Can we measure the benefits in numbers?

Satisfied customers come back, buy more and even recommend companies to others, whereas 91% of all customers who are not satisfied with a company will no longer buy there.
Measuring customer satisfaction is therefore an important tool for successful corporate planning and should therefore be firmly anchored in corporate principles.
Customer satisfaction also forms the basis for customer loyalty. Especially in times of high competition and increasing customer requirements, you have to measure customer satisfaction in order to secure the company's long-term success. By measuring customer satisfaction, measures to improve your company's products, services and offers can be found out.

Unfortunately, companies still struggle to successfully measure customer satisfaction.

Many companies don't know how to get detailed information about the customer perspective. One reason for this is that the aspects for customer satisfaction are multidimensional. It is therefore important to choose the right type of survey and measurement methods. A distinction must be made here between objective and subjective measurement methods.

Methods of customer satisfaction measurement

While subjective methods focus on the individual perception of customers, objective measurement methods capture customer satisfaction using parameters that do not depend on the subjective perception of customers.

Objective methods:

Objective methods rely on quantifiable metrics. Companies often find it difficult to make customer satisfaction objectively measurable. This is mainly due to the fact that customer satisfaction cannot be measured as clearly and easily as sources of income, website visitors or clicks on a website. The simple, hard key figures are apparently missing for this. However, these metrics exist and, if properly understood and used, can make customer satisfaction measurable in various ways. We have put together the most important ones.

1. The Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

The Customer Satisfaction Score, or CSAT for short, is probably the standard metric for customer satisfaction surveys. Your customers are asked to rate their satisfaction with your product, company or service. The average value obtained from all customers is then your CSAT score. Typical scales for the CSAT are, for example, 1–3, 1–5, or 1–10. Larger scales are usually less useful because people often rate their satisfaction differently due to cultural differences. For example, an article in Psychological Science showed that people from individualistic countries choose the extreme poles of a scale more often than those from collectivist countries.

2. The Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures the likelihood of whether a customer would recommend you and your company or your product or service to others. It is probably the most popular metric to measure customer loyalty. Customers are asked how likely they are to be recommended. You should place this probability on a scale of 1-10. The strength of this metric is that it does not relate to an emotion (“How satisfied am I?”), But an intention. (“How likely is a recommendation?”), Which is much easier for the customer to answer. It breaks down the question of whether a product (or service) is good enough to be recommended and “put your reputation on the line”.

The calculation is straightforward. The NPS is calculated as follows: From the percentage of all customers who fall under the umbrella term “promoter” (that is, customers who have selected on a scale of 9 or 10), the percentage of “critics” (“critics” are customers who are 6 or worse selected). have withdrawn.

An additional benefit of the NPS is that it reminds the customer of the possibility of recommending them. Perhaps he hadn't considered this option before.

3. The Customer Effort Score (CES)

The focus here is on service: The Customer Effort Score or CES can also be referred to as customer effort or customer effort. It is a metric that indicates how much effort a customer had to put into solving a particular problem or getting an answer to a question.
As a rule, there are seven grades when it comes to the question of the CES

  • fully agree
  • agree
  • I rather agree
  • neither nor
  • rather disagree
  • I do not agree
  • totally disagree

It refers to all service processes that a company offers its customers. This includes both different interfaces or touchpoints as well as various problems and questions on the customer side. The CES makes it clear whether companies are willing to make the interaction with customers as easy as possible and to what extent customers are satisfied with the service solutions offered.

An important prerequisite for evaluating the CES is the quality of the product or service that the customer has purchased. Key figures that want to depict customer satisfaction are only reliable if the product and service are in order. In the case of complaints about the product, good customer service will not lead to higher customer satisfaction, but rather have the opposite effect. Often the question about customer efforts is followed by an open-ended question that clarifies the details. For example: what can we improve? Or: In which areas can our customer service be optimized? Without these additional detailed questions, the CES is a key figure that cannot depict suggestions for improvement in terms of content. Customer feedback must be translated into actions that improve service quality in the long term.

4. Things Gone Wrong

Similar to the CES, this key figure also relates to information from customer service. The number of complaints, the “Things Gone Wrong” (German: things gone wrong), is measured per 100, 1,000 or up to 1,000,000 units of sold products or services.
The choice of unit (100, 1,000 or 1,000,000) depends of course on the type of your company or how many units you sell.
In the worst case, your value will be 1 or higher. This would mean that you would get at least one complaint per unit.

