CSAT or Customer Satisfaction Score is one of the most important customer support metrics to track.
That's because it's simple to understand, easy to calculate and very good at giving you an overall idea of exactly how your business, service or product is being received by your customers.
We've covered CSAT before, including why it's crucial if you want your SaaS company to grow exponentially and how CSAT differs from NPS (or Net Promotor Score).
But let's say you've designed a great CSAT survey, sent it out to your target group and collected a bunch of responses — how do you calculate your score?
Read on (or watch the video below) to find out.
How to calculate CSAT
CSAT surveys are simple and targeted: they often consist of no more than one question scored on a scale of 1 to 5.
Scores of 1 to 3 indicate unsatisfied customers and scores of 4 and 5 indicate satisfied customers.
Once you've sent out your surveys and collected your answers, you'll need to work your way through the following steps in order to calculate your score.
- You'll need to add up all the 4 and 5 responses you got to your survey.
- You'll need to add up the total number of responses across all scores.
- You'll then need to divide the total number of 4 and 5 responses by the total number of responses.
- Finally, you'll have to multiply that by 100 to arrive at the percentage.
Example: You recently sent out 100 surveys and everyone responded! You count the number of 4 and 5 answers and realize that 50 responses were either a 4 or a 5. To calculate CSAT, you'd have to divide 50 by 100 (the total number of responses) and multiply that number by 100, which would give you a CSAT score of 50%
Calculate CSAT in Excel
If you have a bunch of survey data to crunch, you can copy-paste our Excel template or take a look at the formula for a quick and easy way to calculate CSAT. Find our CSAT calculator spreadsheet here.
What is a good CSAT score?
Once you've arrived at a score, you're going to have to determine how well you did and the margins by which you'll have to improve in order to ace customer support experiences.
This isn't straightforward, though — CSAT scores vary widely across industries, so you'll have to do a bit of research on your own to determine where you stand.
For industry averages, see our list of CSAT scores by industry.
For this breakdown, we’ll concentrate on the SaaS industry.
CSAT scores between 0% to 40%
Seems like a majority of your customers are unsatisfied with their experience.
You'll need to figure out why you're scoring this low and then implement changes quickly. But remember to keep your chin up! Low scores present an opportunity for reflection and course correction. Constructive negative feedback is worth its weight in gold, so reach out to customers to ask for more information about what left them unsatisfied.
CSAT scores between 40% to 60%
This is a decent score with some room for improvement.
Again, reach out to the customers who left low scores and solicit more feedback and advice. It could prove crucial to shaping your CX and customer support strategy in the future. Don't forget to share this feedback with your product team so they can turn it into actionable steps for product or feature improvement.
CSAT scores from 60% to 80%
These scores are good and standard for many industries.
While there are no concrete benchmarks for the SaaS industry in the American Customer Satisfaction Index, they do include a CSAT average for computer software, which is similar. That number is reportedly 77, so anything around or above that is a good CSAT score to aim for in SaaS.
Anything above 77% is a good CSAT score to aim for in SaaS.
CSAT scores above 80%
Congratulations, most of your customers are highly satisfied with their experience! Regularly send out surveys and continue to make improvements to your strategy, processes and workflows to make sure that your scores don't slip.
Why you should calculate your CSAT score
Regularly calculating your CSAT score has a number of advantages and can tell you important things about how your CX, customer support and product is performing.
- CSAT can help you understand if you are meeting customer expectations or consistently falling short of them.
- CSAT can help you benchmark your performance against the broader industry or your competitors.
- CSAT can give you valuable information about what in particular customers are unhappy about: is it a particular feature, a particular support agent, a particular interaction?
- CSAT can help you determine your strategic direction: once you figure out which aspects of your organization aren't meeting customer expectations, you can take initiatives to improve them.
When is CSAT statistically significant?
If you get 10 responses on your survey, can you really make sense of the results? Probably not. Just like any other metric, in order for it to be relevant, the sample size needs to be big enough. You also want to make sure you're tracking CSAT over time and in a consistent way.
Ideally a minimum of 50 responses would be a good sample size. Anything below 30 responses is probably not going to be statistically significant, depending on the number of surveys you've sent out and how large your customer base is.
Having said that, CSAT can still be useful even if you get only 5 responses, because you'll then be able to identify which customers are satisfied and which are not, meaning you can investigate why. However, with responses that low, you shouldn't be looking at the score per se, but what the answers to those surveys can reveal about your customer experiences.
How often should you survey your customers?
How often you send out CSAT surveys depends on a number of factors. Some of which to consider are:
- Business cycle: consider the average customer lifecycle and how frequently your company has customer interactions. The higher that number, the more often you should be measuring your CSAT.
- Industry standards: Look to see if you can find industry standards for how often you should be sending out CSAT surveys. Some of this data may be publicly available. You can also see if you can find data on how often your competitors are sending out CSAT surveys.
- Business objectives: Align how often you measure your CSAT with larger business objectives. If you're constantly releasing new features, onboarding new customers or entering new markets, it makes sense to measure CSAT more regularly.
