I originally wrote today’s post for GetFeedback. It appeared on their site on August 25, 2019. This excerpt contains a link at the end to the full article.
You know your customers are satisfied because the customer satisfaction (CSAT) score that you see on your daily dashboard tells you as much. The score is solid. But you aren’t satisfied; you believe it could be so much better. And rightly so – it usually can be. So, what’s a company to do to earn even better CSAT scores?
Before I answer that, let’s take a look at a popular CSAT metric that was first established 25 years ago: the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). It’s interesting to take a look at this metric over time. When it was first launched in the third quarter of 1994 – a completely different era, it seems, from today – the score was 74.8 out of 100. In the latest measurement (bear in mind that this is a post I originally wrote in 2019), in Q1 2019, the ACSI was 76.5 out of 100. Doesn’t seem very impressive as improvements go for a 25-year span.
What’s going on here? Why isn’t that score higher today? No explanation is provided by ACSI, but you can take a look at the years and make some guesses based on the key drivers, which are expectations, perceived quality, and perceived value.
To give you a window into how the industries fared on this metric, here are the top 10 industries based on their scores for 2018.
It’s an interesting mix of industries at the top. The ones at the bottom probably wouldn’t surprise you: with a score of 62, subscription television service and internet service providers are the lowest scoring on this index.
Back to the question about what a company should do to ensure even better CSAT scores.
Here’s a thought – and the answer surely lies here: don’t focus on the score; focus on the customer and the experience. And never rest on your laurels. The customer experience is a journey, and continuous improvement is key to staying ahead and to winning at customer experience. Once you rest on your laurels, you’ve lost because:
- Expectations change: what delights customers today may no longer delight them tomorrow. Preferences for how they interact with your brand today will certainly shift in the future. Always keep tabs of changing customer needs.
- A side note based on the key drivers of the ACSI: expectations, quality, and value, I believe, are all closely linked. In other words, when expectations change, so will perceived quality and perceived value.
- Customers change: existing customers leave, and new ones come along. New customers may have different needs, expectations, problems they are trying to solve, or jobs to be done than the customers who have left.
- The business changes: new products and services are launched; acquisitions are made; and growth happens or business shifts.
- Competitors change: new ones enter the marketplace to compete with you at all levels, or they may just pick off easier touches along the value chain to disrupt the space.
- New industry trends, regulations, and technologies emerge, creating new business dynamics.
- Weak signals become strong signals.
So, yes, you can continue to monitor that CSAT score, but while you’re doing that, you’ve got to do a lot of other things, things that will actually improve the experience, which ultimately leads to better scores (and other desirable business outcomes).
Let’s look at several ways to do this. I’m going to assume you know that you must act on the feedback you’re getting from customers – and are already doing so. (You are acting on the feedback, right?!) Go to the original article on the GetFeedback site to read about the 12 tips to improve your CSAT score.
Improvement usually means doing something that we have never done before. -Shigeo Shingo
Annette Franz is an internationally recognized customer experience thought leader, coach, speaker, and author. She recently published her first book, Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business); it’s available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. Sign up for our newsletter for updates, insights, and other great content that you can use to up your CX game.
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