5. Social Media KPI: Social Sentiment

Social media is an important source for determining customer satisfaction. Your customers are active there and there is a high probability that they will express themselves about your company, whether they want it or not. So you may not need to conduct surveys at all to get customer satisfaction metrics. It can also be worthwhile to look at the right social media KPIs.

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are key figures that provide information about whether the activities are contributing to the company's goals. It is important to distinguish the terms key figure / metric from KPIs. The BVDW Social Media Focus Group did this in the guideline "Measuring Success in Social Media" as follows:

“A key figure is just a metric that allows a quantitative statement to be made about a certain characteristic. For example, the range is only a key figure in and of itself. If you associate the key figure with the achievement of a certain goal, e.g. B. Reach increase in order to increase awareness, then this metric or key figure becomes a key performance indicator - that is, an indicator that allows a statement to be made about the effectiveness of a measure. A KPI can consist of one key figure or several key figures. "

The list of metrics on the social web, such as share of voice, retweets or sentiment, is almost endless. The KPI relevant for customer satisfaction is the so-called social sentiment.

A social sentiment analysis records emotional moods in social media and analyzes them using an algorithm. In this way, it is relatively quick and inexpensive to find out how and what is being talked about on social media about your company, your product or your service. Strengths and weaknesses can also be identified in this way.

ATTENTION: However, a social sentiment analysis is not an absolute substitute for a qualitative survey. The information was all given voluntarily. The analysis results are neither queried in a structured manner nor weighted in any way. In addition, there is no possibility to follow up in more detail to get to the bottom of the things said. A social sentiment analysis is therefore more suitable as a supplement to a survey or to obtain first impressions in advance. The prerequisite for such an analysis is of course that people also talk about your company on social media. The quality of such an analysis is of course extremely dependent on the current technological possibilities. Although the algorithms are self-learning, the analysis process is still in its infancy. There are some hurdles:

  • Recognizing irony and sarcasm
  • The mood orientation of topic-related words
  • Colloquial language and slang
  • Punctuation in the sentence structure

Despite numerous difficulties, there is some potential in these novel analyzes - as long as the technology is given the time to mature. The quality of the results depends heavily on the availability of relevant data, which is why the quality of the results will probably improve significantly in the coming years. Due to the lack of a survey structure (there is no direct survey), this analysis should still be viewed as a supplementary analysis method or as an analysis method in advance.

Subjective methods:

Now that you have got to know the key metrics for customer satisfaction, it is important to add that customer satisfaction can never be measured in a fully quantifiable manner. The key figures always relate only to certain aspects of customer satisfaction. The subjective perception of customers must also be taken into account, so the subjective customer satisfaction measurement should be mentioned here. Typical for this are measurements in which customers make statements based on given questions. The recording can include questions about the company's offer, the company's image, the behavior of employees, processes and the location of the service. Possible are

    • Face-to-face survey:
      Here there is direct contact between the interviewer and the customer. In the case of complex questions, the customer can ask again if these are not clear.


    • Written survey:
      In the case of a written survey, the customer fills out a questionnaire that can be sent to him by post or that is given to him. The respondent is thus independent of an interviewer.


  • Terminal survey:
    The customer can fill out a questionnaire at a feedback terminal provided for this purpose. He can therefore be interviewed on site immediately after the purchase. This digitized version of the written survey is less cumbersome and makes the evaluation of the data much easier.
  • Telephone interview:
    Here the survey takes place on the phone, whereby the interviewer remains largely anonymous. The advantage is that this survey is inexpensive and not particularly time-consuming. However, the telephone interview is only suitable for shorter interviews.
  • Online survey:
    Here the customer can answer the questions directly on the screen via the Internet. Online surveys are quick and inexpensive and are particularly useful for large or widely dispersed customer bases.

In this article you will find out which questions you can ask your customers in order to measure the new key figures in a meaningful way as well as to capture the subjective opinion.

Now that you have got to know the various key figures, you can now start measuring and thus optimizing. If you have already come across other important key figures in practice that we have forgotten, we look forward to your suggestions and ideas in the comments!