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CSAT vs NPS: Understanding the Variances in Feedback Measurement

Kate Williams

17 April 2024

8 min read

Did you know that 91% of unhappy customers leave without a word? And according to Forbes, a harsh 96% will abandon you for lousy customer service! This stat shows us the importance of measuring customer experience. But which metrics should we focus on? When it comes to feedback metrics, CSAT vs NPS has been a long-running battle.

In this blog, we will look into the different aspects of CSAT and NPS in terms of meaning, elements, measurement, assessment, and all you need to know about the two.

But hey, if you’re here for a quick comparison, I have added a table at the end.

So, shall we begin?

What is CSAT?

This is our happiness meter!

It’s a way to determine how much they liked or disliked their experience with your business. Imagine it as a thumbs-up or thumbs-down for the service you provided.

CSAT measures satisfaction by asking, “How satisfied are you with [product/service/interaction]?” Customers then give a rating, often on a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10.

For instance, after a delightful shopping experience, a customer might give a high rating, indicating they are pleased. On the flip side, the rating would be lower if they faced issues or weren’t satisfied.

So, it helps you pinpoint what’s working and what needs improvement.

Here’s a free template made with SurveySparrow.  Feel free to test it, customize it, and make it your own! 

Customer Satisfaction Survey Template

Now, let’s see…

What is NPS?

Net Promoter Score is like a compass guiding you to customer loyalty and advocacy. It’s not just about satisfaction. It goes a step further. How?  By exploring whether your customers would shout your praises from the rooftops!

Here’s the breakdown: NPS is measured by asking customers one crucial question, “How likely will it be for you to recommend our product/service to a friend or colleague?” They respond on a scale from 0 to 10.

Now, customers fall into three categories based on their responses: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors.

  • Promoters (9-10): These are your cheerleaders, thrilled with your business and likely to recommend it.
  • Passives (7-8): They’re satisfied but not singing your praises. They’re in the middle ground.
  • Detractors (0-6): Uh-oh. These customers aren’t happy and might even discourage others from using your services.
NPS Survey Template Created with SurveySparrow

To calculate NPS, subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. The result gives you a snapshot of your overall customer advocacy. (We will look into all this in detail)

Now that we have a clear overview of the two feedback metrics, we will look into them in terms of…

A Comparison Between CSAT and NPS

I have divided the content into three sections for your convenience. We will look at the two metrics based on:

CSAT vs NPS: Measurement

Let’s start with,

What does CSAT Measure?

We know that customer satisfaction score is like a radar that helps you gauge how customers feel about specific interactions.

For instance, a customer bought your product and provided a rating after using it. If it’s a high score, great news! They’re satisfied. If it’s a lower score, there might be room for improvement.

How to Measure CSAT

Measuring customer satisfaction is a precision tool that offers a snapshot of customer satisfaction after a specific interaction. It’s efficient and direct and provides invaluable insights for refining customer service strategies.

Crafting the Question: Start with a well-crafted question. The goal is to keep it concise yet comprehensive.

Rating Scale Decoded: Customers express their satisfaction using a rating scale, usually 1 to 5 or 1 to 10. This scale acts as a spectrum of sentiments.

  • High Ratings (4-5 or 9-10): Excellent! Customers are content.
  • Mid Ratings (3-4 or 7-8): Decent, but there’s room for improvement.
  • Low Ratings (1-2 or 0-6): Uh-oh. Time for a closer examination.
  • Crunching the Numbers: Calculate the CSAT score by adding up the positive responses (those high ratings) and dividing by the total number of responses. Multiply the result by 100 to transform it into a percentage.

How to Calculate CSAT

CSAT is calculated by summing up the positive responses (e.g., ratings of 4 or 5) and dividing that by the total number of responses. Multiply the result by 100 to get the percentage.


CSAT (%) = (Number of Positive Responses / Total Responses) x 100

Customer Satisfaction Surveys

  • They’re like a customer satisfaction report card.
  • Send them after important interactions, like a purchase or a support chat. Also, throw them in occasionally for check-ins or after significant events.
  • Oh, wait. Do not, by any chance, overdo it. Send surveys every few months. This keeps you in the loop without annoying your customers.

Now, the next rival…

What Does NPS Measure?

