Measuring customer satisfaction: The 2 most important key figures

Last year, we looked at whether and how the Customer satisfaction can be measured - and that the increased effort pays off! We take up the topic again and present two common Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Customer satisfaction with a company's products or services depends on the extent to which their expectations have been met. The best way to find out is to ask the customers in the course of the Buyer Journey are asked about specific experiences related to a purchase, service or other interaction with a company.

In this way, loyal customers can be identified alongside those who are dissatisfied or undecided. With these and other tools, you can increase your knowledge about your customers and thus permanently improve the customer experience.

The following KPIs can be an important aid in evaluating customer satisfaction.

1. measuring customer satisfaction with the Customer Satisfaction Score

Questioning about the company's performance

The Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is a simple method for quantifying customer satisfaction. In surveys, customers rate their concrete experiences with the services of a company on the basis of a predefined scale. The result is a key figure that expresses the degree of customer satisfaction as a percentage.

Survey to determine the Customer Satisfaction Score

How is the CSAT value determined?

The evaluation is usually done using a survey scale that varies between 1 - 3, 1 - 5 or 1 - 10. The numbers are assigned different meanings, for example 1 = very dissatisfied, 5 = very satisfied. The CSAT score is then calculated using the following formula:

Number of very good and good ratings / number of all ratings * 100 = customer satisfaction in per cent

The motto for customer satisfaction surveys is: the more customers participate, the more meaningful the result. With the help of appropriate software, it is easy to automatically ask customers for their opinion via email after an interaction with the company. You can find a guide to the questions you should ask in this Customer survey.

The timing should be well chosen!

When should the survey be conducted?

  • After key phases of the customer journey
    The optimal time to survey customer satisfaction is when a significant phase in the customer life cycle has been completed. This is when a customer has already decided whether the product has fulfilled their expectations or whether the service has helped to solve their problem.
  • Before renewing the customer relationship
    To maintain a continuous feedback loop, it makes sense to ask customers even when there is no immediate interaction. For example, if a customer receives services on the basis of a contract or subscription, you should ask them in good time before the start of a new service period how satisfied they are with it. This way you will know about possible problems and have enough time to react to them.
  • After direct customer contact
    Furthermore, customer satisfaction can be surveyed immediately after a direct experience with your company. For example, if a customer has had contact with your service support, it is easy to find out how satisfied they were with a short survey. The same applies to information that you make available: If a user of your website reads one of your articles, a single question at the end of the article is sufficient to assess its value.

2. measuring customer satisfaction with the Net Promoter Score

Survey on recommendation of the company

The core of the Net Promoter Score (NPS for short) is the central question: Do your customers recommend your company to others?

On a scale from 0 like "very unlikely" to 10 like "very likely", respondents can give their verdict. In order to also take qualitative aspects into account in the answer, the survey is often supplemented by an open question to find out the background for the assessment given. The method was developed by Satmetrix Systems, Inc, Bain & Company and Fred Reichheld in the USA.

First, the clientele is divided into three categoriesPromoters, passives and detractors.

All customers who have given a 9 or 10 are so-called "customers". Promoters. These respondents are convinced of the products and services offered and would definitely recommend them to others. They are usually regular customers. They are very important for the company because on the one hand they are loyal and on the other hand they also promote externally and provide the necessary positive word of mouth - possibly also in the social networks.

The Passive are the second category among the respondents. Their intention to recommend is 7 or 8, which is still good as they seem quite satisfied with the products and services. However, there is a risk that they will switch to the competition. Thus, neither positive nor negative word of mouth is to be expected.

The last category are the Detractors. This includes all respondents with a rating of 0 to 6. A recommendation of the company is thus very unlikely. Rather, negative criticism is to be expected.

In order to calculate the NPS value, the percentage of respondents who have a value of maximum 6 (Detractors) from the percentage of those who gave a value of 9 or 10. (Promoters) have deducted. The Passive with ratings of 7 and 8 are not considered because they are undecided.

An average NPS in B2B is around 25%.

What is derived from the NPS score?

  • Measures should be introduced for all three groups. Satisfied customers should definitely remain satisfied and continue to be well looked after as regular customers.
  • It is advantageous if passives become even more satisfied, so that they are also completely convinced by the company. Both groups contribute significantly to securing the future.
  • Detractors are primarily concerned with averting greater damage. Here, the optimisation of complaint management can be advantageous.

Differentiation of the different NPS groups for measuring customer satisfaction

Conclusion: Difference between CSAT and NPS

The CSAT represents a snapshot of customer satisfaction and therefore relates to a specific interaction: How satisfied were you with the delivery time/product?

In contrast, the NPS determines the degree of customer loyalty to a company through questions on intentions to act: How likely is it that you will buy or recommend product XY again?

Depending on how the question is formulated, different aspects (quality, service, price, etc.) may be in focus - but ultimately, customer satisfaction surveys are always about the relationship between customer and company.


Table of contents

Author Thomas Fedder

key account manager

Core competencies in his projects are: 

  • Realizing solutions,
  • Services for the successful use of B2B address information in sales and marketing campaigns,
  • Project implementation for contemporary Address Management- and integration solutions in CRM/ERPSystems. 

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