CSAT Benchmarks by Industry: What's a Good Score in 2023?

CSAT Benchmarks by Industry: What's a Good Score in 2023?

There are two ways to measure your CSAT score: against your past performance and against your industry. Both are important to look at, as the first indicates how your team is progressing in terms of creating better customer experiences, while the second tells you how you benchmark against your competitors or other companies in your industry.

About our data: we strive to provide the freshest data available and transparency on the source. What's reported here is primarily data from 2022 and we are looking at updating the metrics for 2023 as soon as they are available. We also added some insights on trends we are witnessing this year at the bottom of this article.

2022 average CSAT scores:

  • Online search: 75 (-1.3% vs previous year)
  • Shipping: 74 (-2.6% vs previous year)
  • Streaming: 74 (same as previous year)
  • Online News: 73 (-1.4% vs previous year)
  • Online Travel: 75 (+1.4% vs previous year)
  • Hotels: 71 (-2.6% vs previous year)
  • Energy: 72 (same as previous year)
  • Social Media: 71 (+1.4% vs previous year)
  • Internet Providers: 64 (+1.4% vs previous year)
  • Finance*: 77 (-0.5% vs previous year)
  • Insurance*: 76 (+0.5% vs previous year)
  • E-commerce*: 77 (-1.3% vs previous year)
  • Software*: 77 (+1.3% vs previous year)

* 2021 data

CSAT Score by Industry

CSAT benchmarks for software companies:

With an average CSAT score of 77, the software industry is one of the most competitive in terms of customer satisfaction and consequently customer expectations are very high. This applies to both B2B SaaS and other models.

CSAT benchmarks for e-commerce:

E-commerce companies average a CSAT score of 77, which along with software and finance is the highest registered in 2022. Providing a great experience both pre-sale and after-sale is crucial to meet your customer’s expectations.

CSAT benchmarks for finance:

Finance is the third industry averaging a 77 CSAT score. The data is a good benchmark for both fintech companies and traditional businesses.

CSAT benchmarks for the insurance industry:

While a CSAT score of 76 is higher than other industries, it is below finance and below what most companies would consider a great score (above 80).

CSAT benchmarks for social media:

Social media platforms register some of the lowest customer satisfaction scores out there, with only 71 on average. This may largely reflect the lack of personalized support provided by most companies in the industry and represent an opportunity to stand out for businesses willing to invest in better experiences for their users.

CSAT benchmarks for the travel industry:

The online travel industry has an average CSAT score of 75, which is slightly above the total average for American consumers in all industries.

About the methodology: the data above is based on ACSI data, and we combined some of the data to better represent certain industries.

Is being above these benchmarks really that good?

If you are, for example, a software company, a CSAT score of 80% is above the industry benchmark, but it is likely not enough to stand out in a crowded market, and it means there is a lot of room for improvement. More niche studies, like the "Customer Service Quality Benchmark Report" conducted by Klaus in 2022, showed that companies reported average CSAT scores of a whopping 89%! The study mostly focused on companies in the 100-1000 employees range, and heavily in the software, e-commerce and B2B industries. It even reported that 4% of the surveyed companies had a CSAT score of 100%, which is likely due to a very low amount of respondents, and not a particularly realistic target for any company. That being said, we can't stress enough that being just above average means exactly that: you're doing okay but are failing to make customer experience a differentiating factor.

CSAT response rate benchmarks

Unlike CSAT scores, there is no concrete data on response rates by industries, but even if there was, it would not be relevant, and here's why: response rates can be drastically different based on the channel used to collect the data.

The channels include:

  • Automated emails
  • Manual, personalized emails
  • In-app surveys (mobile)
  • In-app surveys (desktop)
  • Phone or online meeting surveys

And so on. Depending on what your company is leveraging, you may be able to drive more or less responses. Timing also matters; if you approach users that don't use your product regularly or user who haven't interact with your company recently, responses may be lower. Generally speaking, a response rate of 20 to 30% can be considered somewhat average, above 40% is considered very good, and below 15% should prompt you to revisit how you approach customers and how you can collect more responses.

CSAT benchmarks by company size

A rather dated survey from Zendesk showed that mid-market companies (in the 100-500 employee range and the 500-5,000 employee range) registered the highest CSAT scores, beating out SMBs and Enterprise corporations. We don't think you should read too much into that data, but rather understand what your competitive advantage is when it comes to your company size. For example, if you are a small B2B company, you can take advantage of offering hyper-personalized support, and also be very personal when it comes to collecting feedback. If you are a large enterprise corporation, on the other hand, personalization may not be an option, but you have the advantage of being able to run more tests and allocate higher budgets when it comes to understanding customer pain points. So our advice is to think about what you can do to improve customer experiences at the particular stage you're at, and set up your strategy from there.

Trends we're witnessing in 2023

Customer support, and customer experience teams in general, are playing an even more crucial role in 2023 when it comes to driving retention and growth from existing customers, especially — but not exclusively — in SaaS. Companies are looking at support metrics like CSAT a lot more closely and are doing whatever they can to raise the bar there. With a very uncertain economic outlook and tighter budgets, customer expectations are now higher when it comes to the value they get from a product, but also the service and support offered. In software, technology and other industries, we're expecting CSAT scores to go up overall in 2023 and 2024 due to this trend.

Conclusions

While industry benchmarks are helpful to have a general idea of how your company is doing, the most important thing is to look at qualitative data and understand customer pain points. The score alone does not drive actionable business insights and you should always look at the actions that impact the score and what you should be doing differently in the future.

Author

Shifa Rahaman

Content Marketing Manager

Contributor