The ABCs of CSAT

CustomerSatisfactionLoyaltyLater this week I’ll be attending the Net Promoter Conference in San Francisco.  I’m really looking covering this event for Research Access.

Customer satisfaction (or CSAT) measurement is a highly specialized, but vitally important, part of the research world.  

Yet I think there are many researchers and marketers who aren’t terribly familiar with the ins and outs of customer satisfaction and loyalty measurement.

Here is a quick ABC guide to what you need to know about CSAT.



Satmetrix, known as the Net Promoter Company, is the firm that administers the Net Promoter methodology.



The ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index) is a methodology for measuring customer satisfaction.  It factors in the following variables:  customer expectations, perceived quality, perceived value, customer complaints and customer loyalty.



Customer satisfaction and loyalty are fluid; therefore, most measurement programs involve tracking scores consistently over time.



Customer satisfaction is a leading indicator of business success; that’s why it’s so important to understand it and take action based on it.



The Secure Customer Index is a customer satisfaction measurement methodology developed by D. Randall Brandt.  The SCI combines three elements – overall satisfaction, likelihood to continue using the service, and likelihood to recommend.



The purpose of customer satisfaction research is to assess current attitudes toward a company in order to predict purchase behavior in the future.


Answering the Ultimate Question

Answering the Ultimate Question is a book by Fred Reichheld which outlines the Net Promoter methodology.


Calculating Your Net Promoter Score

The Net Promoter score is just what the name implies – the net of customers who are “promoters” minus those who are “detractors.”  The core Net Promoter question asks on a scale of 0 to 10 how likely a customer is to recommend the company to a colleague or friend.  The NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of customers who give a score of 0 through 6 (“Detractors”) from the percentage who give a score of 9 or 10 (“Promoters”).



Like all research, customer satisfaction research is a search for truth.  There are different approaches, but the search for truth must continue unabated.



Most customer satisfaction methodologies yield an index; a single score which is easy for an organization to understand, and, importantly, can be the basis for positive action.


Out of Luck

Firms that ignore customer satisfaction altogether will soon find themselves out of luck.


Net Promoter

Net Promoter is a customer satisfaction measurement methodology, developed by  Satmetrix, Bain & Company, and Fred Reichheld.  The Net Promoter Score is obtained by asking customers about their likelihood to recommend a company to a friend or colleague.

You can use this link to get a discount if you’d like to join me at the Net Promoter Conference in San Francisco, February 1-3, 2012.

I hope to see you there!

About Dana Stanley

Dana is the Editor-in-Chief of Research Access.


  1. Diane Liebenson says:

    Very clever Dana!

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