NPS paints a comprehensive picture beyond satisfaction. It goes deeper into customer loyalty!

Moreover, it measures the likelihood of your customers becoming your biggest fans and recommending your product or service to others.

The Net Promoter Score is like a snapshot. You’ll get to know how many fans you have, minus the critics. The higher the number, the more potential advocates you have in your corner.

How to Measure NPS?

Asking the Magic Question: Ask customers, “How likely are you to recommend our product/service to a friend or colleague?” Keep it simple.

Assigning Ratings: Customers then express their likelihood by scoring 0 to 10. This scale is the key to understanding their level of advocacy.

  • Promoters (9-10): Your brand’s biggest fans.
  • Passives (7-8): Satisfied but not singing your praises.
  • Detractors (0-6): Customers who might be unhappy.
  • Crunching the Numbers: Calculate your NPS by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters.

How to Calculate NPS?

Start by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. Voila! You’ve got your NPS. This numeric result gives you a clear snapshot of your customer advocacy, with a positive score indicating a robust base of promoters.


NPS = Percentage of Promoters−Percentage of Detractors

Net Promoter Score Surveys

Send NPS surveys after significant customer interactions like a purchase, support interaction, or service milestone. If it is an ongoing service, do periodic check-ins. Quarterly or semi-annually is usually a good cadence.

But again, make sure you avoid survey fatigue. Sending NPS surveys every few months strikes the right balance. You want insights, not annoyance.

Which Tools Should You Use?

While measuring CSAT and NPS, ensure you have the support of an advanced tool. For instance, you can consider SurveySparrow.

You can capture instant satisfaction with CSAT and dive into long-term loyalty insights with NPS.

How?  The platform offers the best NPS Software and CSAT Survey Software to streamline your feedback collection process.

Try it out for free today and see for yourself!

CSAT vs NPS: Benchmark

What is a Good CSAT Score?

Determining what constitutes a good customer satisfaction (CSAT) score is akin to decoding the satisfaction levels of your customer base. CSAT scores typically range from 1 to 5 or 1 to 10, with higher scores indicating higher satisfaction.

Imagine your online retail business has received a CSAT score of 4.2 out of 5.

Positive Territory:

  • Any CSAT score above 3 or 7 (depending on the scale) is a good sign. It means most of your customers are pretty happy with your offer.
  • A CSAT score of 4.2 indicates that most customers are content with their shopping experience. They’ve found what they sought, and the overall satisfaction is positive.

Exceptional Scores:

  • If your score is close to the highest (5 or 10), that’s awesome! It shows that many of your customers are happy and super pleased.
  • While 4.2 is good, scores closer to 5 are exceptional. This means some customers are exceptionally pleased, but there’s room to elevate the overall satisfaction level.

Industry Benchmarks:

  • While celebrating your good scores, it’s wise to peek at what others in your industry are getting. If your score exceeds the average, you’re doing something right.
  • Checking industry benchmarks, the average CSAT for online retail is around 3.8. Your score of 4.2 is above the industry average, suggesting your customers are happier than your competitors.

Now, let’s look at…

What is a Good NPS?

Understanding what constitutes a good Net Promoter Score (NPS) is like deciphering the pulse of your customer advocacy. The scale ranges from -100 to 100, and the benchmark for a good score varies by industry. Imagine your business has received a 20. Let’s break down the significance.

Positive Territory:

  • Ideally, any positive NPS is a good sign. A score above 0 indicates that you have more customers who are promoters than detractors, portraying a generally favorable sentiment among your customer base.
  • A score of 20 is in positive territory. This means you have more customers who are promoters than detractors, indicating a generally favorable sentiment within your customer base.

Exceptional Scores:

  • While a positive score is good, anything above 30 is often considered excellent. This suggests a strong and enthusiastic customer base, demonstrating that many of your customers are promoters.
  • While 20 is positive, scores above 30 are considered excellent. This suggests that while your customers are generally satisfied, there’s room for cultivating a more enthusiastic customer base.

Industry Standards:

  • To gain a more accurate benchmark, compare your NPS with industry averages. What’s considered a good score can vary by sector, so understanding the norm within your industry provides context.
  • Now, consider the industry benchmark. If your industry typically sees NPS scores around 10, a score of 20 positions you above the norm. Well, you have relatively strong customer advocacy compared to your peers.

