CSAT or DSAT: Which Is More Important?

September 7, 2022

A staggering 86% of customers will ditch a brand after having just two bad experiences, according to Business Wire. This reality is one of the countless statistics that make a case for measuring customer feedback.

While virtually everyone agrees that monitoring customer perceptions is essential, it sometimes feels like there are countless “key” metrics a business should monitor: Satisfaction, effort, loyalty, spend, lifetime value. The list continues.

One of the most well-known measures for assessing customer experience quality is customer satisfaction (CSAT). It serves as an effective gauge of how highly – or not – customers view a product, service, or support. In general, higher CSAT translates to better loyalty and retention.

Although CSAT tracking is extremely popular, it’s counterpart should also be part of the metric mix. The truth is things don’t always go as planned which is why many companies also calculate customer dissatisfaction (DSAT). Using both as performance indicators provides a well-rounded, realistic view of how things stand.

The question is, which is better suited for today's growing business? While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, each metric has its advantages. Let’s consider the strengths of each:


In reality, CSAT and DSAT are variations of the same attribute, “how satisfied are you with …,” and are calculated similarly. To calculate CSAT, scores taken from the high end of the scale (“very satisfied, “somewhat satisfied”) are aggregated into a “satisfaction score.”

Conversely, to calculate DSAT, scores taken from the low end of the scale (“very dissatisfied, somewhat dissatisfied”) are aggregated into a “dissatisfaction score.”

Although it may feel redundant, both CSAT and DSAT provide specific and invaluable insights. For example, CSAT scores can help you understand how customers feel about your brand. DSAT can help pinpoint problem areas.

Both also are highly effective in evaluating support quality offered by frontline agents. If CSAT scores are consistently high, you know agents are doing a great job serving customers. Conversely, if DSAT suddenly starts to increase you may need to upskill agents or look deeper into root causes.

Since CSAT and DSAT provide valuable insights into the customer experience (CX), it’s a best practice to leverage both to improve your CRM practices, streamline the buying experience, and optimize post-purchase CX.

The Case for CSAT

Smart businesses implement CSAT scoring protocols into multiple facets of the customer experience. For instance, youTHUMBNAIL - Blog_CSAT vs DSAT should send surveys to customers after they make a purchase or contact customer service.

  • Assess Customer Sentiment: Well-designed feedback collection processes can help you pinpoint sentiment toward specific products, services, or customer support processes. While some customers will proactively provide feedback, the majority will not. Therefore, you must solicit this feedback by requesting reviews or asking simple survey questions. The more frictionless you make this process, the higher your participation rates will be.
  • Gain Agent-Level Insights: Using a robust customer relationship management (CRM) solution, you can attribute each CSAT survey to a particular agent. This insight will improve accountability and help you optimize staff performance.
  • Gauge Staffing Impacts: If you simply cannot keep up with customer demand for service, you may want to consider outsourcing, as this will allow you to boost CSAT scores and resolution levels.

The Case for DSAT

As a business owner or organizational leader, it can be tough to hear negative feedback about company. However, this information can also help you refine your business model and improve the customer experience. By tracking DSAT scores, you can also:

  • Protect Brand Reputation: Negative reviews on platforms like Google or Yelp can ruin your brand reputation. Many prospective customers will go straight to the review section of their preferred platform before making a purchase from a brand they don’t know. Most customers are willing to overlook one or two negative reviews. However, if you have accumulated more than a few negative reviews, you will lose out on quite a bit of potential business. By tracking DSAT, you can proactively address complaints and build trust among buyers. 
  • Facilitate Product Improvement: DSAT insights often contain objective insights about your goods or services that you can use to improve the customer experience. When reviewing DSAT feedback, take an honest look at the nature of the complaint. It is impossible to please everyone, but most complaints are founded in fact. In light of this, make the most of all feedback that you receive by taking the time to review DSAT responses.
  • Demonstrate Your Responsiveness: When customers feel as though they are being heard, they will develop positive feelings toward your brand. Some will provide negative feedback no matter how responsive you are. However, most customers will be grateful that you are replying to their feedback and working to resolve their concerns. When responding to negative feedback or reviews published on public forums, keep your responses brief and professional. Other prospective customers will see this exchange and view your brand in a more positive light because of it.

Final Take: DSAT or CSAT?

Managing the customer relationship is integral to the longevity of your business. Ideally, you want to convert first-time buyers into repeat customers. Both DSAT and CSAT metrics have their uses. Therefore, businesses should consider gathering both types of feedback.

If you’re measuring both but still struggling to pinpoint where, or how, to take action consider implementing a third key metric: Customer Effort Score (CES). Customer effort has proven to be highly effective at capturing how hard customers must work in order to do business with a company. Numerous researchers have demonstrated that the more effort a customer must expend, the less satisfied they are. This is why the concept of effortless experiences has risen to the forefront many leading companies. 

For additional assistance optimizing the customer experience, contact Goodbay Technologies. Our customer experience solutions include outsourcing, CSAT/DSAT tracking, and more.

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