31 Customer Service Experts Reveal the Most Effective Ways to Measure Customer Satisfaction

Mar 24, 2020

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  • Customer Support

Today’s companies understand that customer satisfaction should be at the forefront of everything they do. From hiring the right people to training your employees on vital customer service skills, handling difficult customers with finesse, and implementing the right tools and technologies to support customer service best practices, there are many factors that impact customer satisfaction.

To identify shortcomings and areas for improvement, measuring customer satisfaction effectively is a must. There are several customer satisfaction metrics to consider, but which measurement method is best? Is there a single, one-size-fits-all customer satisfaction metric that works for every business? Should companies be using more than one metric to measure customer satisfaction? To gain some insight into the best practices and methods for measuring customer satisfaction, we reached out to a panel of customer service experts and asked them to answer this question:

“What’s the most effective way to measure customer satisfaction?”

Read on to learn what our experts had to say about the most effective way to measure customer satisfaction.


Paige NeJame

Paige NeJame
@CertaPro

Paige NeJame is the Owner of CertaPro Painters of the South Shore.

As a franchisee of CertaPro, all of our customers get a call back from our Corporate Headquarters after we are done painting and are asked the typical NPS question…

“Would you recommend us to a friend?”

I look at these results and use the comments to train our crews, but I’m not sure this call back method is perfect.

The metric that makes me feel the most secure is measuring how many people recommend us to their friends and determining my percentage of customers, year over year, who are either:

  • Previous / returning customers, or
  • Word of mouth customers

When I find these two measures increasing year over year, that is a good indication to me that my customers are satisfied and ACTUALLY recommending us to their friends (not just telling us what we want to hear).

We are diligent about asking new customers how they found us and label them as word-of-mouth customers in our software.


James Canzanella

James Canzanella
James Canzanella

James Canzanella is the owner of Isolated Marketing Nights which helps you build and grow your online business through the help of software.

One of the most effective ways to measure customer satisfaction would have to be…

Simply asking your customers about the help that they received. It doesn't need to take a long time, either. A simple rating on a scale of 1 - 10 with a couple of optional sections would do. For example, you can offer a section for comments or feedback, which is a great way to see what your customers want and how you can improve. This approach not only helps with feedback but is also less intimidating to complete compared to a longer questionnaire.


Ali Hasan

Ali Hasan
@F_Jackets

Ali is a Digital Marketer with expertise in SEO and content writing at Film Jackets.

Take a survey through your website or email…

Whether the customer has purchased something or just browsing, you can always ask about the experience when the customer decides to close the browser tab. Or, consider emailing after the order is delivered and ask what the customer thought about the product. Is there anything we need to fix in our service or product? Also, remember to collect emails from the customers before or during the sale so you can carry out this process.


Sam Williamson

Sam Williamson
@diablo_cb

Sam Williamson is a co-owner CBDiablo, a food supplement business based in the UK.

Collecting reviews is an essential aspect of any business, because…

You need to be aware of what your customers like and dislike about your offering. But too many businesses rely on reviews from places like Google and Facebook, where the name of the reviewer is visible. In my opinion, this prevents people from giving their honest opinion, leading to a lack of genuinely useful feedback. We've always focused on offering people the chance to review us anonymously, so we can be sure that the feedback within the reviews is 100% genuine and that nobody is holding back what they really think.


Kenny Trinh

Kenny Trinh
@netbook_news

Kenny is the founder & CEO of a 2-year-old media startup, Netbooknews.

It is crucial to measure customer satisfaction, and the best way to do so is through customer feedback…

There are many ways of doing so, but I would recommend the most effective ones:

Net Promoter Score (NPS): NPS stands out as the most effective way to measure customer satisfaction. NPS is an easy metric to visualize graphically, and it’s a good way to extract knowledge about your competencies.

Real-Time Analytics: This technique helps you to collect customer analysis and simultaneously generate exhaustive general reports daily, weekly, or monthly to ensure customer feedback.

Employee Performance Analysis: Employee performance analysis helps you to gather feedback about your staff who are looking after the needs of the customers. It provides insight into customer satisfaction in terms of employee performance.


