How will you keep customers happy if you don’t know what they think about your brand? It’s a tricky question, but how a company approaches customer satisfaction can make or break a business.

As your company grows, more and more of your team members lose direct contact with customers. Some businesses get really disconnected from what their customers think, feel and want – so disconnected that they slowly but surely lose customers that used to be loyal. As a result, the company becomes more and more unstable, losing customer after customer, and having a difficult time attracting new customers to replace the ones that churn.

You certainly don’t want to live that scenario, so let’s see what customer satisfaction is, understand the importance of customer satisfaction, and how we can measure and improve it.

What is Customer Satisfaction?

Customer satisfaction is defined as the measurement your company takes to determine how happy your customers are with the products, services, and experiences received from your brand. Marketers use customer satisfaction surveys to evaluate if the company has met customers’ expectations.

How would you know what makes customers unhappy if you don’t measure customer satisfaction regularly, covering all critical moments of your interaction?

Let’s look beyond the customer satisfaction definition and get a taste of the best practices and nuances you should pay attention to.

Measuring customer satisfaction should be an ongoing process as your customers’ satisfaction levels can vary significantly from one experience to another, and from one journey stage to another. For example, if a newly acquired customer is thrilled with their first purchase experience, it doesn’t mean they can’t be let down by the following experience if your customer loyalty program isn’t as rewarding as a repeat, loyal customer deserves.

The customer satisfaction level is influenced by multiple factors, including:

  • How they perceive the value brought by your products or services;
  • How they perceive the quality of the products and services you deliver;
  • How easy it is to receive what your brand has to offer;
  • How well you’re communicating with them during a purchase and between two orders;
  • How they evaluate your customer support team when they have questions or have complaints about your products or services.

Customer needs and expectations change over time, so it’s your responsibility to take their pulse often, in the key moments of interaction with your brand. 

Let’s give you a couple of examples of how customer satisfaction might change from one stage to another. You might nail the online shopping experience but have a long delivery time. You might have a well-trained customer support team, but some toxic products that don’t meet the customers’ expectations in terms of quality, generating a lot of dissatisfaction among all customer segment types that leads to high churn rates.

Why Is Customer Satisfaction Important?

Customer satisfaction helps you predict future customer behaviors and is a leading indicator of customer churn. By monitoring customer satisfaction, you can optimize customer experiences and influence behavior through positive experiences.

Along with Customer Lifetime Value, customer satisfaction metrics help you evaluate how healthy your company is and how likely it is to generate sustainable growth. Successful companies know it, and that’s why eCommerce businesses today are doing their best to offer excellent customer experiences at every interaction, collect customer satisfaction feedback, and, most importantly, act upon customer satisfaction data.

Maintaining customer satisfaction high is vital for retaining loyal customers and generating sustainable eCommerce growth. In addition, positive word of mouth has a massive impact on your acquisition campaigns, which is critical when you want to gain more market share.

Measuring customer satisfaction plays an important role in identifying problems you might have ignored without direct feedback from your existing customers.  

All companies have challenges in their effort to deliver the best experiences. However, what matters the most is how you act. You probably know that you can save a customer relationship even after an unsatisfying experience. Even what started as a negative experience can be transformed into a positive one with a clear customer support process in place.

Let’s see what alternatives you have for keeping up with how customers perceive their experiences with your brand.

customer satisfaction

How to Measure Customer Satisfaction?

All customer satisfaction metrics are captured using customer satisfaction surveys. In your journey towards achieving customer-centricity, customer satisfaction surveys are your most accurate guide if you see beyond numbers and manage to capture valuable insights. So, no matter what metrics you’re choosing, be sure you’re nailing the design of your survey.

The most popular customer satisfaction metrics are Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), Customer Effort Score (CES), and Net Promoter Score (NPS).

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) helps you measure the level of satisfaction after a customer’s most recent experience with your products or services.

Measuring CSAT implies using a scale, usually a five-point scale, where 1 will be for “very unsatisfied” and 5 for “very satisfied.”

The CSAT percentage is calculated by taking the total number of happy customers and dividing it by the total number of responses. If your CSAT rating is low, let’s say 20%, most of your customers are unsatisfied with your brand.

Customer Satisfaction Score formula

Customer Effort Score (CES)

Customer Effort Score (CES) helps you measure how easily a customer fulfilled the desired action during an interaction with your brand. 

Your customers can rate actions like placing a new order, using your products or services, returning some of the products, or receiving an answer to a question they addressed to customer success teams.

The Customer Effort Score is calculated by subtracting the number of negative customer responses from the positive responses.

Customer Effort Score formula

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net Promoter Score (NPS) helps you measure how likely your customers are to recommend your brand, products, or services to their friends and family.

NPS offers valuable insights into future customer behavior, being one of the most important performance indicators for your eCommerce store, along with customer lifetime value and profit margin.

