Industry Benchmarks
February 15, 2022

Everything You Need to Know About Your Customers Through CSAT, CES, and NPS Metrics

6 min

If you can’t measure your impact on your client base and compare it meaningful to your competition, are you really competing? Luckily, it’s pretty easy to have customers report how they feel directly to you. By sifting customer responses through the filters of CES, NPS, and CSAT, you’ll be able to standardize your connection and success not only internally but against your competition.

Before diving into how these metrics work, we want to highlight changes in customer acquisition costs. In less than ten years, the cost of acquiring a new customer has risen nearly 50%. Customers do not want to be sold to and do not respond as well as before to targeted marketing. Instead, they rely more heavily than ever on family and friend recommendations, as well as reviews. 

It has never been more crucial to develop and maintain a great customer experience (CX) with your existing clients. Not only will customer retention save you money now, but they are the most likely source of new clientele as they tell their family and friends about you. In that sense, your customer satisfaction scores are the leading indicator of the strength of your business.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

The most fundamental score is your overall customer satisfaction score (CSAT). Your score is determined by customer responses to surveys you create and send after their experiences with you. 

In essence, you’ll ask a series of questions where clients can rate you on a scale of 1 to 10. The scores you are most interested in will be those who give a 10 and those who answer 6 or lower. 

10 means you’ve done something exceptionally well, and you should continue to highlight those features. Those who answer below a 7 are the ones with the key to future success– they remove the guesswork by telling you precisely what is missing from your customer care.

Industry Standards

CSAT scores are a percentage calculated by dividing the sum of all response scores divided by the total possible scores (then multiplied by 100 for percentage format). 

Your target CSAT score will vary by industry, so here are a few benchmarks to keep in mind:

  • Eccomerce: Average of 88%, High performers 93%
  • Entertainment: Average of 89%, High performers 96%
  • Logistics: Average of 89%, High performers 97%
  • Travel/Hospitality: Average of 89%, High performers 95% 

Customer Effort Score (CES)

The second score in our trifecta of unlocking customer loyalty is the Customer Effort Score (CES). Simply put, this is a score based on a scale of 1 to 7 that quantifies how difficult your clients consider getting help from you. 

Those who score high on the CES scale offer multiple communication routes, FAQs and knowledge bases to enable clients to help themselves, and low response and resolution times. These companies provide quality service by using quality software and AI systems to provide personalized touch as efficiently as possible.

Industry Standards

CES is calculated as a percentage by dividing the sum of customer effort scores by the total number of respondents (again, multiply by 100 at the end to create a percentage format). Anything below 70% is considered a poor score, with 80% being the median. 90% and above shows an excellent rating. 

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Our final key to standardizing your clients’ satisfaction is your Net Promoter Score (NPS). This 1 to 10 scale determines how likely your clients are to go out of their way to promote your product. 

A high NPS means that you have a very loyal client base that will take every opportunity to tell people about you. This is easily the most efficient way to grow your consumer base, the cheapest and most compelling marketing that you can’t buy.

A low score means that you may have a high number of clients who will go out of their way to tell people to stay away from your business. This is the worst-case scenario and needs to be rectified as soon as possible.

A neutral score means that your clients aren’t damaging your reputation, but they aren’t doing anything for you either. And as we discussed in the intro, the key to growing a consumer base in today’s suspicious market is to work through existing loyal consumers.

Industry Standards

NPS is calculated as a percentage by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. Note that you will not include the percentage of passive responders in this calculation. So if 15% of your respondents are detractors and 65% are promoters, your score would be 65-15= 50.

You may find that NPS scores vary more by industry than the other customer satisfaction metrics. Here are a few examples of average NPS scores across sectors in 2021. 

  • Consulting: 62
  • Insurance: 57
  • Financial Services: 56
  • Construction: 52
  • Retail: 44
  • Technology & Services: 39
  • Healthcare: 38

Pitfalls of Surveys

While surveys are an easy, cheap, and highly effective way to enable your clients to report how well you are performing, there are ways to misuse surveys. While you are developing yours, beware of the following:

  • Percentage of Respondents: it’s more likely that the very dissatisfied and the very satisfied answer, leaving the middle ground voiceless. To compel those “middle of the road” customers to reveal why they are neither very happy nor very disappointed, work in a reward or a compelling message about the usefulness of their stories. 
  • Quality of Questions: if you ask the wrong questions or phrase them in misleading ways, consumers are unlikely to give you the information you are looking for. Always ask yourself if your meaning is clear (by asking others to read it), and make sure you have a clear idea of what their answer will measure.
  • Only Using Number Scales: Offer a free text box so clients can explain their scores if they would like to. Numbers alone will identify a target area but give you no context for what to do about it.


It is crucial to measure your customer satisfaction metrics and invest in maintaining high scores. While creating surveys and calculating your score is relatively easy, keep in mind that your survey responses are only as accurate as the questions you ask. 

Check out our blog for more business tips and tricks and request a free demo to see how you can boost customer satisfaction. 

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