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Learn how to use CSAT and NPS to fine-tune customer feedback programs. Review best practices for applying each metric throughout the customer journey.


Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) are key metrics for assessing customer experiences. CSAT measures customer satisfaction with specific services or products, while NPS tracks customer loyalty through recommendations.

Companies often combine CSAT and NPS metrics into Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs to enable precise tracking of customer sentiments and trends. This direct feedback informs strategic decisions, helping to refine your customer experience strategy effectively and efficiently.

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) measures a customer's immediate satisfaction with a product, service, or interaction. Companies usually aim to capture customer [feedback] right after they engage with them, allowing them to gauge and respond to feedback quickly. 

Net Promoter Score (NPS) assesses customer loyalty and the likelihood that a customer would recommend a company to others. It provides a broader view of customer sentiment over a longer period of time, indicating the overall health of customer relationships and brand perception.

CSAT captures in-the-moment feelings, while NPS reflects an ongoing commitment to your company. Both are crucial for understanding your customer experience. A satisfied customer may not necessarily be a loyal advocate.

To calculate your CSAT score, count the total number of satisfied (ratings of 4) and very satisfied (ratings of 5) customers, then divide by the total number of survey responses. Multiply by 100 to get the percentage.

CSAT equation

A good CSAT score typically exceeds 80%, indicating high customer satisfaction. However, this benchmark varies across industries, with sectors like full-service restaurants averaging around 80%, while internet service providers might average only 64%.

You calculate NPS by subtracting the percentage of detractors (customers who score 0-6) from the percentage of promoters (customers who score 9-10).

nps equation

An NPS score above 0 is generally positive, but a score above 50 is excellent, and above 70 is considered world-class. However, these standards can vary significantly by industry. 

SurveyMonkey Benchmarks is an excellent resource for measuring your CSAT and NPS performance against global averages across many industries.

Choosing between CSAT and NPS is about understanding which fits your needs at different customer journey points. Both metrics offer unique insights that, when combined, provide a comprehensive view of customer experience and loyalty.

Deploy CSAT surveys to gauge immediate reactions to specific interactions or products. For example, after a customer support call, you might send a CSAT survey to assess satisfaction with the service received. This metric helps pinpoint areas needing quick fixes or immediate attention.

Use NPS to measure broader sentiment and long-term loyalty across your customer base. This survey is typically not tied to any particular interaction, making it ideal for periodic evaluations that reflect the overall health of customer relationships. Companies often deploy NPS surveys quarterly to gauge the strength of their brand loyalty and customer advocacy.

To integrate CSAT and NPS effectively, start by using CSAT to address specific, immediate customer interactions and NPS to gauge long-term loyalty and overall sentiment. Analyze both sets of data to identify how short-term satisfaction influences long-term loyalty. 

For example, an online retail store might use CSAT to refine various touchpoints (checkout, delivery, customer service, etc.) while employing quarterly NPS to assess overall brand loyalty among shoppers, ensuring that improvements in specific interactions contribute to lasting customer relationships.

Creating an effective VoC program involves strategically using CSAT and NPS to capture insightful feedback that drives better business decisions. These tools allow you to measure and improve customer experience by focusing on immediate satisfaction and long-term loyalty. 

Start by defining clear objectives for your VoC program—what customer insights do you need, and how will they drive strategic actions? 

Utilize CSAT to get quick feedback on direct customer interactions, such as after a purchase or customer service call. This metric helps identify immediate areas for improvement. 

Use NPS to measure overall customer sentiment and loyalty over extended periods. NPS helps understand broader trends and predict customer behavior. 

Both metrics should align with overarching business goals, ensuring every piece of feedback contributes to a strategic purpose.

To harness the full potential of CSAT and NPS:

  1. Integrate both relational and transactional metrics into your VoC program.
  2. For CSAT, focus on transaction-specific questions that gauge satisfaction at various touch points across the customer journey.
  3. For NPS, broader relationship-based questions should be incorporated to reflect the customer's brand perception.

This dual approach lets you capture detailed feedback on specific experiences while tracking general feelings toward your company over time. Analyzing how these metrics interact can reveal deeper insights, helping to refine customer experience strategies and drive meaningful business outcomes.

Smiling person talking on a headset next to smiling emojis

By implementing these practices, you can maximize the effectiveness of your CSAT and NPS metrics, turning customer feedback into actionable insights that drive business success.

Follow-up questions are an opportunity to understand the why behind CSAT and NPS scores. Always include a follow-up question in your surveys. For a CSAT question, you might ask, "What could we do better?" For NPS, try, "What do you enjoy about our service?" This strategy pinpoints precisely what to improve or continue doing.

Link survey responses to specific actions within your Customer Engagement Tools (CEM). For example, the SurveyMonkey and Salesforce integration lets you automatically trigger surveys and implement measures to prevent churn. This action ensures timely resolutions and shows customers that their feedback leads to real change.

High satisfaction in one area doesn't imply overall happiness. Scrutinize even high scores to discover underlying issues or missed expectations. Maintain a proactive stance, always looking for improvement.

Segment CSAT and NPS data by customer type, product line, or service area. This approach reveals nuanced insights and helps tailor strategies to specific segments, enhancing the effectiveness of your interventions.

Use CSAT to set specific performance goals for teams or individuals in direct customer service roles. Avoid using NPS as a metric for individual performance since it reflects broader, company-wide perceptions and may not accurately represent an individual's impact.

CSAT and NPS are invaluable metrics for gauging customer satisfaction and loyalty. They provide insights that help fine-tune your customer experience strategies. These metrics are crucial in shaping compelling Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs that capture and act on customer feedback across various touchpoints.

Harness the power of these insights with expert CSAT and NPS survey templates from SurveyMonkey. Start measuring customer satisfaction with SurveyMonkey today and turn feedback into growth.

NPS, Net Promoter & Net Promoter Score are registered trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, and Fred Reichheld. 

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