Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is one of the most important metrics that customer service teams track. Improve CSAT and you’ll improve your customers’ satisfaction. It’s the perfect tool for measuring how happy your customers are with what you do.
CSAT has been around for decades and companies have learned to build complex customer satisfaction strategies based on this simple survey. When and how you ask for CSAT and what you do with the results define what you’ll be able to achieve with the feedback.
If you’re looking for a detailed overview of CSAT, here’s an article explaining everything you need to know about the Customer Satisfaction Score.
However, regardless of whether you’re planning to send a CSAT survey as a simple web form or take on a more strategic approach, there are three main rules that apply to all customer satisfaction surveys.
#1 Ask for CSAT at the right time
When to ask for CSAT and how often to do it are critical for the accuracy of the results. Some teams ask their customers “How satisfied are you with our services?” only once during the customer journey. Others have plugged it into various touchpoints to track CSAT changes over time.
Timing plays an important role in your feedback setup because:
- CSAT response rates drop as time passes after every customer touchpoint,
- People tend to forget their emotions with time.
Also, measuring at various times helps you see the change in CSAT over time across your customer journey. If you always send it at the same time, you don’t get as complete a picture.
So, the rule of thumb tells you to always ask for CSAT as soon as possible. Here are the most strategic times for sending your customer surveys:
- After every purchase: If you only ask for CSAT once, this is the time to do it. Feedback given after a customer has completed the actions you wanted them to achieve will give you insight into the overall quality of your customer experience.👉 However, note that customers tend to leave more positive feedback when they’ve just completed a purchase. To learn how they feel during the customer journey, consider integrating CSAT into other parts of the journey, too.
- With feature releases and product updates: You can use CSAT as a means to check how your users react to the changes you’ve made to the product. Sending out a customer survey is the quickest way to collect feedback on new features and updates.👉 Major UI changes can cause a wave of negative feedback as people tend to prefer the things they’ve already become used to. Consider sending a follow-up survey later to see if they’ve become accustomed to the new visuals.
- Before the subscription renewal date: Checking CSAT before billing your customers for the next period can reveal how likely they are to stick around. In other words, you’ll find out which customers are in danger of churning and will be able to fix this situation.👉 Sync this part of your CSAT strategy with your sales and success teams to make sure you leave them with plenty of time to win back those customers.
- In every support interaction: Your support team talks to your customers on a daily basis. The quality of those conversations can have a huge impact on the entire customer experience, so send the CSAT survey to your customers after every interaction you’ve had.👉 Most helpdesk solutions allow you to use built-in CSAT surveys right inside your customer conversations. Take a look at the best CSAT tools for advanced use cases.
Analyze your customer journey, review your support goals, and find the most important touchpoints where you could benefit the most from customer feedback. Use the CSAT survey as the means to collect information that can help you improve your customer service, product, sales, and overall customer experience.
#2 Analyze CSAT feedback and conduct conversation reviews
Successful customer service teams don’t just track CSAT, they also analyze this feedback and act upon it. Conversation reviews are a systematic means of doing that: peers, dedicated QA specialists or managers analyze support interactions based on internal quality standards.
Internal support Quality Assurance helps you counterbalance customer ratings with those of your own. Conduct internal conversation reviews on all tickets that received feedback from your customers because:
- CSAT reflects attitudes towards different parts of your business – product, customer service, marketing, and others. To understand to whom to forward the feedback in your company, you need to dive into the details of it and review the interactions you’ve had with the customer.
- Customers don’t understand the complexity of their requests, so they might be disappointed about something that’s out of your team’s control. For example, a negative CSAT rating for turning down a feature request that wasn’t on your product roadmap says nothing about your customer service quality.
- Customers don’t know your quality standards, so they can’t tell you whether your performance was up to par. At times, your expectations could even be higher than those of your customers. So, you need to review your own support interactions to understand how your team is doing.
Regular conversation reviews are the easiest way to analyze how customer feedback aligns with your internal standards. Make it a part of your CSAT strategy.
Also, read more about why CSAT alone doesn’t cut it here.
#3 Follow up on CSAT and customer feedback
Customers leave feedback and CSAT ratings on only a fraction of your customer interactions and touchpoints. So, whenever you receive a review from your users, make sure to make the most out of it.
Following up on CSAT and feedback is the easiest way to win back disappointed customers and build customer loyalty. Here’s how to do it:
👎 Reach out to the customers who gave you a negative CSAT rating. As the service recovery paradox outlines, customers tend to be more loyal to a business after they’ve experienced a service failure than without having any bad experiences at all.
Ask your customers what went wrong and try to fix it if possible. Depending on your support volume, you can either set up an automated follow-up survey flow targeted at those who gave a bad CSAT rating or reach out to each one of them personally.
👍 Get in touch with the customers who gave you a positive CSAT rating. Many teams focus only on the negative feedback and forget to thank the users who rewarded them with positive scores and comments. Moreover, don’t forget to give kudos to the agents who earned your customers’ praise.
Positive feedback is also an invaluable asset that you can showcase on your website and in your communications. Team up with your marketing department to boost your brand with great customer reviews.
There is little point in collecting customer feedback and conducting customer satisfaction surveys if you don’t have a plan on how to use the data you’ve collected. Make systematic CSAT follow-ups a routine in your customer-facing teams. Keep delighting your customers – even those who were disappointed at first.
Customer satisfaction has a huge impact on your business results. Create a CSAT strategy that helps you keep a finger on the pulse of your users’ happiness. Start by asking for customer feedback at the right time and then act on the results appropriately.
The three simple rules outlined in this article help you lay the groundwork for a successful customer satisfaction strategy. Whether you’re operating a small support team or managing global customer-facing departments, there’s no way around these basics.
Want to learn more about CSAT? Check out our complete guide to CSAT.