Pushpraj Kumar

Pushpraj Kumar
@consultifour

Pushpraj Kumar is a Business Analyst at iFour Technolab Pvt. Ltd.

The most effective way to measure customer satisfaction is Net Promoter Score (NPS)…

NPS is the most reliable measurement method, as it instantly captures the customer’s sentiment about your product. The reason it’s so effective is because it simply asks every customer: “Would you recommend the product to your friends or colleagues?”  NPS measures the probability of a customer referring your business to someone. It doesn’t simply measure their short-term happiness.

NPS divides your customers into three categories: Detractors, Passives, and Promoters. The NPS question is straightforward and easy to answer. If unhappy customers tend to respond more often than a satisfied customer, you can have the opportunity to focus on the areas needing improvement and make a great impression on your dissatisfied customers.


Swati Chalumuri

Swati Chalumuri
Swati Chalumuri

Swati is the CEO of Hearmefolks.com, a financial blog.

The referring technique, which is also known as the Net Promoter Score (NPS)…

With NPS, customers are given the chance to give their feedback on a scale of 1 - 10 on how likely they are to recommend the product or service to a friend. The higher the score, the higher the likelihood of the customer making a recommendation. This technique is not emotional-based, and users rate based on how useful the product or service was to them.


Morgan Taylor

Morgan Taylor
@letmebank

Morgan Taylor is a Finance Expert & CMO for LetMeBank.

How not to measure customer satisfaction: an emailed survey…

The response rates here are atrocious. Here's how to get results:

Send out an email survey linked to a rewards raffle. Make sure that you specify in the subject line how many gift cards (and make it 50x minimum) are available. People want a real chance at winning – even if it's only $25. If you only offer one potential gift, nobody will bite.


Manny Hernandez

Manny Hernandez
@OMNI_AI

Manny Hernandez is the co-Founder and CEO of Omni, Inc. Manny is a consummate marketer and information technology professional with over ten years of experience in the fast-evolving arena of direct response marketing.

Customer satisfaction surveys are the standard approach for collecting data on customer happiness…

It’s one effective measure of how your customers perceive your brand. It consists of asking your customers how satisfied they are with your service. Although it may seem simple, quality customer survey results have everything to do with asking quality questions and asking them at the right time. It is the most effective way to get accurate feedback and actionable items for improving customer satisfaction.

The different ways by which an organization can conduct customer surveys are:

  • In-app surveys
  • Online surveys
  • In-store surveys
  • Feedback forms
  • Offline surveys over the phone or SMS

Jason Hughes

Jason Hughes
@VeganLiftz

Jason Hughes is the founder of Veganliftz.

Willingness to repurchase metric…

This metric usually comes in the form of a question. Here, a customer is asked to answer a question such as: “Are you willing/intending to get or repurchase products at Veganliftz in the next 30 days?”

The customer who had previously used the products or services gives their honest feedback on the same. In turn, the feedback is used to determine how satisfied the customer was.


Polly Kay

Polly Kay
@EnglishBlinds

Polly Kay is a Senior Marketing Manager at English Blinds.

The most effective way to measure customer satisfaction is by…

Measuring repeat customers and customer referrals. These are solid, hard metrics that provide a very clear picture in black and white of the state of play, and they're also the most valuable for the company long term.

Feedback forms, customer satisfaction surveys, and average cart values can provide you with supporting details on a more macro level, such as why your customers are happy or unhappy, what they want, what you're not providing, and their pain points.

However, repeat customers, recommending you to others, brand loyalty, and so on are the most valuable metrics to consider, and these provide the most realistic picture of your true state of play in terms of customer satisfaction.


Matt Dunne

Matt Dunne
@africatvl

Matt Dunne is the Hiring Manager at Africa Travel.

The best way to measure customer satisfaction is to ask the customers directly…

Even after you’ve sold your product, you won’t know how successful it has been or if you can make any improvements until you receive some form of feedback.

Returning customers do suggest that your business is doing something right. However, getting customers’ opinions and using their comments and suggestions to improve different aspects of your business is the best way to grow and become more successful. Email customers a survey that is quick and easy to fill out so you can get honest, constructive feedback.


