Customer satisfaction survey - how to measure satisfaction?

Customer satisfaction surveys have a significant impact on a company's bottom line and success. Constant monitoring of the level of consumer satisfaction makes it possible to prevent previously loyal customers from leaving a particular company and at the same time to attract a new group of buyers.

Regular analysis can be based on several factors to determine the degree of customer satisfaction of a given company. The most important indicators used to analyze the level of consumer satisfaction are the Customer Satisfaction Index and Net Promoter Score. They also allow to infer necessary changes in the company's strategy.

Customer Satisfaction Index

Customer satisfaction surveys usually use the CSI as a measure of consumer satisfaction. It is obtained by analyzing the level of customer satisfaction with respect to individual product features that buyers ranked as important. CSI measures both the importance and fulfillment of customer expectations and requirements. It also allows analysis of aspects of a company's organizational performance, such as product characteristics or employee professionalism.

The procedure for calculating this indicator involves several steps. Initially, it is necessary to define the criteria that determine customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction, and to determine the characteristics that will be evaluated in further steps. Then a quantitative survey is conducted. The question that allows further calculation of the CSI level is usually the following:

"What factors may be important in your purchasing decision and to what extent are they important to you? Rate it on a scale of 0 to 10."

The acquisition of the results and their analysis combined with the identification of areas in need of change and improvement constitute the final result of the study. Comparison of the CSI level taken as a proxy and the actual result allows to determine the purpose and ways of further development of the company in the context of retaining and attracting new customers.

CSI can be analyzed as an average value of all aspects taken into account in the study - features of a particular product or of the whole organization.


This method is most often used to compare different products or areas of a company's business. It is expedient in benchmarking studies. On the other hand, it is possible to consider partial indicators that can be used to create a quality map. It provides information about which aspects are worth improving, which can remain unchanged, and which can be given less attention than before.

Net Promoter Score

The NPS index is a synthetic indicator of the health of a given company. Taken more broadly, it can be a tool for full management of an organization and a way to improve its position in the market. It is measured based on customer satisfaction. For this reason, the assumption of the existence of a correlation between the growth of the company's score and the perception of the entity by consumers is mandatory to consider the level of the indicator in question. It is also necessary to accept as true the theses that consumers generate reliable information and that customer satisfaction and customer loyalty are separate concepts. However, both of these factors are important for improving the state of the company.

The whole idea of the NPS is based on asking consumers one survey question:

"How likely are you to recommend brand X to your friend? Rate this probability on a scale of 0 to 10."

The survey involves dividing respondents into three groups:

  • "critics" - answers from 0-6,
  • "indifferent" - answers in the range of 7-8,
  • "promoters" - answers in the range of 9-10.

The NPS index is calculated very simply. It represents the difference between "promoters" and "detractors" expressed as a percentage. For this reason, it can take values from -100 to 100. It can be assumed that the peculiar simplicity of this indicator serves to facilitate the management of the condition of the company, which is a very complicated and complex task. At the same time, a very big plus of the NPS indicator is its universality for different types of organizations.

The only limitation of NPS is that it is not possible to distinguish between companies with the same level of indicator and at the same time different consumer structure. For example, 50% "promoters" and 30% "detractors" of one brand gives the same result as a less polarized group of customers of another brand having 20% "promoters" and 0% "detractors." In addition, some analysts stress the need to observe fluctuations in the group of people labeled as "critics" because of the wide range of this range (ratings from 1 to 6).

When determining the optimal level of NPS, it is important to keep in mind the general rule of thumb, which is that the higher the better the condition of a given company. However, when determining the goals in the company's development strategy, it is necessary to keep in mind the real capabilities of the company. Studies of the US market show that leading brands have an NPS of 50-80% (Apple - 66%, Amazon.com - 73%), with the national average ranging between 5 and 10%.

The NPS index is an important tool used for brand management. It affects a whole range of aspects of an organization's management system, especially those with which consumers have direct contact, such as the sales network, after-sales service or advertising campaigns.

In addition to the CSI and NPS indicators described above, other indicators are used to analyze customer satisfaction, such as Churn (an analysis of the proportion of customers who leave a brand) and TRI*M (an indicator that takes into account 4 consumer aspects: purchase rating, recommendations, repeat purchase and brand market advantage). However, the company's Satisfaction and Promotion ratios best capture customers' actual perceptions of the brand.

The combined analysis of all calculated indicators allows to fully illustrate customer opinions, identify market trends and determine new development directions for the company.


Marcel Prentkowski

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