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Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Surveys as a Path to Customer Loyalty


Before we delve into CSI surveys, let’s remember a simple truth: it’s easier for businesses to grow with loyal customers than to acquire new ones. The path to customer loyalty goes through their satisfaction. Customers have specific expectations regarding a company’s services, products, prices, service quality, and more. Customer satisfaction at any stage of interaction with your business directly affects repeat purchases or service orders, which, in turn, impacts the overall success and growth of the company.

What Is the Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI)?

Customer Satisfaction Index, or CSI, is a valuable tool for understanding how your customers perceive your products or services. But how does the CSI work, and why is it crucial for your business?

The Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) is a metric that reflects the most critical parameters for customers when interacting with your business. Did the customer like the interaction with your manager? Did their expectations about purchasing your product come true? Was the marketing campaign, on which you spent a considerable budget, beneficial to the customer?

To answer these questions, you need to conduct a CSI survey. It helps identify the areas where the company should pay particular attention and which business processes to improve and develop, as well as what to leave as is.

What Tasks Do CSI Surveys Address?

CSI surveys help address the following business objectives:

  • Identify the characteristics of the service that are most important to customers (those that have the strongest impact on satisfaction). This is especially useful when broader metrics like NPS are declining, and it’s unclear where to focus efforts first.
  • Evaluate the satisfaction level with specific processes, products, or services of the company.
  • Assess how customers perceive a particular business factor and its importance relative to other processes.
  • Compare the satisfaction of different segments of the target audience, helping better tailor the product or service to the core audience.
  • Determine the overall customer satisfaction level with the company’s interactions.
  • Compare your company with competitors and understand how customers view the services of various companies through their own customers’ eyes.
  • Measure the change in brand perception after conducting marketing campaigns or other actions, such as staff training.
  • Identify weak points in the service management.
  • Evaluate the quality of customer service management.
  • Detect elements of the business model that the company should improve.

Similarly to the Net Promoter Score (NPS), the Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) metric is suitable for measuring both customer and B2B market satisfaction.

It’s important to understand that loyalty and satisfaction, in terms of Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) metrics, are not the same. However, it’s useful to analyze the relationship between these two indicators within the framework of a specific company’s marketing research, evaluating them simultaneously.

Factors That Influence the CSI Index

The Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) depends on a wide range of factors that can vary depending on the industry, company, and specific product or service. Some common factors that can influence the CSI include product or service quality, ease and availability of purchase and usage, brand reputation, and employee engagement. In general, it’s important to understand that if a product or service meets or exceeds customer expectations, it will likely lead to higher satisfaction and, consequently, an increase in the CSI index.

It’s important to note that the importance of these factors can vary depending on the specific context and industry. For example, in the financial sector, a personalized approach shows that the company values individual needs and preferences. In high-tech companies, regular updates or innovative products and services enhance the CSI index because customers appreciate relevance and competitiveness. After-sales service, including returns, warranties, and ongoing support, is also a significant factor influencing the CSI index.

Companies often conduct CSI surveys and satisfaction analyses to identify the most relevant factors for their customers and implement appropriate improvements.

How to calculate the Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI)?

In a simplified way, the process of calculating the CSI can be divided into three parts:

  • Creating the CSI survey.
  • Collecting data from customers and recording their ratings in a table.
  • The process of calculating and subsequent analysis.

The classic Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) questionnaire consists of two sections:

  1. The importance of each criterion to the customer.
  2. The customer’s satisfaction with each criterion.

When creating the script for a CSI survey, pay attention to parameters such as:

  • Identifying the target audience. It’s essential to identify a specific segment of the target audience and understand why the opinions of this category of customers are crucial for research.

  • Specificity. The CSI survey should contain well-formulated questions that can yield specific and clear answers.

  • Objectivity. To obtain unbiased responses from respondents, the survey questions should be designed in a way that does not influence the respondents’ opinions.

  • Criteria. You can identify five dimensions to assess the customer satisfaction index: product/service quality, price, ease of using the product/service, marketing activities, and staff competency.

Ideally, you should conduct CSI surveys after every client’s interaction with your company. You can offer customers the opportunity to fill out an online survey on your website or gather feedback from customers through your call center. Collecting data in a tabular form will provide a solid foundation for calculations and analysis of survey results.

CSI Formula

There isn’t a universally accepted methodology for calculating the CSI index. To illustrate the essence of calculating the Customer Satisfaction Index, let’s provide an example of a CSI survey. Here’s a sample calculation of CSI:

First, determine the importance of a parameter (criterion) and ask customers to rate how important that parameter (criterion) is to them on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 means “very important,” and 1 means “not important at all.”

Next, ask respondents to rate their satisfaction with that parameter (criterion) on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is very dissatisfied, and 10 is completely satisfied. Average the importance and satisfaction ratings for each parameter and record them in a table:

Product/Service Quality99
Ease of Use88
Service Quality87

Now, calculate the Customer Satisfaction Index for each parameter using the formula:

CSI = Importance * Satisfaction * 100%.

  • Using the above example, you can calculate the following:
  • Product/Service Quality CSI = (9 * 9 * 100%) = 81%
  • Price CSI = (10 * 9 * 100%) = 90%
  • Ease of Use CSI = (8 * 8 * 100%) = 64%
  • Marketing CSI = (5 * 6 * 100%) = 30%
  • Service Quality CSI = (8 * 7 * 100%) = 56%

To obtain the overall index, average all these values:

Overall CSI = (81 + 90 + 64 + 30 + 56) / 5 = 65.2

How to Use CSI Survey Results?

According to the scale of satisfaction scores, a CSI index between 0 and 70 is considered below average, 70-80 is average, and 80-100 is above average. The results of CSI surveys should be used as any other feedback.

  • Analyze and assess the data to track customer satisfaction trends: are the scores increasing or decreasing, and why?
  • Identify service issues and areas where customers are dissatisfied.
  • Work on improving criteria with lower satisfaction scores.
  • Develop programs to incentivize employees to provide excellent service.
  • Compare CSI results with direct competitors to assess market position strength and develop tactical market share increase strategies.
  • Determine which criteria for your product/service are the growth drivers for your business and focus on them in your marketing communications.

CSI marketing allows you to monitor customer perceptions at regular intervals and quickly respond to changes in customer sentiments, both positive and negative.

CSI Surveys via Call Centers – Why It’s Beneficial?

To get information quickly, it’s advisable to entrust the conduct of CSI surveys to professionals, such as an outsourcing call center like Global Bilgi.

We have 15 years of experience in call center outsourcing services and employ advanced technology to ensure high-quality surveys with high response rates. Our team consists of experts in the field who can conduct surveys in various languages, including all EU languages and English.

The advantages of conducting CSI surveys in our call center include:

  • Conducting CSI surveys with a clear understanding of their purpose and the objectives to be achieved after obtaining the results.
  • Customizing survey questions based on the specifics of your company’s products and target audience.
  • Selecting operators with experience in your industry.
  • Providing communication training and introducing specialists to the particularities of your project.
  • Analyzing the collected information and preparing a report with the results of the CSI survey.

When you conduct marketing research through phone surveys, you not only significantly shorten the time required for CSI surveys but also receive immediate feedback (unlike, for example, using email). To learn more about CSI surveys and conducting marketing research through our call center, please contact the specialists at Global Bilgi. Simply give us a call!

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