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How to Use Customer Satisfaction Surveys to Improve Your Business

If you work in the world of customer service or customer support, you’re likely familiar with the concept of customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores. CSAT is a common key performance indicator for any brand and customer support team, which measures a customer’s overall satisfaction with a given product, service, or support team interaction. 

At Unbabel, the satisfaction of our customers and users is a top priority. Because of that, we recognize that CSAT surveys provide important in-the-moment feedback about customer sentiment. They can also be hugely beneficial in diagnosing support issues or identifying areas that require operational improvements. In fact, a lot of changes we’ve made to our support workflows can be attributed to feedback given by our customers. Those changes have proven to be very impactful.

Calculating customer satisfaction scores

CSAT surveys are very simple. They typically include up to five questions and are sometimes just a single question. The question or questions ask respondents to rate an interaction, product, or service on a scale that ranges from extremely dissatisfied to extremely satisfied (typically a 1-5 scale). The results are then averaged to provide a Composite Customer Satisfaction Score, or expressed as a percentage calculated by dividing the number of satisfied customers by overall survey responses.  

A CSAT score of 100% would indicate total customer satisfaction and a score of 0% would indicate total customer dissatisfaction. 

CSAT surveys can also include multiple questions that focus on specific parts of the customer experience, such as the quality of a phone interaction, an agent’s expertise on a certain subject, or something similar.

The importance of CSAT survey analysis

As with any key performance indicator, the value of a CSAT survey is in what your company does with that information to improve processes, operations, or products and services. That in mind, it’s helpful to look at CSAT scores in concert with other common customer satisfaction indicators. Some common indicators include:

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): Measures a customer’s loyalty to your brand by asking how likely a customer is to recommend the brand to friends and family. 

  • First Response Time (FRT) and Average Handling Time (AHT): Measure how quickly your team responds to customers and the average time it takes to handle a customer request. 

  • Customer Effort Score (CES): Measures how easy or difficult it is for customers to complete a certain action, like find an answer to a question or connect with a support agent. 

  • Churn and early churn rate: Although not typically included in customer support KPIs, these are important metrics to measure customer satisfaction with products and services. It’s key to track Churn and Early Churn Rate if you hope to become a truly customer-centric organization. 

  • Qualitative customer surveys: More in-depth questionnaires to gauge a customer’s satisfaction with your product, service, or support features. These longer-form surveys allow you to dig into specific areas of operation and find opportunities for improvement via qualitative feedback from customers.

How to approach CSAT survey analysis

At first glance, a single percentage to quantify an entire customer base’s satisfaction with a brand can seem far too broad of a metric to really provide value to any team. In order to make the most of CSAT survey data, follow these guidelines for CSAT survey analysis.

Determine what information you want to gather

Before asking questions, it’s important to take a step back and determine what information is most important to your organization. Prioritize a few key metrics that will help your business achieve a specific goal or gather insights about a particularly important subset of customers. Perhaps you’re most interested in learning how satisfied customers are, based on their geographic location or loyalty membership level. Or you may be evaluating your budget for expanding the customer support team, and you want to determine if customers are currently more satisfied with email communications versus live chat service. 

Layer your CSAT data

By identifying the specific information that is most valuable to your team, you can properly structure your CSAT survey question(s) and determine how you’d like to analyze the data sets once information is collected. In the cases listed above, you’ll want to analyze CSAT scores based on key audience characteristics — like membership level or location. Layering your insights in this way helps tell a contextually relevant story about your audience and can help you identify patterns or compare subgroups of customers against each other to identify areas ripe for improvement or opportunity. This is an important step to turn information into actions that can really improve your business.

Evaluate progress 

In addition to gathering insights and analyzing those insights in a way that tells a story, you’ll also want to track progress and set benchmarks and goals for your team. By tracking CSAT scores over time — for certain subsets of customers or particular aspects of the business — you can identify the impact of initiatives that have been put in place and evaluate their effectiveness. For example, perhaps you recently implemented a language translation service to better serve your global customer base. If you notice a clear increase in CSAT survey scores for international customers, you can attribute the rise in satisfaction (at least in part, depending on other aspects of your business that have also improved) to the native language service options that those customers now have access to.  

How to improve your customer experience and customer satisfaction scores

There are a variety of ways to improve your customer experience and customer satisfaction scores. It all starts with a well-trained customer support team that is versed in providing empathetic, helpful, and informative support to your customers. Prioritizing hiring for expertise versus something like native language proficiency is key, as is maintaining a happy, connected workforce of support agents.

Based on the results of your CSAT surveys and specific insights gathered from layering your CSAT data and evaluating progress over time, there are also a variety of features and innovations that can be integrated into the customer support function to improve the way you interact with customers. Using sentiment analysis tools can help support teams prioritize requests and respond with more empathy. Integrating additional self-service options (like an FAQ page) can help customers get answers to their questions quickly.

Recent data also tells us that customers in different age groups or from different geographic regions have varied preferences when it comes to preferred support channels like email, phone, or text. Based on your business goals and your highest performing audiences, improving (or introducing) specific support channels with additional communication features or a larger support staff will make a big impact. 

How Unbabel can help improve your customer experience

We also know that global customers much prefer to communicate with support agents in their native language. Seamless language translation services, like Unbabel, can help your support agents become instantly multilingual and provide native language service to any customer around the world — no matter what language that support agent actually speaks. We’ve seen customers like Catawiki achieve CSAT scores averaging 88% by integrating our tool. Skyscanner also achieved extremely high CSAT scores (92%) after integrating Unbabel, representing a 22% increase in CSAT scores prior to partnering with our team.

Customer satisfaction surveys provide valuable insights that can help any brand prioritize customer support initiatives — whether those initiatives lie in additional support channels, new features within those support channels, or improved agent service.

Ready to improve your CSAT scores with native language translations? Contact Unbabel today.

About the Author

Diana Afonso is Head of Customer Happiness at Unbabel. With over eight years of experience in the customer support field, she has a strong history of success in empowering and engaging customer support teams, driving quality, and acting as the voice of the customer to deliver a rewarding customer experience.

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