Patsy Nearkhou

Patsy Nearkhou
@talkativeuk

Patsy Nearkhou is the Marketing Manager at Talkative, a tech startup which provides integrated contact center solutions such as live chat, web calling, video calling, and cobrowsing. Patsy loves to create content around customer experience, customer service, and emerging tech within these fields. Patsy has a big, bubbly personality with lots of ideas and opinions.

Keep it simple and don’t become greedy with feedback…

As marketers, we are constantly thinking about KPIs, measuring campaigns, and learning as much as we can about our customers. Measuring customer satisfaction is one of the most important KPIs to keep track of, but it is only effective when your sample size is truly representative. One of the most effective methods for understanding customer satisfaction is to offer a short survey after an interaction. Whether this is a live chat, phone call, or immediately after the customer has completed an online purchase, the accuracy of the feedback you receive is always more reliable the nearer it is to the event. The longer you wait, the hazier the customer’s recollection of the process will be, and this could mean missing out on interesting customer perspectives.

Always offer the customer satisfaction survey immediately after the interaction, but also resist the temptation to ask for too much information. Remember, these surveys are optional. Even if the customer is willing to do it, it’s often an inconvenient and unnecessary task for them. Try to keep it as simple as possible, with either a simple thumbs up or down after a live chat interaction. Although this might not sound like it’s painting an accurate picture, its simplicity and ease means that almost everyone asked will submit a response, making the overall result much more reliable. The longer the survey, the greater the chances that only those customers with something to day – either very positive or very negative – will take the time to complete it. While this may give you more deep-dive information around customer satisfaction, the sample size can often become skewed, and in many cases is not representative at all.


Luka Arezina

Luka Arezina
Luka Arezina

Luka Arezina is the editor-in-chief at DataProt.

The best way to measure customer satisfaction is by…

Combining measuring customer dissatisfaction and intention-to-repurchase surveys.

People tend to leave reviews when they're extremely satisfied or dissatisfied. Paying attention to those cases when things took the wrong turn might help us prevent and avoid such mishaps and improve overall customer service.

Further, intention-to-repurchase surveys can help us realize how satisfied our customers are with the service and reveal shortcomings that must be changed. For instance, those who run restaurants might ask their customers if they plan on coming back in the next 30 days, which can give them a clear picture of customer satisfaction.


Ahmed Ali

Ahmed Ali
@mycentriq

Ahmed Ali is the Outreach Consultant at Centriq.

The most effective ways to measure customer satisfaction are…

CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score)

You can say that CSAT is the most standard customer satisfaction metric – asking your customers to rate their satisfaction with your business, product, or service.

Your CSAT score is then the average rating of your customer responses, and it determines whether they were particularly happy (or unhappy) with your service.

The scale can be different depending on where you are working. When I was working in HSBC, it ranged between 1 - 10. A larger range is not always better, due to cultural differences in how people rate their satisfaction.

The charm of the CSAT metric comes from its directness. The only downside that I can think of is that satisfaction is hard to estimate, even for the customer. It’s directed at a sentiment, which is fleeting and mood dependent.

NPS (Net Promoter Score)

The Net Promoter Score basically informs us whether the customer is going to refer you to someone, and it’s probably the most popular metric for measuring customer loyalty.

Customers are asked how likely they are to recommend you to someone else on a scale from 1 to 10. NPS tends to tell us about the customer’s intention of referring, which is easier to answer.

Calculating your NPS score is quite easy. Take the percentage of respondents who fall within the ‘promoter’ category (10 - 9) and subtract the percentage of ‘detractors’ (0 - 6).


Malte Scholz

Malte Scholz
@Maltissimo11

Malte Scholz is a passionate product manager and technology enthusiast with deep knowledge in launching cross-platform SaaS and e-commerce products. Malte co-founded Airfocus – a software solution that enables smarter roadmap prioritization for teams and solopreneurs.

One of the easiest ways to measure customer satisfaction is through NPS, or Net Promoter Score…

Since our product is in the SaaS realm, all of our customers visit our website. Instead of bothering them with lengthy surveys, we present them with short questionnaires that are built in Hotjar.

During certain points of using the app, we ask simple questions relating to that specific step. For example, we ask if a product feature meets their needs or if one aspect of our app has a satisfactory user experience.

