The 3 Types of Customer Satisfaction Rating Scales

When running any sort of customer satisfaction survey, ask these questions.

Want to gain insight into customer sentiment about your brand? A customer satisfaction survey, using a simple satisfaction rating scale, can help you determine how your business—and the experience you provide—rank in the minds of your customers. Here’s an introduction to three types of customer satisfaction rating scales and the metrics you can use to gauge customer sentiment about your brand, product, or service.

What is a customer satisfaction rating?

The term “customer satisfaction rating” refers to a measure of customer sentiment. By asking questions about a customer’s experience, and having them give answers on a numerical scale, this simple survey methodology can measure the level of customer satisfaction with an organization.

Customer satisfaction rating scales give brands insight into the state of a company’s customer relations. Using a rating scale, companies can better understand customer sentiment and feelings about their business—and whether or not they’ll recommend it to family, friends, or colleagues.

No matter what product or service you sell—or the size or complexity of your business—customer satisfaction should always be a top priority. Satisfied customers typically have excellent experiences.

A high level of satisfaction is so important for brands. In fact, 7 out of 10 customers rate experience as a driving factor behind brand loyalty. By using a rating scale to measure customer satisfaction, brands can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Better understanding of customer needs: Collecting honest ratings—on a simple numerical scale—is a helpful way to know where your brand stands in the eyes of your target market. Using insights gleaned from the ratings, you can understand what customers expect and what they need.
  • Lower customer acquisition cost: Brands that have an idea of the way customers view them can identify areas of improvement, leading to a lower customer acquisition cost.
  • Better customer loyalty: A brand that knows whether or not customers are truly happy enjoys better customer retention. Through regular surveys, brands can learn about areas to improve and maintain the customer satisfaction that leads to long-term loyalty.

Types of customer satisfaction rating scales—and how to use them

Rating scales play a big role in gauging customer satisfaction on the web. Now, tools like Voiceform are making it easier to gather customer feedback with voice-based customer satisfaction surveys. No matter what type of method you use to gather your data, consider how to integrate these questionnaires in a way that elicits genuine responses you can use to determine whether your customers are happy with your product or service.

Customer satisfaction surveys are flexible—there’s no fixed method of rating scale you need to use, and they can be customized to your unique needs. There are three general types of customer satisfaction rating scales, each with their own characteristics and ideal uses. They include:

  • Unipolar scale: When the average person considers a customer satisfaction scale, a unipolar scale is typically what they have in mind. Satisfaction, rather than dissatisfaction, is measured with a unipolar scale. The scale is a continuum ranging from “not at all satisfied” to “completely satisfied.” Sometimes unipolar scales can be labeled on the endpoints, but many times they have at least two or three midpoints for a more precise response. Unipolar scales are straightforward since they aren’t balancing polar opposites in the scale. They’re also more streamlined, with fewer choices, offering a level of simplicity your respondents will appreciate.
  • Unipolar feeling thermometer: A special variant of the unipolar rating scale, the unipolar rating thermometer acts much like its name implies, allowing respondents to select their degree of satisfaction, from not at all satisfied (0%) to completely satisfied (100%).
  • Bipolar scale: While appearing similar to the unipolar scale, a bipolar satisfaction scale has putative opposites on either end of the rating scale. Often, these scales have an extreme version of satisfaction on the right end and an extreme version of dissatisfaction on the left. It may seem that dissatisfaction is the natural opposite of satisfaction, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Evidence shows that people treat dissatisfying events differently, and such instances impact customer loyalty.

Key metrics for measuring customer satisfaction

Designing and conducting a survey is a great first step toward getting into the minds of your customers and measuring their sentiment about your company and the products and services you provide. There are several metrics you can consider as you gauge customer satisfaction. They include:

  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): This is the most commonly used metric for measuring customer satisfaction, and brands use it to determine how happy or unhappy their customers are. You can use any of the linear scales described above to calculate a CSAT score, and the questions you include in your survey can gather feedback from specific touchpoints, so you can recognize customer pain points and address them in an effective, timely way. An easy way to measure CSAT is to use a linear scale that ranges from 1 to 10, then average the scores to express a percentage point, with 0% showing total dissatisfaction and 100% showing total satisfaction.
  • Customer Effort Score (CES): This customer experience metric helps brands measure the level of effort their customers feel they need to make to resolve problems with products or services. It measures the effort it takes for them to interact with your brand in general, and measuring this score and taking steps to fix pain points can reduce friction and create better experiences for your customers. A simple way to do this is by using a seven-level answer scale and ask specific questions that customers can rate. For example, ask a question like, “How easy was it to get the help you wanted today?” and aggregate customer responses.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): This popular customer loyalty metric measures how likely a customer will recommend your product or service to others. You can ask a question like, “How likely are you to recommend this business to someone else?” and provide a linear one to 10 scale. Respondents are grouped in Detractor, Passive, or Promoter groups, and the net promotor score is achieved by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from Promoters.

Voiceform enables efficient satisfactory ratings within surveys

Today’s consumers have shorter-than-ever attention spans, making traditional survey methods less effective. Voice-based surveys make it easy to collect honest feedback from your customers. If you’re planning a customer satisfaction survey, use any of the simple customer satisfaction rating scales described above and Voiceform’s voice data collection technology to gather the data you need to see how your customers truly feel about your business.

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