All surveys (either online or by email) include at least 1 or 2 follow-up reminder emails.

Although the majority of your survey completes will be collected in the first 24 hours of the initial invite, you will see some bumps in responses after your 1st and 2nd reminders.

Recommended Reading: Basic Tips When Sending an Email Customer Survey

6. Data Cleaning

After the target number of respondents is reached, the data is prepared to be analyzed and reported on. 

It's important to clean the data which involves going through the set to ensure responses are accurate. 

Here are a few CSAT survey data cleaning tips from our market research company:

  • Check for duplicate entries if there are responses from the same email addresses or IP addresses.
  • Straightliners who answered multiple questions in a row the same way
  • Illogical or erroneous answers in open-ended responses
  • Speeders or laggards whose completion times vary greatly from the average

Cleaning data ensures accuracy in responses so insights that are reported on are most impactful for your business.

7. Survey analysis

This is the portion of a CSAT study where a firm can add significant value.

A good customer satisfaction survey company will go beyond the data for you and dig into the insights, interpretations, and analysis of the results.

They will provide you with a themed executive summary, recommendations, infographics, and a question-by-question breakdown of results.

This all comes in the report package for most.

8. Reporting

A comprehensive report includes cross-tabulations among key customer segments, geographies, ages, and other areas.

Although based on the cost of a customer satisfaction survey, a topline report may be more suitable for tighter budgets.

topline vs. comprehensive report packages

9. Debrief meeting

Lastly, rather than passing you a data dump of Excel tables and a banner book, the market research firm will pull out key data points and walk you through the findings in a debriefing meeting.

This meeting helps clarify CSAT survey findings in the report and gives you the opportunity to ask any additional questions.

After this meeting, the market research firm will make any necessary revisions and corrections to the draft report before sending a final copy.

Why is CSAT important to measure?

Customer-centric companies, ones that prioritize feedback and customer experience, are 60% more profitable than organizations that do not. 

That's because the best way to cater directly to customers is to talk to them directly and learn what they are looking for from your organization. 

Advantages to measuring CSAT include:

1. Identifying areas of improvement

CSAT is one of the most effective market research metrics to understand customer needs. Respondents may bring up pain points during their customer experience, giving your organization an opportunity for growth. 

When it comes to changing business processes or altering strategy, CSAT surveys eliminate guesswork. You receive data-backed recommendations to solve whatever problem customers face. 

The faster you enact changes, the more effective they will be on future customer satisfaction.

Even more so, calculating CSAT scores more regularly can later prove a return on investment. 

Recommended Reading: The Benefits of Continuous Customer Feedback Surveys

2. Understanding drivers of awareness 

CSAT surveys measure more than customer satisfaction. They can also help organizations understand their customers' perceptions, priorities, and values.

These insights can be applied to all aspects of the business including marketing. 

Respondents may give feedback about the messaging of your brand or their personal 

For example, it can inform marketing considerations like which social media platforms to utilize and what content they are looking for. 

3. Understanding brand differentiators 

By measuring CSAT and other customer satisfaction metrics, organizations can identify brand differentiators or pain points directly from customers.

This information can give your company a competitive edge and can build customer loyalty. 

For example, respondents may share that the customer service at your business has been the best part of their experience. That factor could then be used to position your product or service against competitors. 

These factors should be taken seriously because they could build customer loyalty and improve customer retention

What are example CSAT survey questions?

A question our customer survey firm often hears is, "Should I include a follow-up question after I ask CSAT?" As is the case with both CES and NPS, always include some type of follow-up question to obtain both measurement and exploratory data.

Without a follow-up open-ended or categorized question asking the respondent to explain the rating of a "7" you will understand you have a mediocre customer satisfaction score, but not understand why?

A detailed follow-up question will provide you with actionable improvement data to raise the CSAT measurement.

Other examples of CSAT survey questions include:

  1. How satisfied are you with your overall experience with our product/service?
  2. How would you rate the quality of our product/service?
  3. Did our product/service meet your expectations?
  4. How easy was it to use our product/service?
  5. How responsive were our customer support representatives?
  6. How likely are you to recommend our product/service to a friend or colleague?
  7. Did our product/service solve your problem?
  8. How timely was our delivery/service?
  9. How well did our product/service meet your specific needs?
  10. How likely are you to purchase from us again in the future?

Want to narrow it down? Here are the best customer satisfaction survey questions our market research team recommends asking.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, measuring CSAT is crucial for businesses to improve their products and services.

CSAT surveys provide valuable feedback from customers, which can help companies identify areas of improvement and enhance the overall customer experience.

By asking the right questions and analyzing the results, companies can make data-driven decisions that positively impact customer loyalty and retention.

It's important for businesses to prioritize customer satisfaction as it leads to increased revenue and helps them stay ahead of the competition.

Ultimately, CSAT surveys are a powerful tool for companies to gain insights into customer behavior and preferences and drive growth and success in the long term.

Contact Our CSAT Survey Company

Drive Research is a national market research company that helps company measure and analyze key customer satisfaction metrics such as CSAT, NPS, CES, and more. Whether you're looking to measure customer satisfaction through online surveys, phone surveys, or focus groups - our market research team can help.

To learn more about our services or get a quote for a CSAT survey, contact Drive Research today.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

Author Bio George Kuhn

George Kuhn

George is the Owner & President of Drive Research. He has consulted for hundreds of regional, national, and global organizations over the past 15 years. He is a CX-certified VoC professional with a focus on innovation and new product management.

Learn more about George, here.

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