Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

Customer satisfaction can be defined as a subjective experience regarding a product or a service – a critical factor for businesses but rather hard to measure. However, companies do need to find a way to track the impact of their products; therefore a methodology has been created to translate feelings into trackable and comparable numerical value often referred to as CSAT.

Knowing and tracking CSAT (customer satisfaction) scores is a useful tactic that can yield results great for making strategic changes in various aspects of the business. Of course a lot depends on what exact questions are used for the CSAT survey and when. Also, there are other similar metrics than can give insights into customer satisfaction but from slightly different perspectives. Lastly, while CSAT is extremely useful, in some call centers other metrics take precedence in terms of business reporting.

Read on to understand the meaning of CSAT, get a list of typical survey questions with good timings to ask them, as well as a handy cheat sheet with similar metrics to focus on together with CSAT – or instead of it.


Customer Satisfaction, or CSAT, is a metric used in call centers that allows one to translate unmeasurable levels of client feelings towards a product into numerical values. CSAT scores are calculated by collecting customer feedback during a given period through asking close-ended questions, either with binary answers or based on a scale. As a result, businesses get specific values for average satisfaction levels, as well as an insight into their fluctuations over time. This data is typically used to make informed decisions on finetuning customer service, introducing product enhancements, as well as improving product messaging and sales on many levels.

How to calculate CSAT?

To measure CSAT you need to ask your customers directly about their opinions regarding your services or products. Usually, this is done via email or phone. However, for businesses having significant online presence, CSAT can also be measured from within the website, a web app or a mobile app. In these cases CSAT questions appear, for example, as pop-up messages, or as part of the web chat experience. One of the newest methods is to apply outbound IVR for making automated calls after an interaction with customer service.

Here are the most typical questionnaire types that you can consider.

OPTION 1: Binary questions

While approaches to tracking CSAT vary from business to business, most would agree that the most basic measurement is based on questions with only two options: yes or no. It’s likely the simplest satisfaction measurement known since the early days of modern sales and marketing tactics.

“Are you satisfied with company’s product/service? YES or NO”

While this method does not generate in-depth data on where your customers stand in relation to your services, it does have some specific benefits. For one, most customers are willing to give an answer because it takes little time and effort to decide whether it’s a yes or no. This can enable you to generate a lot of data making the measurements more solid. Additionally, it solves the issue of cultural differences, as more complex questions could easily be misinterpreted depending on the country that the respondent is from.

OPTION 2: Scale Ratings

If you want to generate more complex data, a common way is to measure CSAT via scaled ratings. They are usually worded along these lines:

“On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with company’s product/service?”

In such cases, it is up to your company to decide which answers qualify as satisfied. For example, at the customer support center of VCC Live, our system automatically sends out an email reminder to our customer support and business leaders, when a client answers 7 or less on our CSAT scale. In such cases, they directly get in touch with our clients to further investigate the issue.

Calculating your exact CSAT values depends on the question asked. However, the calculation below can be applicable for most cases, enabling you to understand the percentage of satisfied customers you have. The CSAT formula for a scale-based survey would look like this:

CSAT = [ Number of customers who are in the satisfied range    ] * 100
Total number of customers asked

CSAT survey questions – most common examples

To help you put together a satisfaction questionnaire, we’ve prepared a comprehensive list of example CSAT questions useful in quite a lot of use cases.

Top CSAT questions to ask customers

The types of questions measuring CSAT vary heavily depending on your needs and the strategy. Bear in mind that the way questions are phrased can heavily skew results so this needs to be taken into account.


