This website requires JavaScript.

DSAT: Are You Keeping Score of Customer Dissatisfaction?

Metrics11 MIN READMay 19, 2023

DSAT explained

The most commonly tracked support metrics are customer-defined. Even though CSAT is likely to be labeled ‘most important’ by customer service professionals, DSAT is the one measured by more teams. 

How so?

Let’s dive into the intricacies of DSAT — exploring what it stands for, how it’s calculated, and how important it is for customer experience.  

What is DSAT?

Customer Dissatisfaction Score (DSAT) measures the percentage of customers who are dissatisfied with your company, its products or services, or the support offered. The definition of “dissatisfied customers” can vary by company, depending on how granular your rating scale is. 

What is the difference between DSAT and CSAT?

CSAT measures a customer’s satisfaction with a specific interaction or experience. DSAT, on the other hand, measures the level of dissatisfaction experienced by a customer during that interaction.

Both metrics are crucial for understanding customer sentiment and improving the quality of products or services, but DSAT vs CSAT focuses specifically on identifying instances where customers were dissatisfied, allowing you to pinpoint areas for improvement. 

Klaus needs answers.

How to calculate DSAT score?

The calculation of the DSAT score typically involves conducting customer surveys. 

It’s measured at the individual level, meaning that users are questioned separately (and sometimes anonymously). The results, however, are averaged out to give a composite Customer Dissatisfaction Score, usually expressed as a percentage. 

(Number of negative responses / Number of total responses) x 100 = DSAT % 

The rating scale can be as simple as a choice between thumbs up and thumbs down, though is usually more granular. Most customer surveys use 3-, 5-, or 7-point scales, but it doesn’t mean that yours can’t be different. 

No matter the scale, you should define what your business sees as a negative rating. For a 7-point scale, for example, you could treat 1, 2, and 3 as indicators of dissatisfied customers. 

Also, don’t forget to determine the specific aspects of your product, service, or customer experience that you want to evaluate. This could include factors like product quality, customer support, pricing, delivery, or any other relevant areas.

Klaus making complex calculations.

Why measure DSAT? 

Over 40% of surveyed customer service professionals track DSAT scores, and 16% say it’s their most important KPI. Why? 

Metrics tracked by support teams according to the Customer Service Quality Benchmark Report.

Source: Customer Service Quality Benchmark Report

Getting valuable feedback from customers

Customer surveys can provide insights into what aspects of your business — such as new products and features, delivery options, or customer support — contribute to higher customer satisfaction levels. They can also reveal factors that may have an impact on it, such as long wait times or product issues. By understanding your DSAT score, you can make smarter decisions on what to improve to better meet customer needs.

Keeping an eye on your support quality

Regular DSAT surveys are important for monitoring service quality. They give you an overview of how customer satisfaction levels change over time, helping you catch any negative trends early on. By being proactive and addressing concerns promptly, you can maintain high customer satisfaction score and prevent major issues.

Driving more revenue 

Customer satisfaction is closely tied to revenue growth. Satisfied customers are more likely to make repeat purchases and remain loyal to your brand. By understanding what drives DSAT scores, you can replicate those factors to consistently improve your business results.

Klaus floating in space.

DSAT limitations 

While DSAT can provide valuable insights, it’s important to understand its limitations.

To start with, customers may express dissatisfaction about things that are unrelated to the quality of your customer service, or simply beyond your team’s control.

For instance, if a customer gives a high DSAT rating because their feature request wasn’t implemented (even though it wasn’t on your product roadmap), it doesn’t reflect the quality of your support. Customers may not be aware of your internal processes or standards, so their expectations might differ from yours.

That’s why it’s crucial to have a support quality assurance (QA) process in place. By conducting regular conversation reviews, you can assess how customer feedback aligns with your internal standards. This helps you gain a deeper understanding of customer expectations and evaluate how well your team is performing. 

Remember, DSAT is just one piece of the puzzle in measuring customer satisfaction. It is essential to combine DSAT with other metrics like Internal Quality Score (IQS), Net Promoter Score (NPS), and Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) to gain a holistic understanding of your customer experience.

How to improve DSAT score?

Despite its limitations, DSAT still provides value in finding areas to improve customer satisfaction.

Improving DSAT, however, requires a proactive approach and a focus on addressing the root causes of dissatisfaction:

1. Analyze customer satisfaction across their entire lifecycle

Take a closer look at your customer journey and pinpoint the moments where your DSAT score may be higher. 

While customers might start off satisfied, it’s important to investigate any drops in satisfaction along the way. To get a better understanding of customer satisfaction throughout their journey, consider sending surveys on different occasions:

After every purchase

This is a great time to ask for DSAT feedback. By collecting feedback after customers have completed their intended actions, you can gain insights into their overall cat-isfaction and the quality of their experience. Keep in mind that customers tend to leave more positive feedback right after purchase. To capture their sentiments throughout the entire journey, consider integrating DSAT surveys into other stages as well.