- Business resources: Designing, sending out, collecting and then analyzing CSAT data can be resource-intensive, so you'll need to measure that with the benefits of regularly measuring CSAT.
- Historical trends: If there are wild swings from one measurement to the next, you should up the frequency of measurement to make sure you're getting more actionable data about what is going on and what you can do to fix it.
In general, there are two ways of surveying your customers:
- On an ongoing basis, for instance after each interaction with your support team.
- At a fixed cadence, for instance sending out a survey every quarter.
Your goal is to collect as many responses as possible, at the most relevant times. But it is important that you look at how good an experience you are providing over time, and avoid, for instance, doing a single survey once a year and then tracking nothing for the following 12 months.
How to use and interpret your CSAT score
The score itself is a great "summary" of how good an experience you are providing, but it says nothing about what makes customers satisfied (or dissatisfied).
We'd recommend that you always combine the quantitative insights provided by CSAT scores with qualitative ones, which can be collected by an open question in your survey, for example. Another way to collect qualitative data is to directly reach out to customers to learn more about the reasons for their rating.
CSI (customer satisfaction index) vs CSAT
Though CSI and CSAT are similar at first glance, we wanted to touch on some salient differences between these two important CX metrics.
- CSI or customer satisfaction index is a more comprehensive satisfaction metric than CSAT.
- CSI takes into account various aspects of the customer experience, product quality, service delivery, support effectiveness, and overall brand perception.
- CSI is typically measured through surveys or other feedback gathering mechanisms, such as interviews or email.
- CSI is meant to measure the overall satisfaction customers have with every aspect of a brand or company.
- Calculating your CSI involves a few more steps than calculating your CSAT score, which we'll go into in greater detail in the next section.
In contrast to that:
- CSAT a transactional metric that measures customer satisfaction with individual interactions or features.
- CSAT focuses on capturing customer feedback immediately after an event has occurred, i.e., just after a support interaction or after a user has used a feature for the first time
- Calculating CSAT scores is a fairly straightforward process.
- CSAT scores should be measured more frequently than CSI scores.
How to calculate your customer satisfaction index (CSI) score
In order to calculate your CSI score, you'll need to take the following steps:
- Define the variables you want to measure: You'll need to determine what factors or variables contribute to customer satisfaction in your industry. These could be any number of things, including product quality, support experiences, branding, UI/UX, etc.
- Gather data: Design surveys or other ways of gathering customer feedback (for eg. phone interviews or emails) to gather data on how your customers feel about all the variables you are measuring. Make sure this data is representative of your customer base. If you operate in several markets or cater to several demographics, make sure every one is included adequately. You'll also need to collect enough responses in order to arrive at an accurate estimate of overall customer satisfaction.
- Scale the data: You'll need to assign numerical scores to your data in order to calculate it. You can use Likert scales, numerical scales, or binary scales. We've gone into different rating scales in our csat survey examples blog post, so read that for more information.
- Calculate the individual scores for each variable: Once the survey data or feedback has been collected, calculate the individual scores of each variable in much the same way you would calculate CSAT scores. Add up all the responses and divide that by the total number of responses you received to arrive at an average score.
- Weight the data: If you know that certain variables contribute to customer satisfaction more than others, you'll need to weight all variables to accurately represent that in your final score. For example, if you know that product performance is more important than UI/UX, you'll want to assign that a higher weight and then multiply the average score you arrived at in the previous step with that variable's weight to represent its importance in your final CSI score.
- Calculate your CSI: Once you've calculated the average score of all variables and multiplied that by their weight, add all of that up to arrive at your CSI score.
- Normalize the score: If you'd like to, you can normalize your CSI score on a scale of 1 to 100 or convert it to a percentage to make it easier to compare and contrast going forward.
- Analyze the result: Once you have your score, you can do a deep dive into what is working and what isn't: which variables over-performed? Which variables underperformed? Where can you invest more resources to make your score higher?
How often should you measure customer satisfaction index?
How often you measure your customer satisfaction index score will depend on the same factors you took into account to determine how often to measure CSAT:
- Business cycle
- Industry benchmarks
- Business goals
- Resource allocation
- Historical trends
Wrapping things up
Measuring customer satisfaction is crucial for businesses to understand how their products, services, or support are perceived by customers. It is calculated by gathering feedback through surveys and calculating the percentage of satisfied customers based on their responses.
The frequency of measuring CSAT can vary based on factors such as business cycle, industry standards, resource availability, business objectives, and historical data trends. It is important to strike a balance between capturing timely feedback and the practicality of conducting the measurement process. Additionally, combining quantitative CSAT scores with qualitative insights and feedback can provide a deeper understanding of customer satisfaction.
It is also worth noting that CSAT is distinct from CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index), which is a more comprehensive measure of overall customer satisfaction based on multiple variables. Determining the frequency of measuring the Customer Satisfaction Index follows a similar approach, considering factors like customer lifecycle, industry benchmarks, resource availability, business goals, and historical trends.