Comparison CSAT, CES and NPS
In the table below we have summarized the key elements for each measurement type to clarify the differences between the three satisfaction measures:
|Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
|Customer Effort Score (CES)
|Net Promoter Score (NPS®)*
|How would you rate your experience with your … (e.g. recent support requirement)?
|The organization made it easy for me to handle my issue
|On a scale of 0-10 how likely would it be for you to recommend [company name] to a friend or colleague?
|Very unsatisfied / unsatisfied / Neutral / Satisfied / Very satisfied
|Strongly disagree/ Disagree/ Somewhat disagree/ Neutral/ Somewhat agree/ Agree/ Strongly agree
|Scale from 0-10
|The essential thought behind this score
|« Service organizations create loyal customers primarily by reducing customer effort – i.e. helping them solve their problems quickly and easily – not by delighting them in service interactions. »
|Customers are more likely to share negative experiences than positive ones. By monitoring your detractors and getting them back on board of passives or promoters, you can enhance your NPS score.
|Method of measurement
|CSAT score is the sum of respondents that answered somewhat or very satisfied. Obviously, the higher the number the higher your customer satisfaction will be.
|After aggregating the replies, a high average indicates that your company is making things easy for your customers.
A very low number means that customers are putting in too much effort to interact with your company.
|The Net Promoter Score = % of promoters (respondents that gave a 9-10) – % of detractors (respondents that gave a 0-6)
|CSAT is versatile because it allows you to ask customers a variety of questions
|Easy to pin-point actionable service improvement areas
|Able to measure the customer’s opinion across channels, contact moments and experiences
|Focusses on specific interaction (support event or product) and not on wider relationship with the company
- Measurement is limited to service
- CES can address obstacles for customer service, but doesn’t delve into why customers have any issues in the first place or what those obstacles may be
- As the question is generic it is not easy to pin-point actionable improvement areas unless you use an open follow-up question
- There is no proof your promoters actually will recommend you in real life
By comparing the different customer satisfaction measurements, we can conclude that each has its own applicability, and limitations. These measurements could stand on their own as a measurement tool for certain occasions, but can also complement each other. For example, we could imagine a survey to measure the satisfaction among attendees of a recent event you organized. When building a feedback survey you could ask the respondent to fill out some Customer Satisfaction scores (CSAT) split up into different areas of the event ( satisfaction about content, timing, speakers quality, location, etc.). Additionally you could ask the CES question to measure the efforts your customers needed to sign up for this event. In the end of the survey you could ask how likely your customers are to recommend your company based on this event experience.
NPS and CES are complementary measures
When comparing the NPS and CES score in particular, research shows that these scores correlate with each other: customers that indicate they had to make little efforts to fix a problem, also tend to give a high NPS. However, it is still worth using both measurements in one survey. Whereas NPS gives you a picture of your customer satisfaction on an overall level, your CES specifically indicates how you perform in handling customer issues.
Using the measurement in practice
What you need to keep in mind is that no single measurement can properly address all of your company elements that influence customer satisfaction. You can combine these customer satisfaction measurements and find out through experimentation, what mix of measurements is the most effective for your company. The high flexibility of the CheckMarket survey tool – which includes NPS as a pre-programmed question and customer satisfaction survey templates with CSAT, CES and NPS- allows you to easily blend these questions into an optimized survey that serves your company best. In the end what truly matters is that the results of these scores are transformed into actionable points for your company to work on. All three measurement scores can help you with this, but they should always be considered as a means to an end, the end being a higher customer satisfaction.
What do you think? Are you using the three measures in the same survey? What are your experiences? Let us know here in the comments.
Net Promoter and NPS are registered service marks, and Net Promoter Score and Net Promoter System are service marks, of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc. and Fred Reichheld.