Customer satisfaction
Customer Satisfaction is a measure of how well your products and services live up to your customer's expectations. Tracking and improving it is shown to improve the performance of your business.


What is customer satisfaction?

Say what you like about them, but Amazon have great customer service. A few years ago, I bought an electric toothbrush on their site. I used it for about 6 months and then the battery life started to dwindle.
I jumped onto live chat through my Amazon account and told the customer service representative what was happening. Within 10 minutes, they had sent out a new toothbrush to me and also arranged for someone to come to my house and pick up the broken toothbrush. I didn't even need the packaging.
If I were a bricks and mortar toothbrush store (a pharmacy, I guess), I'd be shaking in my boots? And why's that?
92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family. And now, if I ever hear anyone mention an electric toothbrush in future, I'll be sure to tell them they should buy from Amazon. The main motivation for me telling them is because I was, and continue to be, a satisfied customer.
And that's not the only important stat. According to research, a repeat customer spends 67% more than a new customer.

What is the simplest definition of customer satisfaction?

There's a whole range of great definitions of customer satisfaction but because there's a massive range of people writing about the topic, there's also a great variation in the kinds of definition you get:
The Marketing Study Guide says that a 'nice, easy' definition might be:
  • Customer satisfaction is a consumer’s perception of how well an organisation has delivered on their communicated value proposition.
WOW! What a mouthful. Let's look at some other definitions instead.
For Hubspot, the simplest definition is:
  • Customer satisfaction is a metric used to quantify the degree to which a customer is happy with a product, service, or experience.
This works but it's maybe a little over-simplified because it doesn't take into account that you might also have poor customer satisfaction.
I really like what Neil Patel boils it down to here:
  • Customer satisfaction measures how your product, service, and overall experience either falls short, meets, or exceeds customer expectations.
This is good because it takes a holistic view and makes it quite simple to understand. You could be good in one area but bad in others.
What’s the difference between customer service and customer satisfaction

You often hear customer service/experience mentioned in the same breath as customer satisfaction. So what’s the difference? 

Customer service is focused on improving the experience of interacting with the brand. Customer satisfaction is about ensuring high levels of general satisfaction – including customer service. They’re almost always linked. If your customer service ranks high, you’re likely to have a high customer satisfaction score too. 

Some people think of customer satisfaction as a ‘lag’ indicator – meaning that any negative effects have been felt by the time you discover them through a survey or similar. That doesn’t have to be true as we’ll see in this guide on creating a customer satisfaction strategy

We’ll use the terms interchangeably in this guide. It’s just easier like that because they are so closely linked.