CSAT Survey Frequency: When and How Often to Send a CSAT Survey

Written by Moritz Dausinger, CEO of Refiner

Are you wondering how often you should send a CSAT survey? Looking for information on the most optimal CSAT survey frequency?

I hear stories like this all the time: You, a founder, spent months and months building your SaaS. You put equal or even bigger effort into acquiring customers. And then, when you think everything is moving in the right direction, you notice a higher than normal churn rate…

Obviously, something’s wrong so you decide to investigate. You hear about customer satisfaction surveys, like CSAT, for example, decide to try it out, and…

…nothing. 

You don’t collect enough responses to pinpoint the problem. 

One reason for that might be that you send CSAT surveys at the wrong time, and in this guide, I’ll show you how to fix this.  

You’ll learn what is the right frequency for conducting a CSAT survey. What’s more, you’ll also discover the best times to promote the survey for maximum response rate and sufficient data. I’ll also sprinkle some CSAT survey best practices along the way to help you get the most of your survey.

So, let’s do it!

Why Timing of Customer Surveys is So Important?

Well, the answer seems pretty straightforward, right? Because when you connect with a person at the right time, you increase the chances of them actually completing the survey. 

But that simple fact – sending the survey at the right time – has even bigger implications on your business. 

  • The right timing shows customers that you understand them and their needs. A properly timed survey will not feel intrusive, after all. Instead, the person will feel that you’re reaching out to them because you know that they have insights to share. 
  • Correct timing will also increase the quality of feedback. The reason for that is not only the fact that your survey will not feel intrusive. Your survey will also arrive exactly when the person has something to tell you.

But the question remains – What is the best time to send a CSAT survey? How do you measure customer loyalty and satisfaction to always get the best responses?

Well, let’s look into that now.

When to Send CSAT Survey to Customers

The first thing we need to discuss is the difference between the three major survey types – CSAT, NPS, and CES. 

All three help establish how satisfied customers are with your product or service. But these surveys also work differently and require a different approach to timing them. 

  • CSAT: CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) measures how satisfied the customer is with your product and/or service overall. CSAT surveys don’t concern themselves with individual touchpoints with a brand, and so on. Instead, they focus on collecting data that helps gather feedback to improve the product, marketing, sales, and more.
  • NPS: NPS (Net Promoter Score) measures whether customers are satisfied with the product and/or service enough to recommend it to others. The goal of an NPS survey is to determine how many of your customers are likely to drive growth through positive word-of-mouth. 
  • CES: CES (Customer Effort Score) measures how much effort a customer has to make to get an issue resolved. In other words, this survey type concerns itself primarily with researching how challenging (or easy) it is to interact with your business. 

Each survey type gives you different information about your business from the customer’s perspective. And there’s a different ideal time for most & best responses to each type of survey.

(BTW, I already discussed the best time to send NPS surveys in an earlier post.)

In the case of a CSAT survey, the best time is to send it when an experience is fresh in the person’s mind. 

Here are some examples of the best times to send CSAT to customers:

  • You can send the survey a couple of days after the purchase or signup for initial customer feedback.
  • You can show an unintrusive in-app CSAT survey while customers are using the product. The fact that the person is currently engaged with your product increases the chances of them sharing their feedback about it. 
  • Similarly, if you want to examine the satisfaction with your support, send the survey right after the live chat, phone call, or a resolved support ticket.

But How Often Should You Survey Customers with CSAT?

Over time, as your product evolves and your service gets better; customers’ opinions change. The things they’ve liked in the past might no longer tickle their fancy. The vice versa is also true, you might have improved aspects of your business that customers weren’t too fond of. 

And the only way to find out how those changes affect your business and customer satisfaction is by running CSAT surveys regularly. 

How regularly? Well, certainly often enough to keep updated with people’s opinions about your product or service, but not too often that the frequency becomes the reason why satisfaction scores fall.

Now, I admit that the above statement might sound too cryptic. So, here are some example scenarios of when you could run CSAT surveys again:

  • After each customer service session to evaluate the success of that particular support channel, support representative, and support category.
  • After each renewal to know exactly why they decided to stay with you.
  • After a major product update (bug removal, new features, etc.) to see what difference it made. 
  • Follow up with the customer segment every 6-12 months to identify whether your CSAT score has improved.

Quick tips on running a successful CSAT survey

Now, let me be clear about this: Timing isn’t the only factor required to increase the CSAT response rate. So, for the end, let me share with you a couple of tips that will help you improve CSAT survey success:

  • Use a good-looking CSAT survey form: Apply your brand colors, ensure it’s mobile-friendly, A/B test different formats (corner widget, modals, banners, email surveys, etc.).
  • Ask relevant rating questions: Get answers for different sections of your business with relevant questions. For example, “How would you rate the support you received?” after a support session or “How satisfied are you with our onboarding process?” after someone signs up.
  • Add a follow-up question that’s likely to get a response: Try a binary (yes or no) question, an open-ended survey question, or a multiple-choice question like this:
CSAT survey frequency example.

You can create multiple-choice questions (and more) using a Refiner survey template.

Looking for a CSAT survey solution for SaaS?

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