Three Measures of Customer Satisfaction Compared

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It is a difficult task to gauge customer satisfaction without some form of survey to do so. However, understanding the extent to which your customer base is happy with your services is integral to your company’s success.

For this reason, multiple tools have been created to help companies to measure their levels of customer satisfaction. This article examines the pros and cons of three of these tools: the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), the Customer Effort Score (CES) and the Net Promoter Score (NPS).

The Customer Satisfaction Score

The CSAT is the “traditional” method for measuring customer satisfaction – the tool allows you to measure how products and services supplied by your company meet or surpass customer expectation.

The survey works by allowing customers to express his/her satisfaction for a certain topic on a score from 1-5. You can create your own survey or use a provided template, follow your customer satisfaction levels and get results in real-time. This tool is an excellent way to identify what your company is doing right, and for revealing areas for improvement.

Once you have collected this information, you can implement follow-up surveys in your organisation to improve your Customer Satisfaction Score.

The Customer Effort Score

The CES tool was created based on research by CEB (creators of the CES) is the extent to which the customer has to put in effort when interacting with your company can either increase or decrease their satisfaction levels.

According to the research conducted by CEB, “Service organisations create loyal customers primarily by reducing customer effort – that is, by helping them solve their problems quickly and easily – not by delighting them in service interactions.”

On this basis, the CES includes two key questions to measure satisfaction. The first is “How much effort did you personally have to put forth to handle your request?” on a 5-point scale from very low effort (1) to very high effort (5).

The second version of the question is a disagreement/agreement rating question: “The organisation made it easy for me to handle my issue.”

The Net Promoter Score

Lastly, in 2003 the NPS tool was introduced as a tool for measuring customer satisfaction. The NPS focuses on measuring long-term happiness and customer loyalty. NPS is claimed to be a better predictor of customer behaviour than CSAT, and strongly correlated with measures of company growth.

The NPS assesses to what extent a respondent would recommend a certain company, product or service to his friends, relatives or colleagues. The idea is simple: if you like using a certain product or doing business with a particular company, you like to share this experience with others. Specifically, the respondent is asked the following “ultimate” question: “How likely are you to recommend company/brand/product X to a friend/colleague/relative?”

Customers are given the option to answer this question on an 11-point rating scale, ranging from 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely).

This type of tool is useful because it gives your organisation an unambiguous number that is easy to understand for all employees and useful as input for managers to steer the company.

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Melanie - Unleashed Software

Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.

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