We’re exploring some of the KPIs that high-performing contact centers measure regularly for quality assurance and ensuring customer satisfaction. In this blog post, we’ll focus on CSAT, why it is important, and steps you can take to improve your CSAT scores.

What Is CSAT and What Does It Measure?

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) is a customer experience metric used to measure the outcomes of interactions with products, services, or support. For contact centers, it helps managers and supervisors to evaluate agent performance as part of quality assurance.

After a contact is complete, CSAT is typically measured with a short, one-sentence question such as:

How satisfied were you with your experience today?

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

Most contact centers use a formula similar to this one to express CSAT as a percentage.

CSAT Formula

The CSAT formula is relatively simple. You take the number of customers who responded with “satisfied” or “very satisfied” and divide that total by the total number of surveyed customers. Then multiply by 100 to get the percentage. It looks like this:

(# of satisfied customers + very satisfied customers / # of those surveyed) x 100

So, if you had 500 responses with 200 rated as 4 and 200 rated as 5, your CSAT score would be:

(200 + 200 / 500) x 100 = 80%

According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), the average CSAT score in 2021 was 73.555 and has been declining over the past four years. Generally, a score of 80% or above is considered good, although CSAT scores vary by industry or vertical.

Many contact centers also survey for a Net Promoter Score (NPS), which rates a customer’s willingness to recommend the business on a scale of 1 to 10.

Why is CSAT Important for Contact Centers?

A Gartner study says that more than 80% of companies are competing primarily on customer experience, so the interaction a customer has with your contact center plays a pivotal role in retention. Customers that have a positive experience are three times more likely to make additional purchases.

With CSAT scores in decline, improving your customer satisfaction can be a significant differentiator for your brand.

CSAT scores are crucial for contact centers to measure performance and progress. It can help identify when existing resourcing or performance is falling short and additional materials or coaching is needed.

How Can Organizations Improve CSAT?

Improving CSAT scores takes a concerted effort across the entire organization. It requires a commitment to deliver high-quality customer service at each interaction. This means ensuring your agents have the tools they need to deliver exceptional service.

Here are some of the ways you can improve CSAT scores.

Reduce Hold Time

We’ve all been there — waiting for an hour just to talk to someone. Understandably, one of the biggest complaints customers have is hold time. Ensuring you have the right staffing and tech stack to manage call volume is a crucial element to getting callers through quickly and improving customer satisfaction.

AI-Powered Playbooks

Another frustration customers have is when agents are unable to understand or resolve concerns quickly and efficiently. AI-powered playbooks can help agents on live calls to guide conversations by providing dynamic prompts to show what agents need to say when callers ask questions, share information, or have objections.

A real-time guidance platform will suggest the most effective way to move the conversation forward to improve first-call resolution. The best software platforms will also offer a checklist for agents to remind agents what they need to say and check off items automatically when it hears agents say things on the list.

Call Scoring

Having a call scoring system allows you to take a high level view of calls and discern trends. Then, you can identify the root cause of low CSAT scores, focus on specific problems, and resolve them.

While there are many tools available to score calls, many of them only spot check or review recordings after the call. The most effective call scoring platforms score 100% of the calls. And with real-time call scoring, supervisors can get real-time data and alerts when coaching or intervention is needed.


Training and coaching are crucial factors in continuing to improve performance but how you do them makes a big difference. In fact, typical coaching often requires re-coaching because the first session is only effective 8% of the time. That means more time and money.

A more effective way is to provide on-the-spot coaching rather than waiting for scheduled training or group sessions.

For example, a platform that monitors agent conversations and listens for positive, negative, or specific phrases or keywords can trigger alerts for managers. Supervisors can then listen live, engage in real-time chats while agents are on a call, or provide instant feedback when calls are finished.

Improve Your CSAT Scores

When agents know the best things to say on the calls, they are more competent, handle things faster, and keep customers happy. By scoring calls in real-time and providing real-time coaching, you can continue to improve customer satisfaction.

Balto, a Gartner Cool Vendor in CRM Customer Service and Support, is a real-time guidance platform for contact centers that helps continuously improve CSAT scores, To learn more about how Balto can help improve customers satisfaction, book a demo today.