CSAT, NPS, CES : which satisfaction indicator should you choose?

Measuring the level of customer satisfaction is indispensable. A satisfied customer is more likely to make another purchase and become a loyal customer. But there are many satisfaction indicators: which one should you choose? The CSAT, the Net Promoter Score and the Customer Effort Score are designed to meet different goals.

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CSAT, NPS, CES : quel indicateur de satisfaction choisir ?

CSAT: Customer SATisfaction

The CSAT is a traditional indicator and consists in a simple, unavoidable question: “Were you satisfied?” The answer is just as simple: yes or no. To refine the level of satisfaction, we can also ask customers to rank or give stars or use a semantic scale (fully satisfied, rather satisfied, rather dissatisfied, totally dissatisfied).

The question can be asked regularly to a sample of consumers to follow the evolution of the indicator over time. To identify dissatisfied customers in real time and correct the dissatisfaction, we recommend that you ask customers the question right after a transaction.

On the condition of going beyond the simple question, “Are you satisfied?” and asking consumers to express themselves on key points, the CSAT enables better steering of the company and its customer service.

NPS : the customer
recommendation index

The Net Promoter Score was created in 2003. This uniform score can be compared over the years and is determined by asking the question, “What is the probability that you recommend our brand / product to those around you?”

The NPS is calculated by evaluating the balance between promoters and detractors. More precisely, between those who strongly intend to recommend (giving a grade of 9 or 10 on a scale of 10) and those whose grade on intention is equal to or less than 6. The grades of 7 and 8 correspond to “neutrals”. The Net Promoter Score is a type of question that you can choose for your online studies on the AreYouNet platform.

A score between -100 and +100, is considered acceptable if it is positive and excellent starting at +50. A positive NPS is encouraging for a company, which can count on its customers to promote the brand.

Because of its simplicity, the NPS is very attractive to executive management teams, which use it as a key indicator, but is weak from an operational viewpoint. Recommending a product does not necessarily provide information, strictly speaking, on the customer experience .

CES : Customer Effort Score

This customer relationship indicator appeared in the article entitled “Stop Delighting Your Customers” that appeared in the Harvard Business Review in 2010 and proposed a totally different approach.

CES is measured by the question: “How much of an effort did you make to have your request processed?” Customers evaluate their effort on a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 is “low level of effort” and 5 corresponds to “high level of effort”.

The main advantage of the CES is to propose a functional measurement based on the observation that customer loyalty is closely tied to a low level of effort on the part of customers to access company services or have a request satisfied. The CES is particularly adapted to the services area and enables measuring the quality of the customer relationship at a call center or sales outlet.

To understand why the customer had the feeling of making more or less effort and to know where to act, you must use open questions as a complement. Customer comments are essential because they represent the customer’s voice.


An isolated indicator does not allow grasping the complexity of the customer relationship and cannot be used in the place of more complete questioning. We recommend including these indicators in your studies as a complement to other questions, but avoid limiting yourself to them.

By taking a closer look at the indicators, we can determine which specific elements related to product, service, company, customer relationship, etc., the customer appreciated or did not appreciate. And we can take action accordingly. The goal is not so much to know if the customer is satisfied, but to identify where the customer could be more satisfied.

If you want to create an online survey and need more information about our solutions, contact us using this form or call us at +33 1 57 42 42 42.



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