Did you find the information you were looking for on our website?
✔ Yes
✖ No

Were our customer service representatives able to address your concerns?
✔ Yes
✖ No

Did our product/service meet your expectations?
✔ Yes
✖ No

Would you consider purchasing from us again in the future?
✔ Yes
✖ No

Did you experience any technical issues while using our platform?
✔ Yes
✖ No


On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with your recent purchase?
[1] Not at all satisfied
[2-4] Somewhat satisfied
[5-7] Moderately satisfied
[8-10] Very satisfied

How likely are you to recommend our services to others?
[1] Not likely at all
[2-4] Somewhat likely
[5-7] Moderately likely
[8-10] Very likely

On a scale from poor to excellent, how would you rate the quality of our customer support?
❏ Poor
❏ Fair
❏ Good
❏ Very good
❏ Excellent

To what extent did our product meet your needs?
❏ Not at all
❏ To a small extent
❏ To a moderate extent
❏ To a large extent
❏ Completely

How satisfied are you with the timeliness of our service delivery?
❏ Very dissatisfied
❏ Dissatisfied
❏ Neutral
❏ Satisfied
❏ Very satisfied


Did you find the user interface of our app easy to navigate?
❏ Very easy
❏ Somewhat easy
❏ Neutral
❏ Somewhat difficult
❏ Very difficult

Would you use our services again in the future?
❏ Definitely yes
❏ Probably yes
❏ Not sure
❏ Probably not
❏ Definitely not

Did our sales representative address all your questions and concerns?
❏ Yes, completely
❏ Yes, to some extent
❏ No

Were you satisfied with the variety of products/services available?
✔ Yes
✖ No

Would you rate your overall experience with us as positive?
✔ Yes
✖ No

How to interpret your CSAT survey scores

This is of course easier to understand when real values are used to see what a result could look like and how to analyze it. Let’s look at this real-life scenario and see how we can interpret the result.

Using CSAT calculation – real-life scenario

EcoCare Utilities is a hypothetical company that specializes in providing environmentally friendly utility services, including renewable energy solutions and water management systems. They have a customer support call center dedicated to assisting customers with inquiries, billing issues, and technical support for their sustainable products and services.

CSAT Measurement Question:
The primary CSAT measurement question used by EcoCare Utilities is:

“On a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied are you with the assistance you received from our support team today? (1 being ‘Not Satisfied’ and 5 being ‘Very Satisfied’).”

CSAT Results for a 30-Day Period:

Over a 30-day period, EcoCare Utilities collected CSAT ratings from customers after each support interaction. The overall CSAT score for this period was 70%.

  • Not Satisfied (1-2): 10%
  • Neutral (3.5 – 4): 20%
  • Somewhat Satisfied (3): 15%
  • Satisfied (4): 30%
  • Very Satisfied (5): 25%

While the overall CSAT score is not bad, EcoCare Utilities noticed that there was room for improvement, especially in the “Somewhat Satisfied” and “Neutral” categories. They aimed to address these areas to enhance customer satisfaction and strengthen their commitment to eco-friendly service.

Therefore the company decided to implement the following action plan to address these potential issues.

Enhanced training programs:
EcoCare Utilities identified that some customer interactions in the “Somewhat Satisfied” category indicated a need for more comprehensive support. They implemented enhanced training programs for their support team to ensure that agents were well-equipped to handle a diverse range of queries and issues.

Streamlined communication channels:
Recognizing that a portion of customers felt neutral about their support experience, EcoCare Utilities worked on better aligning channels used to match client expectations. Analysis resulted that more focus could be put on multichannel communication to impress people contacting customer support – agents were able to flexibly switch between e.g. phone, email and web chat.

Proactive customer education:
To address potential areas of confusion mentioned in the feedback, EcoCare Utilities launched proactive customer education initiatives. This involved sending out newsletters and guides to help customers better understand services, billing processes, and how to troubleshoot common issues.

Feedback loop integration:
EcoCare Utilities strengthened their feedback loop by encouraging customers to provide more detailed feedback on their experience through open-ended questionnaires. This allowed the company to gather further insights into specific pain points and areas for improvement that may not have been captured by the CSAT score alone.

Timing matters: When is a good time to send CSAT surveys?

What seems a dead simple question to ask (are you satisfied? yes or no) can be heavily skewed by the timing when people interacting with the brand are actually asked. This can easily lead to misleading data that don’t fully represent the picture of the product or service in your customers’ minds.

Check out the following timings that are the best to send CSAT surveys to the customers to minimize possible data misinterpretations.

🕑 Right after customer support interactions
Send the survey while the experience is still fresh in the customer’s mind. If they have recently interacted with your customer support team, sending a survey shortly after the resolution of their issue can provide valuable feedback that you can really trust.

