NPS vs CSAT vs CES: Which Customer Satisfaction Metric Is Best For You?
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NPS vs CSAT vs CES: Which Customer Satisfaction Metric Is Best For You?

Owing to digitization, the competition over attracting and retaining customers has reached an unforeseen crest. Customers today can easily get the products and services they need at the click of a button.

They compare various products, take trials and assess a product on the basis of customer experience. They also leave feedbacks and reviews that directly affect the sales of a company. Clearly, customer experience is the only durable competitive advantage a business can have over its competition.

What is Customer Experience?

By general definition, any B2C interaction is considered as customer experience, be it a sales pitch or post-sale assistance. It can be said that customer experience is the final product of a B2C relationship.

It’s the job of a customer experience manager to create a roadmap of what their target audience considers a positive experience and implement the strategy that can consistently enhance it.

Providing a great experience is not about making one customer happy – it a driver of repeated purchases/renewals, referrals, and probably the best of them all, word of mouth.

But the most important question remains: How can you measure customer satisfaction? As it is a multilayered concept, customer satisfaction can be quantified by three key metrics – NPS, CSAT, and CES.

Customer satisfaction metrics

Image Source: Relently

Want to know how to get the best out of them? Just read on to understand how you can increase customer satisfaction to drive more sales:

1. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

NPS can be summed up in one line that we all often come across: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this product or service to your friends or colleagues?”

NPS is such a powerful tool that it is also called a relationship or brand metric. It helps brands quantify individual experiences by asking customers for a cumulative score of all the involved services to quickly analyze whether or not they will return or spread the word of mouth.

Consequentially, NPS is considered a broad-level metric. Here’s a sample survey often shared with customers.

There are two major types of NPS:

  • Relational NPS

The aim of this survey is to determine what customers think about your organization as a whole. It can help you benchmark their current perceptions against preexisting NPS data while providing a high-level view of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

  • Transactional NPS

While the approach is the same as relational NPS, transactional NPS is conducted after each transaction or installation. It aims to determine customer satisfaction at a granular level. In this case, there is a direct or subjective feedback after an interaction, like a support call, SMS or email, that helps the company pinpoint specific issues that require improvement.

Advantages of NPS

Disadvantages of NPS

  • Intuitive and easy to use
  • The system is not specific enough
  • Correlated with business growth
  • Survey is not helpful without a predetermined plan
  • Benchmarking is easier

In case you are starting a feedback program to improve customer experience, using a Net Promoter Score software should be a priority.

However, NPS pretty much consists of high-level surveys. So, how to know what your customers experience at certain touch points during their journey? Well, that’s where CSAT kicks in.

2. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

A score that worries many seasoned customer experience managers, CSAT is a transactional metric, which makes it a more popular way of collecting user feedback. The survey is designed to ask questions regarding the overall satisfaction with the services on a specific scale.

Here, a transaction can refer to a sale/purchase or a customer service call. The rating card you get after an UBER ride is an example of CSAT.

It is highly flexible and customizable, helping you gather detailed feedback. But while CSAT surveys can have multiple questions (for the times you need an average score), you should keep the survey simple to reduce the drop off rate. Here’s a sample survey often shared with customers.

Advantages of CSAT

Disadvantages of CSAT

  • Simple, short, and intuitive
  • Feedback is subjective; different people can have different perceptions
  • Variable rating scale
  • Likely to produce skewed results as many unsatisfied customers don’t bother with surveys
  • High response rate
  • Ambiguity in deciding a benchmark score

CSAT is highly useful for recording satisfaction scores after a recent transaction and improving overall customer experience.

Adding various subheads to such surveys can help you identify various attributes of service that are important for your customers. For a food delivery service, for example, these attributes could be – delivery executive’s attitude, quality of the food, restaurant pricing, etc.

3. Customer Effort Score (CES)

CES surveys put questions like “How much effort did you have to put in to submit a request?” in front of a customer and are typically answered on a numeric scale. CES is a customer service metric, used to improve the system that may otherwise lead to confusion and frustration.

Essentially, CES is based on a belief that effortlessness is the most relevant attribute of customer support or service.

Image Source: Relently

The following could be another sample survey:

A CES survey is usually put up after an online customer support interaction and can help SaaS businesses measure the efforts a customer has put in to reach out to them.

Advantages of CES

Disadvantages of CES

  • Strongly predicts customers’ future purchase behavior
  • Fails to provide details on relationship between a customer and a business
  • Strongly predicts the likelihood of customer referral
  • No segmentation between customer types
  • Highly actionable

The primary aim of a CES survey is to help businesses identify and remove obstacles that their customers may face while trying to find solutions to their issues.

A customer experience research by Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) has confirmed that when businesses exceed customer expectations, they notice very little change in customer loyalty.

This is the much sought-after product of every B2C interaction and poses a big question: “Would you like to cater to the evolving needs of customers today?” If your answer is yes, then these three metrics should be the forerunners of your customer experience strategy.

It’s Your Turn Now!

Which one of these customer satisfaction metrics do you think suits your business? Do share your choice with us.

Featured image source: vanzolini(dot)org(dot)br

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