With feature releases and product updates

Use DSAT surveys to gauge how users react to changes you’ve made to your product. It’s a quick way to collect feedback on new features and updates. 

However, major user interface changes can initially result in negative feedback as people prefer furmiliarity. Consider sending a follow-up survey later to assess if customers have become accustomed to the new visuals.

Before the subscription renewal date

Checking DSAT before customers are billed for the next period can reveal their likelihood of staying with your business. This helps identify customers who may be at risk of churning and gives you an opportunity to address their concerns. Sync this aspect of your customer satisfaction strategy with your sales and success teams to proactively prevent churn and increase customer retention.

After every support interaction

Your support team interacts with customers daily, and the quality of those conversations greatly impacts the overall customer experience. Send DSAT surveys after each interaction to gather feedback. Many helpdesk solutions offer built-in surveys within customer conversations, while more advanced tools can cover other use cases as well.

There’s one thing to mention, though: The longer you wait to send a survey after customer service interactions, the less likely you are to receive any (accurate) responses. So, the rule of thumb tells you to always ask for feedback as soon as possible.

Klaus asking his colleague where's his other half.

By checking in on customer satisfaction at different points in the journey, you gain a comprehensive view of your service quality. Analyze the customer journey, review support goals, and identify crucial touchpoints where feedback can have the greatest impact. This approach allows you to continuously improve your services and enhance the overall customer experience.

2. Follow up on customer feedback

The average response rate for customer surveys is 19% for chat, 5% for email, and 5% for phone. But only 19% of all CSAT ratings have a comment beside the score. 

Unfortunately, only a fraction of customers provide feedback and DSAT ratings. Apart from sending surveys at the right moment (and doing so regularly), you can also get higher response rates if you: 

Make the survey easy to use — invest in good copy and be brief. Ask one question that matters the most, as additional questions reduce the response rate. Then, try to help your customers out: personalize the survey with context to help remind them what or who you are asking about.
Mart Objartel
Mart Objartel
Product Manager

Then, whenever you receive a review from your users, make sure to make the most out of it.

Following up on DSAT surveys is the easiest way to win back disappointed customers and build customer loyalty. Studies show that customers can become even more loyal after experiencing a service failure if their issues are resolved effectively.

Ask your dissatisfied customers about what went wrong and try to fix it if possible. You can either set up an automated follow-up survey flow targeted at those who gave a bad rating or reach out to each one of them purrr-sonally. This, of course, depends on your capacity and support volume.

Klaus giving himself ten out of ten.

3. Pair DSAT results with your IQS 

As already mentioned, successful customer service teams don’t track DSAT alone. Conversation reviews are a systematic means of analyzing and acting upon feedback — as peers, dedicated QA specialists, or managers analyze support interactions based on internal quality standards to measure the Internal Quality Score (IQS).

Reviewing conversations will help you understand whether your support team is responsible for DSAT scores or if there are other business areas that have an effect on it (e.g. low-quality products, or negative company image). The latter is very likely if both your IQS and DSAT scores are high.

Klaus watering chicks, hoping that it actually works.

4. Track your contact center performance over time

Remember, improving DSAT is an ongoing process that requires commitment, continuous learning, and a customer-centric mindset. By actively listening to feedback, resolving issues promptly, and enhancing product/service quality, you can make significant strides in improving your DSAT score and driving overall customer loyalty. 

Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to creating a paw-sitive and satisfying experience for your customers.

Sweet DSAT O’Mine

In conclusion, while DSAT has its limitations, it remains a valuable metric for understanding customer dissatisfaction and identifying areas for improvement.

To improve your DSAT score, it’s essential to analyze customer satisfaction throughout their entire journey. By sending surveys at various touchpoints, you can gather feedback and address concerns promptly. Following up on DSAT surveys provides an opportunity to win back disappointed customers and build loyalty.

Pairing DSAT results with an Internal Quality Score (IQS) helps assess whether support interactions or other business areas contribute to DSAT scores. Tracking your team’s progress over time is essential for continuously improving service quality and maintaining a customer-centric mindset.

So, let’s start measuring DSAT, learn from customer feedback, and take action to exceed customer expectations. By doing so, you can build strong relationships with customers, drive business growth, and create a paw-sitive reputation for outstanding customer service.

Written by

Berenika Teter - Headshot.
Berenika Teter
Berenika is actively trying to bridge the gap between cat and dog people. So fur, she’s been more successful at managing SEO content at Klaus.

Never miss an update

By subscribing you agree to Klaus' Privacy Policy and would like to get educational content to your email.