Never Stop Dating Your Customers: How CSAT Surveys Help

Leslie Paetschow


By traditional standards, dating is a way to spend time with your new love interest, get to know them, and woo them, but as a company, this translates a bit differently. Read on to learn about CSAT.

By traditional standards, dating is a way to spend time with your new love interest, get to know them, and woo them, but as a company, this translates a bit differently. It comes down to creating taglines that are interesting enough to catch a new customer’s attention, representing your brand in the best way, getting customers to give you a try and then maintaining consistent contact with them. Question is, are you at that point in your relationship with customers? Yes? Great! Read on to learn how to make the most of their experiences with you.

Avoiding Stale Relationships

Now, when it comes to relationships, routines tend to start setting in which is usually when romance starts to take a back seat to things such as work, bills, family life, etc. What was important when you first began dating starts to feel less important. So, what type of relationship have you been able to maintain with your customers once they’ve already been woo’d by you? Is your support team doing a good job of continuing to make them happy? Is the product or service you offer losing its luster and priming your customers to search for new potential dating partners, or as you know them, competitors?

Hiro the Ninja holding a bouquet of flowers for customers.

As John and Julie Gottman explain in their book, Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love, "Happily ever after is not by chance. It's by choice." Meaning that it takes work. By neglecting the details of a marriage there can be significant negative impacts to your relationship. Although as a business, your relationship with your customers is most certainly not a marriage by traditional standards, it is essential to minimize the risk of a competitor swooping in to steal your customers. By treating your customer interactions as a marriage and paying attention to the details your customers desperately want you to hear, you gather powerful insights about your audience. That’s where the customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey comes into play.

Fostering Dynamic Relationships With CSAT

It’s plain and simple. If you don’t listen to your customers, a breakup is imminent. Now, if you do listen to your customers there are a few ways to detect early signs of a breakup and avoid a breakup entirely.

One proven and very simple method - a customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey.

How To Approach The CSAT Survey The Right Way

To encourage a higher response rate from customers surveyed, I suggest approaching a CSAT survey with this simple strategy: ask three questions of the customer and depending on the answer, establish a unique follow-up question for each initial question. 

Example initial questions:

First question

Were you satisfied with the service you received? 

Second question

Was your issue accurately resolved?

Third question

Was your issue resolved in a timely manner?

Example follow-up questions:

Follow up to the first question

What do you feel would have made the service you received a positive experience for you? 

Follow up to the second question

 What about your issue was left unresolved? What additional steps could we have taken to find a better resolution to your issue?

Follow up to the third question

What do you feel would have been a more timely manner? Do you have any suggestions for how we could have improved your experience while waiting for a resolution?

Calibrate Your CSAT Survey Based On Your Product Or Service

In order to gauge accurate feedback, the CSAT survey your company creates must reflect the unique product or service you offer. Both the initial and follow-up questions should help you answer the question: why would they break up with you? 

Regardless of the specific questions you tailor for your survey, keep in mind what you should be pulling from your customers in the end:

Actionable Feedback

This should be used for coaching support agents if poor feedback was directly linked to the service interaction.

Product Or Policy?

What blockers are support agents not able to fix or resolve that would keep customers happy? If there is a policy in place that would allow for a high percentage of customers to be happy enough to stay and not look at your competitors if it were amended, then determine if the impact of changing or removing that policy outweighs the financial impact losing those customers would carry.

Fast Or Accurate Resolutions?

What blockers were faced in providing an accurate resolution? Is it a product or policy limitation? If the answer is no, look for workflow inefficiencies - do the support agents have access to the tools they need to find an accurate resolution? If they are bound to a timeline out of their control because a higher tier agent or developer doesn’t get back to them quickly enough, in what ways can you automate or optimize that workflow?

Understanding Customer Happiness As A Score

So you may be asking now, how is CSAT calculated? Well, customer satisfaction is calculated by dividing all the positive responses by the total number of responses and multiplying by 100. This results in your CSAT percent. For example, if you have 35 positive responses and a total of 50 responses, your CSAT would be 70%.

How to calculate CSAT: positive responses over total number of responses multiplied by 100.

If you don’t already know the industry standard CSAT for your business, there are several helpful benchmark tools available for free with a simple google search, but one that our Ninja Success team consistently watches is the Zendesk Benchmark.

Things to keep in mind when you are analyzing your customer happiness score include:

Know The Bell Curve

It’s important to acknowledge that the majority of people who respond to a survey respond because they are on either end of the curve - ecstatically happy or emphatically unhappy. It is not abnormal to see few and far between responses in the middle of the happiness scale.

Know Your Survey Response Rate

More responses means more data.

Since CSAT is an average of all responses, the lower the number of responses you receive the wider the average will swing. This is why it is important to do your homework, run A/B testing and keep a close eye on what method of surveying obtains the highest number of responses. A higher number of responses also means more data to use when determining the best strategy for continuing to date your customers and keep them happy.

How To Analyze Dissatisfied Customer Scores

Referred to as a DSAT analysis, this is the detailed collection, aggregation, codification, review, reporting and analysis of the specific customer transactions on the lower end of the happiness scale. In cases that customers provide a dissatisfied score, valuable data can be obtained by simply doing a deep dive into each ticket rated poorly. Whether the customer provided written feedback or not, comparing their feedback with the actual step by step handling of the customer’s interaction will show you how and in what way to make changes that will encourage them to return and stay for good.

Read about the importance of a support team.