🕑 Post-purchase or service completion
For e-commerce, retail, or service-based businesses, sending surveys shortly after a purchase, making a payment, or the completion of a service can capture the overall experience.

🕑 Regular intervals for ongoing services
For businesses that provide ongoing services, such as subscription-based models or long-term contracts, sending surveys periodically can help gauge satisfaction over time.

🕑 After product updates or feature releases
If your company has recently launched a new product, feature, or update, it may be beneficial to send surveys to gather feedback on the changes.

🕑 Post-event or training sessions
If your business involves events or training sessions, sending surveys immediately after the event or training can help you understand the participant’s experience.

🕑 During non-peak hours
Avoid sending surveys during peak business hours when customers may be too busy or stressed to provide thoughtful responses. Opt for times when they are likely to have a more relaxed schedule.

🕑 Considering time zones & local holidays
Bear in mind that automated surveys can take time zones into consideration and so can you measuring CSAT. Reaching out late at night or early in the morning may HEAVILY skew your results. And so can surveys sent not on the right day. (e.g. 2pm on Thanksgiving day for US-based customers)

CSAT vs other metrics – which KPI to use

Scale-based CSAT questionnaires are definitely useful although it’s not the only metric you can pay attention to if you want to understand how customers really feel about your company. Apart from this it’s great to also get familiar with NPS, DSAT and CES. Below we compared these metrics to help you make a choice.

MetricStands ForDefinitionExample Question
CSAT (Customer Satisfaction)CSATMeasures overall customer satisfaction with a specific interaction or experience. Customers rate their satisfaction on a numerical scale.“How satisfied are you with your experience?”
NPS (Net Promoter Score)NPSEvaluates customer loyalty and likelihood to recommend a product or service. Categorizes respondents as promoters, passives, or detractors.“How likely are you to recommend us to a friend?”
DSAT (Dissatisfaction Score)DSATIdentifies and quantifies instances of customer dissatisfaction or negative experiences.“What aspects of your experience were dissatisfying?”
CES (Customer Effort Score)CESMeasures the ease with which customers can accomplish tasks or resolve issues.“How easy was it for you to resolve your issue?”
Typical KPIs measuring customer feelings towards a brand


CSAT is commonly mixed up with Net Promoter Score, or NPS. As discussed above, CSAT can greatly vary based on your industry and specific business needs. However, NPS is a standardized method. Additionally, NPS measures brand loyalty, not just customer satisfaction. The standard question asked when measuring NPS is:

“How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?”

The answers are then scored on a zero to ten scale. Those who scored:

  • 9-10 are promoters
  • 7-8 are neutral or passives
  • 0-6 are detractors

Given that NPS measures brand loyalty, it can be used in combination with CSAT, but it is important to understand that these scores measure different things. CSAT can predict churn, and NPS can indicate customer retention.

CSAT can be a great way for measuring the quality of your service. In order to get the most out of your measurements, make sure to design questions according to your industry. Whether you decide to use binary or scaled ratings, remember that there is no unified CSAT score that you should aim for. Set your own benchmarks and understand the standards of your industry. Finally, tracking your NPS score can be a nice addition to your CSAT if you want to further understand your brand loyalty.


Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Dissatisfaction (DSAT) metrics serve as key indicators in assessing the customer experience, but they differ in their focus and methodology. 

CSAT quantifies overall satisfaction by asking customers to rate their experience on a numerical scale. This metric provides a general understanding of how well a product or service meets customer expectations, offering a benchmark for performance analysis. 

On the other hand, DSAT goes beyond numerical ratings and delves into the reasons behind dissatisfaction. By employing open-ended questions, DSAT captures qualitative insights about specific pain points or aspects that disappointed customers. 

As a result, DSAT provides actionable feedback to pinpoint areas for improvement, helping organizations address specific issues that impact the overall customer experience. Together, CSAT and DSAT metrics create a comprehensive feedback strategy, aiding businesses in both measuring satisfaction and refining their offerings based on customer feedback.