The great thing is that Hotjar has a variety of other tools (heatmaps, recording user sessions) that can be combined with NPS surveys to paint the full picture of customer experience.


Jeremy Lawlor

Jeremy Lawlor
Jeremy Lawlor

Jeremy Lawlor is the co-founder and chief strategist of Active Business Growth– a local SEO company that helps small businesses gain online exposure and visibility through organic Google Search.

For our own agency, the best way we found to measure customer satisfaction is our client retention rates...

Understanding how long clients stay with us is a key indicator of client satisfaction. Our clients sign with us on a month-to-month basis, so there is no obligation to work with us for the long term. For that reason, we look to see how many months clients stay with us on average and look for new ways to improve this over time. As long as this number increases over time, we know we are doing a good job for our clients.


Alice Stevens

Alice Stevens
@AliceRStevens16

Alice Stevens has managed the health and life insurance content for Best Company since 2018. Alice is passionate about conducting good research and understanding the details you need to know about insurance.

Tapping into customer reviews is an effective way to understand your customers’ experiences and how satisfied they are…

Reviews should also inform how you practice business. What areas are you going to improve? What practices need to change or stop?

Track the most common complaints and address them. Addressing them may mean making broader business changes like better training for customer service and sales representatives.

Read reviews to understand what satisfied customers liked. What can you do to enhance those positive aspects of your product or service?


Michael Nemeroff

Michael Nemeroff
@RushOrderTees

Michael Nemeroff is the Founder and Former CEO of RushOrderTees.

The best way to measure customer satisfaction is to monitor the use of your loyalty program…

Are customers sticking with you and taking advantage of your loyalty discounts, or is there something that is stopping them from continuing to do business with your company? Monitoring the different touchpoints can give you an idea of where customers are becoming unsatisfied.


Carsten Schaefer

Carsten Schaefer
@crowdy_ai

Carsten Schaefer is the founder and CEO of crowdy.ai, social proof marketing platform. Inspired by principles and mechanisms of social proof, Carsten is currently on the way to help businesses become trustworthy and thrive in the digital landscape.

One of the best ways we’ve found to measure customer satisfaction is customer surveys sent through emails…

There is one thing we have to mention: emails are a great way to get useful insights from your customers, but they take time and effort. If you want them to work properly, don’t send them too often, because your customers will consider them spammy.

Emails are best used to send out surveys with a larger number of questions (10+) and surveys with open-ended questions. For anything shorter than that, I suggest using in-app surveys or short surveys on your website. One major tip I have is that for each survey you send, you should tell customers why you’re collecting user feedback. For example, in our emails we mention that we are launching a new feature and that only our most faithful customers get to give us their feedback first. As a thank you for the survey they fill out, these users get free access to new features.


Tim Uittenbroek

Tim Uittenbroek
Tim Uittenbroek

Tim Uittenbroek is the Founder of Blinklist.com. Tim is a serial entrepreneur who since getting out of the “rat race” in late 2015 has built multiple 7-figure online businesses. Tim’s greatest passion is experiencing the feeling of taking an idea from its infant stage and turning it into a profitable business.

The most effective way to track customer satisfaction is a series of feedback that you will obtain at different points in time…

Generate a customer feedback form for different intervals – for example, a survey after 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year. Using this method, you will be able to find out how your customers feel about your product or services over time. To enhance the survey response rate, use a feedback form that takes a short time to complete, such as 10 seconds. After 3 surveys, give them incentives like a free product or free or discounted upgrade. These incentives will enhance the customer response rate, so you’ll gain more feedback on how your customers feel about the quality of your product.


James Parsons

James Parsons
James Parsons

James Parsons is the founder and CEO of Content Powered. Having founded and grown several multi-million-dollar eCommerce businesses solely through blogging, James created Content Powered to help other business owners grow their websites and sales by publishing useful, optimized, and well-researched content.

The best way to measure customer satisfaction is by interacting with your customers while the line of communication is still open…

People are generally reluctant to answer surveys, whether it's on the phone or via email, and it's tough to get the real, unbiased numbers. If you offer an incentive for a survey, you'll get too many positive surveys from people looking for the freebie. If you call customers to gather surveys, you may only get responses from people who are annoyed by the phone call, skewing your data in a negative direction.

