Skip to Content

What Is a Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)? All About Your Service Report Card

Customer satisfaction score (CSAT) is like a report card for your business.
If your CSAT score is low, the first thing you should do is determine why. Read through customer feedback, look at support tickets, and ask questions. [VectorMine / Adobe Stock]

Customers are the driving force behind any business, so keeping them satisfied is job number one. Here’s how to make sure you’re meeting their expectations.

With 48% of customers citing poor service experiences as their main reason for switching brands, it’s essential to get a clear view of how your customers feel about your business. That’s why customer satisfaction score (CSAT) is the most popular performance indicator among service professionals, with 74% of organizations using it to measure success.

But measuring CSAT — let alone improving it — isn’t quite as simple as it sounds. Let’s take a few minutes to review what this metric really means, how to capture it, and (perhaps most importantly) how to improve it. 

Get actionable customer service insights

High-performing service organizations are using data and AI to improve efficiency without sacrificing the customer experience. Find out how in our latest State of Service report.

What is a customer satisfaction score?

A customer satisfaction score is like a report card for your business, except your customers are the ones grading you. The scores are typically collected through surveys that ask your customers to rate your products or services on a numeric scale.

CSAT is a key measurement of customer loyalty. Happy customers are more likely to recommend your business, while unhappy customers can do major damage through bad word of mouth.

How do you measure CSAT?

To gauge customer satisfaction effectively, you can conduct surveys through any channel — including email, SMS, or social media. Following any customer interaction or purchase, you can ask straightforward questions like, “How satisfied are you with our product or service?” or “How satisfied are you with the customer service you received?” Your CSAT scores are commonly measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 denoting the highest level of satisfaction.

How do you calculate a customer satisfaction score?

A relatively simple CSAT formula is to divide the number of satisfied customers by the total number of customers who responded. For example, if you have 100 respondents and 80 of them rate themselves as either “satisfied” or “very satisfied,” your CSAT score would be 80%.

What is a good CSAT score? What is a bad score?

Typically, anything above 70% is considered a good customer satisfaction score, while a less-desirable score is anything below 50%. The average CSAT score across all industries is 78%, but that can vary widely depending on your industry, product, service, and customer base.

When considering CSAT scores, it’s also important to take into account additional metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS) or customer effort score (CES). These provide different insights than what you’ve gathered from the CSAT survey, so combining them gives you a more complete view of the overall customer experience

How can you improve your customer satisfaction score?

If your CSAT score is low, the first thing you should do is determine why. Read through customer feedback, look at support tickets, and ask questions. Once you know the problem, make a plan to fix it. This may mean improving your product or service, changing how your customer support works, or providing better training for your employees. 

Even if your CSAT score is high, there’s always room for improvement. Here are a few tips to keep customer satisfaction on the up-and-up:

  • Keep listening to your customers: Customer feedback is gold. Read it regularly and use it wisely.
  • Be proactive: Don’t wait for customers to come to you with problems. Reach out first and see how you can make their lives easier.
  • Simplify the customer experience: Make it easy for customers to do business with you. Streamline your processes by offering customer self-service options, multiple ways to contact you, and easy returns and exchanges.

What are the pros and cons of tracking CSAT?

Overall, CSAT is a useful tool for measuring customer satisfaction, but it’s not necessarily the best metric for all situations. Here’s a quick look at when it’s useful and when it’s not.


  • CSAT surveys are generally short, making them easy for your customers to complete. 
  • CSAT surveys give you feedback on what you did well or what needs improvement. 
  • Using CSAT scores along with other metrics like NPS and CES can give you an overall picture of customer sentiment and loyalty. 
  • Tracking CSAT scores over time can help you identify customer trends that may not be apparent from individual survey responses alone. 
  • Comparing your own performance against industry standards can provide a benchmark for measuring your success or failure in terms of customer satisfaction.


  • Customers’ opinions may be influenced by factors outside the experience provided by your business, such as current events or personal circumstances, which could affect their responses. 
  • A CSAT score offers no insight into the reasons for customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction. 
  • Customers are more likely to complete CSAT surveys if they’re extremely pleased or displeased with your product or service. This can skew your CSAT results.  

What’s the difference between CSAT and NPS?

Customer satisfaction score and Net Promoter Score each measure a different but equally important aspect of the customer experience. While CSAT measures how satisfied customers are with your product or service, NPS measures how likely they are to recommend your product or service to others. 

NPS is typically measured by asking customers a single question: “How likely are you to recommend this product or service to a friend?” Customers are then grouped into three categories: promoters (9-10), passives (7-8), and detractors (0-6). NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.

What questions should you ask in a CSAT survey?

Survey questions will vary depending on your business, product, or service. But here are a few examples of questions you might ask in a customer satisfaction survey:

  • How satisfied are you with our product/service?
  • Was our product/service delivered on time?
  • How easy was it to do business with us?
  • How knowledgeable and helpful was our staff?
  • How quickly did we resolve your issue?
  • How well did we meet your expectations?

Customer satisfaction leads to customer success

Your journey to great customer service doesn’t end with CSAT measurement. It’s an ongoing pursuit. By continuously assessing, adapting, and optimizing your customer service strategy, you’ll find new insights into the customer experience — and new ways to keep them coming back for more.   

Looking for efficiency? Start here

See how you can help your agents become more efficient — and your customers happier. When you have an easy-to-use platform for your data, agents have all the information they need to provide the care customers expect.

Katie Muse Product Marketing Manager

Katie joined Salesforce in 2022 to work on the Service Cloud marketing team after working in advertising and completing an MBA. A data and technology nerd at heart, she’s passionate about helping Salesforce’s customers measure success. When Katie isn’t neck deep in dashboards, she’s spending time with Dandelion and Dutch, her two cats.

More by Katie

Get the latest articles in your inbox.