How to measure user satisfaction

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As user researchers, we are often required to measure user satisfaction. This is an important metric that helps us understand how much the user likes the product / service they are using and how likely they are to continue to use the product or service in future and recommend to others.

As we already know the pinnacle of UX maturity is that your users not only prefer the product but also insist on using the product and recommend it to others. In essence, they become our marketers.

Now there are various ways to measure user satisfaction. The two most commonly used metrics are NPS and CSAT.

NPS – Net Promoter Score

This is usually an 11 point Likert scale survey that is administered to users after they have completed a transaction or activity to measure their likelihood to use the product / service again. It starts from 0 to 10. Only 9 and 10 are considered promoter scores, 7 and 8 are neutral, and the rest are detractors. Pretty tough eh!

The actual NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. The result is a number between -100 and 100.

CSAT – Customer SATisfaction Score

This is a 5 point Likert scale with a neutral marker in the centre of the scale. This too is administered after the user has competed an activity on the portal. A sample scale looks somewhat like this

  • Very unsatisfied
  • Unsatisfied
  • Neutral
  • Satisfied
  • Very Satisfied

Sometimes, the scale may be a 7 point scale. The final CSAT score is percentage derived by calculated by dividing the sum of Satisfied and Very satisfied responses by the total number of responses.

When to use each

Can NPS and CSAT converted from one to another? The answer is No! The reason is that CSAT measures users’ satisfaction with the most recent transaction. It is a transactional score, whereas NPS is a relational score. It measures your users’ overall satisfaction over time that they are related to the product or service.

Typically, it is advisable to use CSAT if you are measuring your user’s satisfaction about a certain transaction, or usage of a particular feature. This will help understand some of the pain points and work on improvements.

On the other hand, it is important track NPS as it is a marker of users’ attitude about the product / service or the company over time. This could change due to various reasons – features, pricing, ease of use, competition or even how customer service works and helps the organisation review and revise its overall strategy.

I will post more detailed information about NPS and CSAT in my future posts, but if you want to know more about these today, check some of these great articles below:

Happy learning!

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