NPS vs. CSAT and Their Importance for Brand Growth

Published May 11, 2021·Written by Andrea Evangelista


The customer experience has never been more on-demand. Measuring it all starts with asking customers the right questions. Find out more about top metrics like NPS vs. CSAT and their importance for brand growth. 


Listening to the customer is not an option; it is simply part of our mission,” – says one of our valued customers in a recent Voice of Customer (VoC) interview.

With that in mind, expectations of a great customer experience are certainly at an all-time high in 2021. As consumers and businesses alike attempt to overcome pandemic fatigue, they also dream of the day they can laugh in bars and restaurants again with peers. 

Moreover, we must be even more conscious about applying the right metrics for measuring the customer experience to determine your company’s overall success. You may have run into the two most commonly used tools or acronyms – the NPS and the CSAT

Both the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) have always been part of hot debates for many industry professionals regarding what they mean to a company, why they’re not the same things and how best to use them together. Perhaps, you need a refresher on these widely adopted metrics or another simple angle to look through?

Whatever’s the case, let’s start with the straightforward definitions of NPS and CSAT.

What is the Net Promoter Score (NPS)?

The Net Promoter Score is designed to capture customer loyalty. It is measured in surveys with a question similar to this: 

How likely are you to recommend the brand or service to others? 

Respondents are given an 11 point scale from 0 to 10 to answer (0 typically being ‘unlikely to recommend’ to 10 being ‘very likely to recommend’). Depending on their answers, respondents are then classified into three main categories:

  1. Detractors ( 🙁 ) – These respondents scored your brand between 0 and 6. Don’t expect any applause or loyalty from this crowd. They are most unlikely to recommend your product or service and may leave nasty frown-emojis or reviews.
  2. Passives ( 😐 or 🙂 ) – These respondents scored your brand between 7 and 8. They think your brand is fine and feel okay about it, but they don’t love it. So, they may often shrug about your brand, a few nods here and there, and leave some word of mouth.
  3. Promoters ( 😀 ) – These respondents scored your brand between 9 and 10. The true cheerleading fans, the all-stars, but okay, maybe not necessarily the ones to die for your brand. Yet, this gang is likely to rave about your products or services. 

Calculating NPS also isn’t rocket science. To do so, subtract the percentage of ‘detractors’ from the percentage of ‘promoters.’ That’s it! Your answer should be a score between -100 (all detractors) and +100 (all promoters).


Source: Question Pro

Additionally, if the NPS score is high, it has been thought to correlate with growth in customer retention and revenue. Thus, possibly being the one number you need to grow.

What is the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)?

The Customer Satisfaction Score is a key performance indicator that measures how satisfied your customer is with your product or service. The goal of calculating the CSAT  is to gauge how happy the customer is about a particular event, experience, product feature, etc. It usually appears at the end of customer surveys and as a question similar to this:

How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the you received? 

Respondents typically answer the satisfaction survey using a scale of 1 to 10, 1 to 5, or 1 to 3. For instance, with a 5 point Likert scale, 1 typically being ‘very unsatisfied’ to  5 being ‘very satisfied.’ CSAT scores are most commonly represented by a percentage value, such that 0% means total customer dissatisfaction and 100% means total customer satisfaction

To calculate the CSAT, you only need to include response scores of 4 and 5 because the two highest feedback scores best accurately predict customer retention. Divide the number of “happy” customers by the total of survey responses. Then, multiply by 100 to capture those smiley faces. 


Source: Question Pro 

Main Differences Between NPS and CSAT

We’ve gone over what both the NPS and CSAT are, including their unique calculations. Here we address their key differences, thus reinstating some facts to give you an even clearer picture.

NPS (vs CSAT):

  • Measures more of customer loyalty to your brand
  • Limited by a single question 
  • It helps you to think more about your brand’s future or long-term growth, thus a more comprehensive view of your customer’s intent in recommending your brand as a whole
  • Asks customers to think more broadly about your brand 

CSAT (vs NPS):

  • Measures more of customer satisfaction with your product or service 
  • More versatile as it can be measured by more than one question to understand the multitude of specific interactions of the customer experience
  • It helps you to think more about the here-and-now customer sentiment regarding a particular discussion, event, or product attribute 
  • Asks customers to think more deeply about a specific time or event with your brand
  • Less reliable for measuring the ongoing relationship between customer and brand

Why are the NPS and the CSAT both Important for Business Growth?

Both the Net Promoter Score and the Customer Satisfaction Score are measures of the customer experience. Although opposite in use and design, they complement one another and, thus, are equally essential to help you see the overall growth of your company. 

In particular, CSAT targets specific areas of improvement and interest, whereas NPS grants you the bigger picture of customer satisfaction and an overview of how your company is doing. For instance, when your company implements specific changes that affect your customers, using the two metrics together in your survey will enable you to make score comparisons before and after the changes. In that way, you can measure a more profound impact. 

Ultimately, it all boils down to the company’s particular preferences, goals, and business model to determine whether to measure with CSAT, NPS, both, or neither. Most notably, it is what you do with those scores to improve and scale that really matters. 

We recommend adding more qualitative studies on top of using these metrics to identify the scores’ drivers. Consequently, you can make winning decisions to improve critical aspects of your business. 

Wonderflow Delivers +100% CSAT and NPS

And did someone mention “winning decisions”? Oh yes, us! Wonderflow is all about those high Customer Satisfaction Scores and Net Promoter Scores. 

In the competitive VoC landscape, Wonderflow is the key Visionary market player that provides unified VoC analytics using specialized AI. Our customer feedback analysis software brings an easy-to-understand metric to your customer experience strategy. 

Wonderflow delivers value to enterprises with high consumer involvement by uniting the analysis of open feedback from different sources instead of managing them. Such benefits of using our tool include:

  • Being able to identify the drivers of customer loyalty 
  • Measuring the more significant impact of improvements on your products and services
  • Extracting real-time actionable insights
  • Gaining an in-depth understanding of your NPS with our breakdown feedback report and more 

Transforming detractors to promoters has never been easier. Try our free demo now. 

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