Another useful metric to compare CSAT with is called CES or Customer Effort Score. While CSAT captures the emotional and subjective aspect of customer experience, Customer Effort Score (CES) focuses on the ease with which customers can accomplish specific tasks or resolve issues during their interactions. 

CES metric aims to gauge the level of effort customers have to exert to achieve their goals. Typically measured on a scale that ranges from “Very Easy” to “Very Difficult,” CES provides a more objective assessment of the practical aspects of the customer journey. It is particularly valuable for identifying areas where the customer experience can be streamlined and made more efficient.

While CSAT and CES serve different purposes, organizations often find value in using both metrics concurrently to gain a comprehensive view of customer satisfaction and loyalty. CSAT offers insights into the overall sentiment of customers, while CES highlights the efficiency and simplicity of the customer journey. By leveraging both metrics, call centers can develop strategies to enhance customer experience on both emotional and practical levels, ultimately improving customer loyalty and driving business success.

Here’s a quick comparison of all metrics listed above. Choosing the right ones is a highly subjective decision that needs to be made according to company goals, brand awareness, and what we already know about the product. 

For example, closer measurement of CES can be dictated by the fact of seeing viable signals that resolving issues may take longer than expected.

Call centers that should put special emphasis on CSAT

One of the last topics raised here will be to help you answer the question: Is measuring satisfaction the most important metric in my case?

Somewhat surprisingly not all business will answer the same. Below you can find situations where the answer would be a strong YES. (but bear in mind that this doesn’t apply everywhere – scroll below to find out)

Service-oriented businesses: Call centers serving industries where customer service is a key differentiator, such as hospitality, retail, or e-commerce, should prioritize CSAT. Positive experiences can lead to customer loyalty and repeat business.

Subscription-based services: Companies relying on customer subscriptions, such as streaming services or subscription boxes, should focus on CSAT. Satisfied customers are more likely to renew their subscriptions, it opens possibilities for upsells, longer renewals and reduces churn.

Brand reputation management: Organizations that highly value their brand image and reputation over everything else should prioritize CSAT. Negative experiences can quickly tarnish a brand, especially given that unsatisfied customers are quite likely to share their views with others.

High-touch industries: Industries where customer interaction is frequent, such as financial services or healthcare, should prioritize CSAT. The quality of customer service plays a significant role in these sectors, especially when dealing with sensitive client information and life-changing decisions.

Competitive markets: In highly competitive markets, a strong CSAT metric can be a key differentiator that can even grow to the level of a USP (unique selling point). A positive customer experience can give a company a competitive edge over its rivals.

Call centers that put less emphasis on CSAT

Low-touch transactions: Call centers that handle low-touch, transactional interactions, such as simple order placements, bill payments, invoice checks, or account balance inquiries, may prioritize efficiency metrics like Average Handling Time (AHT) or transaction completion rates over CSAT.

Cost reduction focus: If you operate in highly cost-centric environments, where minimizing operational costs is a top priority, you may prioritize metrics like cost per contact, agent utilization, and resource optimization over customer satisfaction.

Outbound sales or telemarketing: In these cases, the focus is often on metrics like conversion rates, lead generation, and revenue generation, with less emphasis on CSAT.

Regulatory compliance: Industries with strict regulatory compliance requirements, such as financial services or healthcare, may prioritize hard metrics related to their particular field of expertise (compliance, accuracy, and adherence to regulations) more than satisfaction.

Debt recovery rates: Businesses involved in debt collection may prioritize metrics like debt recovery rates, promises-to-pay kept, and adherence to legal and regulatory guidelines, as these are more directly tied to business objectives than CSAT.

Resolution rime: Call centers that handle emergency situations or crisis response may prioritize metrics related to the speed and effectiveness of issue resolution rather than CSAT.

SLA adherence: Places with stringent Service Level Agreements (SLAs) may prioritize metrics related to meeting response time commitments and maintaining a high level of service reliability.

Technical support: In technical support environments, the focus may be on metrics like first call resolution (FCR), overall resolution time, and escalations to ensure efficient problem-solving to get things done quickly and efficiently. This inevitably means less emphasis on overall customer satisfaction.

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