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NPS or CSAT, which is better?

Using the best metric for measuring your customer satisfaction puts you in the strongest position to assess your customer’s experience. For the most part, a quantitative metric is the best option because it gives you something to measure your progress against. Whether it’s NPS or CSAT, we’re here to guide you toward the metric that will give you the best possible results.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

A Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures the likelihood that a customer will refer you to another prospective customer. Essentially the survey will consist of one question where the customer numerically ranks how likely they are to make a recommendation of your company to others, and possibly a text answer to explain their ranking. 

Finding your Net Promoter Score 

To find out what your NPS is you’ll need to collate all the rankings from your customers and subtract the total percentage of detractors from the total percentage of promoters. If your NPS survey asks customers to rank from 1 to 10, promoters are scores of 9 or 10, passives are scores of 7 or 8 and detractors are a score of 6 or below. 

Pros of an NPS

  • NPS is popular and recognised in the business world and has been used by dozens of Fortune 500 companies for more than 20 years. Many execs will use NPS to measure the progress of their business and take note of any glaring problems in the customer experience. 
  • NPS gives a broad indication of the customer experience of a business by placing a numerical value on it. Customers can summarise their impression of the business into this score to express their overall satisfaction. 
  • NPS is easy to understand across all businesses and industries. Its popularity as a metric is due largely to its accessibility and simplicity. 
  • Calculating your NPS is easy. All you have to do is follow this equation:  

Total percentage of promoters - Total percentage of detractors = NPS score.

Cons of an NPS

  • NPS is oversimplified and only gives a vague overview of the customer experience. To dig down into how you can make improvements, you need more information than an NPS can give you. 
  • NPS scores last forever which means that even after you’ve made improvements, the negative score will remain. Because of this, an NPS gives an inaccurate representation of the business and doesn’t recognise any changes you make in response to the customer’s score. 
  • An NPS doesn’t require the customer to take make a referral. Even if a customer gives a score of 10/10 that they’re likely to make a referral, there is no accountability or tracking to show if they actually do. 
  • An NPS doesn’t offer any specific or actionable information on the customer experience. Because of this, you’re limited as to what you can do with the information you receive from it. This means NPS can be used as a means to tick boxes rather than push for truly positive change.  
  • NPS surveys often have low response rates. Response rates depend a lot on the way surveys are written and communicated, but NPS questions tend to be too vague to encourage any real response. Many customers will either answer ambiguously or not at all. 

Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSAT)

A customer satisfaction survey (CSAT) asks customers about a range of aspects of their customer experience and asks for a measurable score in each. CSAT is a widely used metric for gauging customer satisfaction because it measures the customer experience in more depth than an NPS. 

Finding your Customer Satisfaction Score 

The answer to a CSAT question will typically be ranked on a scale from 1-5 or 1-10 which tends to look like this:

  1. Very unsatisfied
  2. Unsatisfied
  3. Neutral
  4. Satisfied
  5. Very satisfied

The CSAT score is then determined from these answers to generate a score. The score is found by calculating the number of satisfied customers versus the total number of respondents. The higher the percentage, the more satisfied your customers are overall. 

Pros of a CSAT

  • CSAT is popular because it offers a clear and useful metric for customer satisfaction. It allows execs to tick boxes whilst still identifying actionable changes they can make to improve the business. 
  • CSAT scores give an in-depth indication of the customer experience of a business by placing a numerical value on every relevant factor. Customers can give a thorough explanation of their customer experience and make precise suggestions about where improvements could be made. 
  • CSAT is straightforward to apply to all businesses and industries. Its popularity as a metric is because it is not only measurable but also has practical value. 
  • CSAT scores can be updated as relevant changes are made to the business's processes. That means your business won’t be dragged down by a negative score from a couple of years ago, as long as you have taken steps to improve your business accordingly.
  • Calculating your CSAT is easy. All you have to do is follow this equation:

Number of positive responses / Total responses = ___ x 100 = ___%.

Cons of a CSAT

  • CSAT surveys require more preparation and strategy than an NPS. A CSAT involves asking more questions, which need to be carefully thought out. 
  • CSAT survey results require more analysis. Using a CSAT will result in more numerical scores which need to be collated, organised and assessed in order to be useful to you.  

Customer satisfaction survey tools

Review Tui makes gathering valuable customer feedback easy by providing you with the best tools in the customer satisfaction survey industry. As a general rule, Review Tui doesn’t use NPS because it doesn’t gain you the best possible results. Instead, Review Tui delivers specialised CSAT software to create tailor-made surveys, and make action plans in direct response to the results. 

To encourage engagement from your customers, and gather the most relevant data from them, join the Review Tui CSAT waiting list

Download our free customer feedback strategy guide