Editor’s note: Jason Baldree is the chief customer officer at Alida. This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared under the title “What is a Customer Satisfaction Score and Why It Matters.”

Eighty-six percent of buyers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. At the same time, 92% of customers with just two or three negative experiences will abandon working with a company and never look back. For businesses, that means that the quality of the customer experience will largely determine customer loyalty, customer lifecycle and the overall growth potential of the company. 

Satisfied customers who provide positive responses to feedback requests are more likely to stick around for longer, buy more often and even share your brand's message with their friends, colleagues and family. To understand how your customers view your company, you need to have a reliable process for measuring customer feedback. One of the best tools for doing that is using a customer satisfaction score, also known as a CSAT. 

Let's look at what a customer satisfaction score is, why it matters and how you can improve your CSAT by learning to match and exceed customer expectations.

A customer satisfaction score is a customer experience metric used to measure how happy your buyers are with your services, products and overall brand experience. It's used extensively as part of collecting voice-of-the-customer data and is often used together with the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and customer effort score (CES), all of which provide different insights into customer satisfaction levels through survey questions.

A CSAT will typically be measured by a single-question survey, asking respondents to rate their overall satisfaction with the product or service they received. The customers must pick one of five options, ranging from very unsatisfied to very satisfied. Because it's such a simple and low-effor...