CSAT vs NPS: Assessment

When is the Best Time to Measure CSAT Scores?

Customer satisfaction (CSAT) checks how happy customers are with your stuff. But when’s the right time to ask them? Let’s break it down:

  • Post-Purchase Experience: Ask customers how happy they are right after they buy something. This helps determine what went well and what needs fixing in the buying process.
  • Customer Support Interactions: If customers talk to your support team, check their satisfaction afterward. It’s like asking, “Did we help you well?”
  • Product or Service Rollouts: If you launch a new product or service, ask customers how they feel about it. It helps to know what they think from the start.
  • Periodic Check-ins: Regularly check in with customers. It’s like saying, “Hey, are you still happy with us?” This way, you can keep improving things based on what customers say.
  • Post-Service Engagement: For service-based businesses, ask customers how they feel after they receive a service. This will help determine whether they’re happy and whether there’s anything to improve.

When Should We Measure NPS?

Ensure you know when to measure NPS for lasting success. Trust me, it’s vital.

  • Post-Milestones: Measure NPS after significant milestones or events, capturing the overall sentiment during key moments.
  • Strategic Intervals: Periodically measure it for a pulse check on long-term customer loyalty. Quarterly or semi-annually works well.
  • Post-Interactions: Immediately after essential touchpoints, such as a purchase or support interaction, to capture real-time feedback.
  • Product Launches: During or after major product launches or significant company changes to gauge customer sentiment during pivotal moments.

CSAT vs NPS: A Table of Comparison

Survey TypeTransactionalRelationship-based
QuestionSatisfaction RatingLikelihood to Recommend
Scale1 to 5 or 1 to 100 to 10
CategoriesSatisfaction LevelsPromoters, Passives, Detractors
When to SendPost InteractionAfter Key Touchpoints
FrequencyPeriodic Check-InsAfter Key Touchpoints
GoalSpecific InteractionsCustomer Loyalty
CalculationAverage RatingPromoters – Detractors
BenchmarkingIndustry ComparisonsIndustry Standards
Feedback DepthTransactional InsightsRelationship Insights

Survey Type:

CSAT focuses on specific transactions, measuring satisfaction after individual interactions. However, NPS is more relationship-based, gauging the likelihood of customers recommending your business.


CSAT asks customers to rate their satisfaction, usually on a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10. In contrast, NPS asks about the likelihood of recommending on a scale of 0 to 10.


CSAT uses a satisfaction scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10, while NPS uses a scale of 0 to 10.


CSAT sorts happy to unhappy, whereas NPS categorizes them as Promoters, Passives, or Detractors based on their likelihood to recommend.

When to Send:

CSAT surveys are typically sent after fundamental interactions, while NPS surveys are sent after significant touchpoints or periodically for relationship check-ins.


CSAT surveys are often sent after specific interactions, while NPS surveys can be sent periodically or strategically after key touchpoints.


CSAT aims to gain insights into specific transactions and interactions, while NPS aims to measure overall customer loyalty and the potential for advocacy.


CSAT calculates the average satisfaction rating, while NPS calculates the Net Promoter Score by subtracting the Detractors’ percentage from the Promoters’ percentage.


The latter looks at industry comparisons, whereas the former considers industry standards for benchmarking.

Feedback Depth:

CSAT provides transactional insights, offering a quick snapshot of satisfaction, while NPS offers relationship insights, uncovering the potential for long-term customer advocacy.

CSAT vs NPS: Wrap Up!

Who do you think won? Comparing CSAT and NPS is like having two tools in your kit for understanding customers. CSAT swiftly tells you how happy they are after each interaction – a snapshot of satisfaction.

On the flip side, NPS is your radar for loyalty, gauging if customers might become your biggest supporters in the long run. You can’t work well without the other. Both are crucial feedback metrics.

Together, they ensure your customers are satisfied momentarily and sticking around, possibly becoming your brand advocates.

Oh wait, before you go, let us know in the comments how satisfied you are with the blog’s content.

And, I might as well ask, how likely are you to recommend this blog to a friend?

If you’re a promoter, why not give SurveySparrow a try? It’s free! Take it for a spin today.

Kate Williams

Content Marketer at SurveySparrow

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