If you can make it as easy as possible for people to let you know how you're doing, especially during the customer service process, you'll get more accurate insights into customer satisfaction. For example, some companies include little thumbs-up and thumbs-down icons that users can click at the end of their emails or after a live chat. These instant feedback buttons only take a second for your users to click, and there isn't a long form that they have to fill out, removing most of the friction from the process.


Mike Bran

Mike Bran
@ThrillAppeal

Mike Bran is the Founder of ThrillAppeal. Thill Appeal was born out of our passion and enthusiasm for outdoor sports and fun. They aim to be the place to visit when learning about outdoor action sports and adventure.

I would suggest asking a few but concise questions through QR codes (online forms)…

The best way to measure customer satisfaction is to ask them directly. Many people feel hesitant when providing one-on-one answers. Whether you run an online business or not, surveys can be done quickly through online forms.

Companies can print QR codes on their products, which send users to feedback questionnaires when scanned. Include questions like, “Are you happy with our services?” and “Will you recommend our product to others?” These questions provide insights on the client’s loyalty and overall retention chances. In an online business, pop-ups or email can be used along with offering small incentives.


Lauren Mendoza

Lauren Mendoza
@swipecast

Lauren Mendoza is the VP of Marketing at Swipecast.

Customer service satisfaction is a challenge when it comes to business…

The success and worth of your company rely on a happy and satisfied customer.

Measuring customer service satisfaction comes down to asking the right questions to get the specific answers we are looking for. Here are a few of the KPIs to take into consideration:

  • Overall satisfaction
  • The customer effort score
  • Extremely satisfied or very satisfied
  • Brand attributes

In the end, the best customer satisfaction measurement is the one that gives you a proper KPI that you can link to ROI, so you can identify which operational aspects you can adjust to affect your KPI – ROI.


Kat Kalmykov

Kat Kalmykov
Kat Kalmykov

Kat Kalmykov is the Head of Customer Success at Thankful.ai.

Measuring your customer satisfaction in a quantifiable way is critical to businesses today…

You cannot simply assume your customers are satisfied or happy.

Looking at VoC (Voice of Customer) metrics is a great way to understand what your customers are trying to tell you. For every client we work with, we highly recommend monitoring CSAT (customer satisfaction score) and CES (customer effort score). While neither of these are perfect measures, by combining them, you can get an accurate picture of how satisfied or dissatisfied your customers are.

In addition to monitoring VoC, it is important to monitor other metrics in parallel, such as time to first response on incoming queries (in the form of tickets) – meaning how quickly customers get help when they contact your support organization. It is important to note that solving tickets quickly will ensure customers get great service fast and boost CSAT score.


David Peterson

David Peterson
@HealthMarkets

David Peterson is the Senior Director of Marketing and Strategy at HealthMarkets, one of the largest independent health insurance agencies in the US that sells health, Medicare, life, and supplemental insurance products for more than 200 companies.

Measuring a customer's overall satisfaction with the process, product, or services you provide can be done with just one or a series of questions…

For example, asking the customer to rate their experience on a scale of 1 - 5 or Poor to Excellent can help gather quick but relevant data.

Equally important, though, is to find out whether the customer would recommend your company, product, or service to others (often referred to as Net Promoter Score). If someone is very satisfied with the job your company has done but wouldn't recommend the service to others who would need it, it's crucial to find out why.


Robyn Flint

Robyn Flint
@usinsuranceagts

Robyn Flint is an insurance specialist for USInsuranceAgents.com, the founding owner of a real estate rehab company, licensed realtor, published author, and owner of a direct sales business.

The most effective way to measure customer satisfaction is by their repeat business and referrals…

It only takes one bad experience for a person to spread the negativity to 100 people, but it takes 100 satisfied people to spread the positivity to only one person.

Businesses should always make every customer experience their priority. Customer satisfaction means referrals. The best way to measure referrals is to ask customers how they heard about your business, whether it’s advertising or word-of-mouth.

