CSAT Insights: Crafting Your Customer Satisfaction Story Through Timing and Surveys

CSAT Report – Part of the Report Series: Mastering the Art of Reporting: Your Essential Guide to Data-Driven Storytelling

The CSAT, or Customer Satisfaction, Report is one of the most common and understood reports. In general, it’s a rating given by your customer. When we say "customer" here, it doesn’t have to mean someone buying a product or service. Instead, it’s just the person receiving the services. You could also exchange the term "Customer" with "Consumer" if you wanted to keep the same acronym.

What Story Does This Report Tell?

This one is great because you can influence with much greater ability the story that you’re hoping to see told. While you cannot predict the responses from the end-user completing the survey, you can control the question being asked. It is most common to ask something to the effect of, “How was your service?” So with that in mind, the most common story we’re trying to tell is, “How is our service?”

We’ll structure this post a little bit differently than the other reports we’ve covered because there are a lot more things you can do to control it. While the other reports mostly focus on numbers and how to translate them into a story, this will focus on knowing what to ask, when to ask it, and how to go about asking it.

Timing Considerations:

An important, and easy to miss, component of surveying is the timing. Timing needs to be considered in at least these two aspects.

  • "How soon should we send the survey after the resolution?"
  • "How often should we send surveys?"

Focusing on the first question, sometimes you can get the best and most accurate response from a respondent if they've had time to reflect or digest the response they received. On the contrary, maybe you're looking for the gut response, and you'd prefer to send it immediately.

Secondly, you don't want to inundate users with surveys. This could do two major things. If you have a "frequent flyer," who sends in far more tickets than other users, their ability to influence the score will be too great if you're sending a survey after every engagement. The other potential result is that people start ignoring the survey because they are jaded from being sent email after email, survey after survey. So over time, you end up getting fewer and fewer respondents.

So keep in mind the timeliness that you issue the survey and the frequency that they are distributed to individuals.

Binary Surveys: Starting out, one of my favorite ways to gather feedback is the most simple. I call it a binary survey, where you simply ask one question and it has two possible answers.

“Were you satisfied?” (you can change that phrasing how you like)

  • Yes (positive)
  • No (negative)

And again, you can change the flavor of how you state this, but you’re making a very simple survey that will give a very simple story. Now you can report on what percentage of survey respondents gave a positive response. In many cases, this single number represents your CSAT score. You can also add filters to see how different technicians or different service departments compare.

One of the benefits about this, in addition to its simplicity, is the volume of respondents you will see. Because it is so simple, you’re almost guaranteed to see a higher response rate than a more burdensome and lengthy survey. On the other hand, you gain less understanding of why you’re doing good and why you’re not doing so good. This is where more custom CSAT surveys can be crafted!

Inquisitive Surveys: Once you have an idea of how the temperature of your service is in general, you can dive deeper by creating more detailed and inquisitive survey questions. You can even start simple still by just keeping the same question of “How was your service?” but give more response options. For example, a Star Rating, where they can give 1-3, 1-5, or 1-10 stars. (you pick, but keep in mind that simpler is sometimes going to yield more responses)

To gain even more detail, you can add in additional questions. Some examples might be surveying different aspects of the engagement and customer journey. Let’s just throw out some questions, but note that you can use both scales, like a Star Rating, as well as written feedback.

  • How simple was it to reach our support team?
  • How quickly were you first contacted in response to your ticket?
  • Did the first technician resolve your issue?
  • How satisfied were you with the technician who resolved your issue? (now you’re getting a rating specific to the technician!)
  • What is your preferred way to engage with support?
  • How satisfied were you with the time it took to resolve your issue?

The list can go on and on, which is why I mentioned that you can really influence what story you’re trying to tell.

As with all the other report posts, remember that this is a discussion post, so I encourage you to share your thoughts, collaborate, and discuss! And in this case, share other survey question ideas!