Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) surveys have emerged as the gold standard for measuring how customers perceive their interactions with a brand. However, there are many different survey methods to choose from to measure a customer’s experience—including Customer Effort Score (CES), Net Promoter Score (NPS), and many more.

Which begs the question: In today’s environment, is the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) survey still relevant? Our take? Yes, they’re still widely relevant for companies that want to deliver great customer experience. In this post, we’re diving into that question.

3 Reasons why Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) surveys are still relevant

CSAT surveys measure customer satisfaction using a single question: “How would you rate your experience with [placeholder of brand name]?”

This question is asked after customers have a specific interaction with your brand.

Most often, the survey asks customers how they would rate their overall satisfaction with the service they received. Customers are offered a scale, most often from 1-5, where 5 is very satisfied and 1 is very dissatisfied.

After customers fill out the survey, their scores are computed into an average, which gives your company an overall CSAT score. This provides an easy to cite metric that shows how satisfied customers are with particular experiences.

Here’s the equation: number of satisfied customers(4and 5)/number of survey responses x 100 = % of satisfied customers. A CSAT score of 80% is a good indicator of success, although it will vary by industry.

Customer Satisfaction surveys are not designed to give you a comprehensive view of customer perception, but they’re very helpful for pinpointing issues, especially if you use CSAT scores to grade different parts of your business. There’s no doubt–CSAT is definitely relevant. Here are the reasons why.

1. A Customer Satisfaction Score survey can pinpoint specific issues across the business

Because CSAT surveys are sent out after specific interactions, survey results can help you and your team pinpoint specific issues across the business. For example, you can use CSAT to explore exactly how satisfied customers are with support interactions. But you can also use it to see how satisfied they are with a particular product feature. In this way, you can gain deep insights into very specific areas of your organization.

2. CSAT provides a metric that everyone understands

One of the most valuable assets of CSAT–and perhaps what has made it so widely adopted–is that it gives you one score that can easily be interpreted by everyone at your company. Your CSAT score is easy to communicate with executives and team members. It’s a quick notation that does not need that much explanation.

3. Customer Satisfaction Score surveys are versatile, flexible, and easy to implement

CSAT surveys are extremely easy to spin up and can be used in almost any area of your company. They’re one of the most versatile, flexible, and easy to implement surveys available. That means you can create surveys and analyze results quickly and easily without being a professional analyst.

A word of caution: CSAT is not the end-all, be-all

Although CSAT surveys are extremely relevant, they’re certainly not the end-all, be-all as you seek to explore how customers feel about your brand. Because these surveys focus on specific areas of the company, they tend to reveal results for a relatively narrow area of the customer journey preventing you from getting a holistic view of how customers see your business as a whole.

If you’re looking for a more holistic view, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey is a great tool. It asks the question: “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?” and respondent ranks their likelihood on a scale of 0 to 10—0 being highly unlikely, 10 being extremely likely. NPS is a great metric to measure long-term customer satisfaction and loyalty. It’s the “big picture” metric of customer experience.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) for customer experience

Similarly to NPS, Customer Satisfaction Score measures customer satisfaction and loyalty. However, it focuses on measuring the individual customer interaction at a specific touchpoint on the customer journey.

By being hyper-focused on specific interactions, CSAT helps you discover gaps in your customer experience program and make improvements across the customer journey. It’s a powerful CX metric, helping you measure short-term satisfaction so you can make real-time changes to each interaction.