Marketing budgets for businesses should include a significant portion of funds dedicated to customer satisfaction. Marketing doesn’t need to be expensive to be effective. You can still reach your target audience without breaking the bank. There are easy ways to save by using inexpensive marketing alternatives.

Many businesses measure consumer satisfaction with surveys and other rating systems. This is especially true for services with the greatest impact, both on daily life and finances. Many customers will consult with websites that collect data regarding customer complaints and satisfaction. That is why making every customer experience their best experience is important.


Alexandra Tran

Alexandra Tran
@HLGSWRTH

Alexandra is a Digital Marketing Strategist with Hollingsworth, a national e-commerce and logistics company.

We measure customer satisfaction with surveys…

We send out an automated email after a purchase has been completed. The survey is 2 questions long and is both quantitative and anecdotal. The first question is a satisfaction rating between 1 - 5 (5 being best) followed by an anecdotal question. This method allows customers to provide feedback to us without it requiring too much effort on their end.

We also have satisfaction surveys for our vendors, which are a little longer (5-7 questions) and go more in depth in terms of service provision and how we can help businesses succeed.

Ultimately, surveys should be relevant, succinct, and provide a company with actionable data to improve your business strategy.


Bernice Quek

Bernice Quek
@astreem

Bernice Quek is a Customer Service Specialist at Astreem.

Gather feedback from customers via customer satisfaction surveys…

If you own a brick and mortar store, you can encourage customers to fill in a feedback form while you scan their items at the counter. If you own an online business, simply follow up purchases with an email to get them to provide feedback.

To entice them to participate in the survey, you can reward them with a 10% discount for their next purchase. After you've gathered their responses, review the statistics and quotes and display them on your website (with the customer’s permission to use their testimonial, of course).

This approach will not only allow you to evaluate and improve your customer service, but it also will assure site visitors that your brand is reliable.


Dennis Bell

Dennis Bell
Dennis Bell

Dennis Bell has worked in the IT industry for the past 15 years. During that time, Dennis has worked with everyone from local businesses to fortune 500 companies. Dennis also runs a multimedia company that includes a site called Byblos Coffee, a rapidly growing platform Dennis started last year.

Customer satisfaction has evolved from its humble origin to a very complex living organism…

Most companies have changed their view to a customer-centric one. We now understand that customers can make or break a company.

For me, NPS is the most effective way to measure customer satisfaction. Its effectiveness is centered upon its simplicity: one question to answer. By asking customers how likely they are to recommend our product or service to others, we get an idea of whether our customers were satisfied with our product.

But getting customer feedback via NPS can't do it alone. You have to follow it up with analyzing the data you have gathered, monitoring social media, and improving by making some changes. The online world has become a real-time indicator of how your company is doing in terms of customer satisfaction. It’s best if you devote some of your resources to monitoring what people say about your company.

Once you start measuring, you can begin optimizing. And you can now make calculated moves to improve and enhance customer satisfaction.


Paige Arnof-Fenn

Paige Arnof-Fenn
Paige Arnof-Fenn

Paige Arnof-Fenn is the founder & CEO of global marketing and branding firm, Mavens & Moguls, based in Cambridge, MA. Her clients include Microsoft, Virgin, The New York Times Company, Colgate, and venture-backed startups as well as non-profit organizations. Paige graduated from Stanford University and Harvard Business School. Paige is a popular speaker and columnist who has written for Entrepreneur and Forbes.

For my business, the most important metric is how much repeat business and referrals I get from my clients…

NPS (Net Promoter Score) is a useful tool to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty, and it is based on a single question: On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our company? You simply take the percentage of customers who are promoters (rating you a 9 or 10) and subtract the percentage of detractors (those giving you a 0-6 score) to get the net number. World-class brands like Tesla (96) and Starbucks (77) have an NPS score in the 70s or higher, signifying great customer experience and future growth. iPhones and iPads score +/-60, while airlines are +/-40, and cable/satellite TV companies tend to score in the single digits, for example.

NPS is a simple way to get a quick read on consumer sentiment, and it’s been widely embraced. Many leading companies are embedding it into their operations to make sure their customers are happy. But even though NPS is not a perfect tool, it is still valuable to companies like mine, where most of the business comes from referral and word-of-mouth – so keeping current clients happy is a top priority.