Customer Satisfaction KPI 101: How to Calculate NSAT

How do you measure the success of your business?

While profits can point you in the right direction, satisfying your customers is the true key to success. However, measuring and improving that satisfaction is where the difficulty lies. 

How can you tell how happy your customers are with you? Is there room for improvement? 

This is where customer satisfaction KPIs, or key performance indicators, come in. KPIs are a way to measure real levels of satisfaction from your customers.

In this guide, you will learn how to calculate one form of KPI called NSAT, which stands for net satisfaction.

Why Your Business Should Measure Customer Satisfaction

A satisfied customer is a loyal customer. No matter what type of industry you are in, you need your customers to keep coming back. 

By ensuring their satisfaction, you can potentially save money. Marketing experts have long known that acquiring new customers is at least 5 times as expensive as retaining your current ones. In addition, if you invest 5% more in customer retention, you can expect to see at least a 25% increase in profit.

The cost of customer retention is much lower than the cost of customer acquisition.

Without happy, satisfied customers, your company will be unnecessarily burning through your marketing dollars with much smaller ROIs.

When you take the time to measure your customers’ satisfaction, you will learn a lot about your business. Perhaps your customers love your products, but not your customer service. Or maybe your services are valuable, but the billing process is cumbersome.

With a simple customer satisfaction survey, like an NSAT, you can pinpoint these pain points for your customers, make the necessary changes, and see even better customer satisfaction down the line.

What is NSAT?

NSAT is one of many types of KPI metrics that businesses can use to track customer satisfaction. It is sometimes referred to as Microsoft NSAT because the Microsoft IT department uses it to evaluate its products.

What Does NSAT Look Like? 

NSAT is typically based on a single question. For example, “Over the past 3 months, rate your satisfaction with [product].” The answers are based on a four-point Likert scale with “Very Dissatisfied” at one end and “Very Satisfied” at the other and are a good way to capture intensity. It is usually advisable to add “Don’t Know” and “Not Applicable (N/A)” options as well, which would not be used to calculate a score, but are considered part of the total responses.

Image of a Likert Scale used for NSAT.

How Is NSAT Calculated? 

NSAT gives you a score out of 200, with 200 being the best. To calculate NSAT, take the percentage of “Very Satisfied” responses (do not use “Somewhat Satisfied” answers), subtract the percentage of both “Somewhat Dissatisfied” and “Very Dissatisfied” responses, and add 100. This last step is done so you do not get a negative score.

We are going to use the example below to demonstrate the calculations.

Table with NSAT results.

Total responses: 100 + 250 + 50 + 36 = 436

Very Satisfied: 100/436 * 100 = 22.9% = %VSAT

Total Dissatisfied: 50 + 36 = 86 

Percent Dissatisfied: 86/436 * 100 = 19.7% = %DSAT

Net Satisfied: 22.9 – 19.7 + 100 = 103.2

The results are usually presented as a whole number. This example has a final NSAT score of 103. When you present NSAT results, you should always include the exact questions, total sample size, response rate, and error rate (if you have one).

What Is the Benefit of Using NSAT Scoring? 

NSAT scoring is like other types of KPI metrics in that it relies on the extreme ends of the results. You can find similar calculation methods with Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), or the Forrester Customer Experience Index. All of these can be described as “top box” or “net” scoring systems.

Net scoring methods like NSAT have a distinct advantage in that they weed out the tepid responses, the “Somewhat Satisfied” individuals. More extreme responders can be a better indicator of true satisfaction.

How to Get the Best Customer Satisfaction KPI Data

As you start planning your NSAT surveys, you want to make sure you will get the right data. Here are a few things to consider when creating your questions:

  • Ask the Right Questions: Instead of trying to get vast quantities of information from your customers, you should focus on just the information you need. If the data you gather is not useful, you probably asked the wrong questions.
  • Use Your Data: When your customers respond to your customer satisfaction surveys, use that information to improve your product and the customer experience. Figure out what went wrong and what you need to do to fix it.
  • Ask Open-Ended Questions: Having quantifiable data from surveys, like an NSAT, is extremely valuable. However, you should also consider adding a few key open-ended questions to your customer satisfaction surveys, such as, “What is the one thing we could do to improve your experience with [product]?” This gives customers a chance to share specific details on how you did or did not do an excellent job. 

This video from customer service expert Shep Hyken touches on these points.

When you ask the right questions and use the information you gather to your advantage, you are setting yourself up for success and improving your business intelligence. By making customer satisfaction a priority, you will see your customer satisfaction results continue to improve.

Improve Your Customer Satisfaction with Rainmaker

At Rainmaker, we are experts in helping businesses overcome customer challenges. We offer a variety of industry solutions designed to address key pain points. We work with the financial industry, federal government contracting, and manufacturing companies. We help businesses unlock their full potential by helping them optimize the Salesforce features that work best for them.

If you are ready to improve your customer satisfaction, Rainmaker is here to help. Contact us today to learn how we can put our solutions to work for you.

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