Net Promoter Score uses a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 is the lowest and 10 is the highest. The NPS is calculated as the difference between the percentage of promoters and the percentage of detractors.

Net Promoter Score Formula

> Learn all about NPS from our Ultimate NPS Guide.

The secret behind designing effective customer satisfaction surveys lies in mixing quantitative questions with qualitative questions. You want to go beyond what a 1 to 5 or a 0 to 10 scale reflects. You want to capture customer emotions, and you can only achieve that by creating short, smart questions.

How to Improve Customer Satisfaction?

Motivation varies, and so does customer satisfaction. Multiple factors influence how satisfied customers are with their interaction with your brand. Some are mainly interested in the quality of the products and willing to pay more for convenience. Others might be looking for more than quality products and want a sense of community belonging. 

The actions that you can take to improve customer satisfaction can be split into three categories:

Collect customer feedback regularly in key moments

Collecting feedback regularly allows you to be connected with how your customers perceive their experiences and make sure you’re keeping existing customers happy and loyal. An indispensable step in improving customer satisfaction is collecting feedback regularly in various moments of customer interaction. 

For example, you want to collect feedback just after a customer has placed an order and shortly after receiving their order. If there’s a gap between these two key moments, you’ll know whether you’re having a marketing problem or there are some issues with a product or a service your customers purchased. 

Be proactive and act in real-time based on customer feedback

Collecting customer feedback without acting on the valuable insights can be highly harmful to your business and can damage the customers’ trust in your brand. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and think how you would feel if you complained about your latest experience without any reaction from the brand’s customer support team. Would you order again from that company? Probably not.

The great thing about constantly measuring customer satisfaction is that you can use customer input to trigger various automated flows depending on the feedback you receive and the customer type. For example, if you receive a low NPS from one of your top customers, you can notify your customer support team, and that customer becomes their top priority, allowing them to act in real-time to fix the problem and maintain a high satisfaction level.

Transform customer feedback into customer experience improvements

The best customer experience optimization ideas might come directly from your customers. This is why the customer satisfaction surveys should include qualitative questions, too, allowing customers to signal problems about your website, delivery process, and level of quality, but also make suggestions about what could make their experiences more pleasant. 

The feedback you receive from high-value and high-potential customers should weigh the most when prioritizing experience optimization activities. You want to please your top customers and make sure you make a good impression on newly acquired customers. 

Customer Satisfaction Tools

A customer satisfaction tool offers you an effective way to collect feedback and measure how happy your customers are. It makes you more agile in identifying business opportunities and threats, why customers churn, and helps you make better decisions, with a customer-centric approach in mind.

There are some aspects you should keep in mind when choosing a customer satisfaction tool:

  • The tool should allow you to customize customer surveys;
  • You should be able to evaluate satisfaction in various moments, on multiple channels, and from different angles;
  • It should be easy to collect, store, and analyze customer responses;
  • It should offer a clear view of how customer satisfaction evolved over time;
  • The customer satisfaction
  • score should be calculated automatically;
  • It should allow you to trigger automated flows based on customer answers;
  • It should easily integrate with other platforms your business uses.

By integrating your customer satisfaction tool with other platforms your online store uses, like email marketing or customer support platforms, you can enable real-time response, and other marketing automation flows that help you increase customer satisfaction.

> Find more about the features a customer satisfaction tool should include

Wrap up

The way you measure, monitor, and improve customer satisfaction directly impacts your business’s profitability. Make sure customer satisfaction measurement becomes an ongoing process in your company, and you’ll see how it benefits your business and customers alike. 

Do you want to learn more about improving customer experiences and satisfaction? Good! We’ve prepared an advanced course for curious minds like yours. It’s called the Customer Value Optimization Course and is brought to you by world-renowned instructors. Discover who they are and what they teach!

Frequently asked questions about customer satisfaction

What are the 3 C’s of customer satisfaction?

According to McKinsey, the 3 C’s of customer satisfaction are Customer Journey Consistency, Emotional Consistency, and Communication Consistency. Customers are becoming more and more exigent, so you have to keep up with their needs and deliver excellent experiences at every interaction.

What is customer satisfaction, and why is it important?

Customer satisfaction helps companies measure how happy their customers are with what the company offers. Happy, loyal customers help you generate sustainable growth. You want to keep track of and improve customer satisfaction levels because you want to predict and positively influence future behaviors.

What are the 4 types of customer satisfaction?

There are four commonly recognized types of customer satisfaction:
Expected satisfaction, which is when a customer’s expectations are met; Delighted satisfaction, which is when a customer’s expectations are exceeded and they are pleasantly surprised;Measured satisfaction, which is when a customer’s expectations are met, but they are indifferent or neutral about the experience; Disappointed satisfaction, which is when a customer’s expectations are not met and they are dissatisfied with the experience.