Improving Customer Satisfaction Scores with Generative AI

By Machielle Thomas
Lady smiling about customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is a fundamental metric for measuring success of any business, and one we at Forethought are dedicated to improving using generative AI to personalize interactions and predict customer’s needs. 

“The key is to set realistic customer expectations, not just to meet them, but to exceed them — preferably in unexpected and helpful ways. If you can do that, then Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) will take care of itself,” says Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group.

Using the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) as a primary measurement, we’re excited to introduce more ways to enhance the consumer’s experience. Our new Autoflows innovation does just that. 

Our CEO, Deon Nicholas, spoke to Bloomberg following our new Autoflows announcement.

“We’ve already seen some of our beta customers DOUBLE their customer satisfaction scores with Autoflows,” Nicholas said. 

What is the Customer Satisfaction Score? 

The Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) represents an essential business metric, especially in customer service, support, and experience. This widespread metric is utilized in marketing and signifies the extent to which a company’s offerings meet or exceed customer expectations. 

It’s fundamentally represented as a percentage that reflects the customers whose interaction with a company, its products, or services surpass their specified satisfaction goals.

Customer satisfaction has been a crucial aspect of commerce ever since businesses began to offer products and services to the public. However, the precise measurement of CSAT, as we understand it today, is a relatively recent development. 

The Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) vouches for marketing metrics’ definitions, purposes, and measurements of marketing metrics as part of its ongoing Common Language in Marketing Project. Notably, 71% of nearly 200 senior marketing managers responded that the customer satisfaction metric was extremely useful in managing and monitoring their business activities.

Using CSAT to Measure Customer Experience

Getting inside the customer’s head can feel like an insurmountable task. How does this numeric measurement actually represent the customer experience? 

Basically, the CSAT quantifies the extent to which a customer’s experience with a product, service, or interaction with a company meets or exceeds their expectations. Typically measured on a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 signifies ‘very dissatisfied’ and 5 stands for ‘very satisfied,’ the final score is calculated as the percentage of responses that rate the company as a 4 (satisfied) or 5 (very satisfied).

Benchmarks for the CSAT score can vary by industry and company size, but a general guideline is as follows:

  • Poor: Below 60%
  • Average: 60-75%
  • Good: 75-85%
  • Best-in-class: Above 85%

You’ll get the most out of CSAT by measuring after specific trigger events – think touchpoints or interactions like a customer support call, purchase transaction, or during product or service use. It is often measured consistently, such as monthly or quarterly, which helps businesses track changes over time and recognize any trends or patterns in customer satisfaction.

Many positions can utilize this process, from Customer Service Representatives to Customer Experience Managers. Most importantly, the CSAT metric is used to measure success in roles with direct customer interaction – or those who supervise employees who do. 

Executives and leaders also use the metric to monitor overall customer satisfaction and make strategic decisions that impact the company’s operations.

Why is CSAT Important? 

From the customer service rep up to executives, the CSAT is an important success metric at all levels of company performance. 

  • For individual contributors, especially those in customer-facing roles, the CSAT metric offers direct feedback on their performance. A high CSAT score can indicate that they’re effectively meeting customers’ needs, whereas a low score can highlight areas where improvement is needed. Targeted professional development is then possible, which helps ensure that customer-facing employees provide the best service possible.
  • At the team level, the CSAT score can also serve as a key performance indicator to help identify strengths and weaknesses in the team’s customer service and support approach. It can provide a benchmark for improvement. High team CSAT scores can lift morale, while low scores can trigger team development and training.
  • At the company level, the CSAT score reflects how well the company meets customer needs and expectations. High CSAT scores can increase customer loyalty, positive word-of-mouth, and business growth. Low CSAT scores, on the other hand, can signal more significant issues with a company’s products or services and negatively impact its reputation and bottom line.

Success in CSAT

While 75 to 85% positive responses is considered a “good” CSAT score, it’s important to look to industry leaders to set a benchmark for company success and learn strategies for improvement. 

For instance, Apple is a globally recognized organization that consistently achieves high CSAT scores. 

In 2020, the American Customer Satisfaction Index reported that Apple had a CSAT score of 82, one of the highest in the computer industry. Apple’s high score is due to its commitment to quality products, innovative design, and exceptional customer service. 

Apple has established a robust support ecosystem that includes online resources, over-the-phone support, and in-store Genius Bars. These different support avenues provide customers with various options to address their issues, resulting in high customer satisfaction.

Strategies to Improve CSAT Using Generative AI and Automation 

Once an organization has their CSAT measurement in hand, the next step is to work to improve this metric. At Forethought, we leverage our suite of products – including generative AI and automation technologies – to enhance the customer experience. 

A few strategies include:

  1. Automate Routine Tasks: Using automation to handle routine tasks such as answering frequently asked questions or processing simple transactions can free your team to focus on more complex customer needs, potentially leading to higher satisfaction.
  2. Use AI to Personalize Interactions: Generative AI can personalize customer interactions by recommending products based on past purchases or providing personalized support based on a customer’s history. This approach can make customers feel valued and understood, thereby boosting satisfaction.
  3. Leverage AI for Predictive Analysis: AI can analyze customer data to predict future behavior, such as potential churn or product interest. This proactive approach can allow you to address issues or opportunities in advance, leading to increased satisfaction.
  4. Implement AI Chatbots: AI chatbots can provide instant, 24/7 customer support by answering questions, resolving issues, and providing information. This approach can lead to faster resolution times and higher satisfaction.

Our new Autoflows solution makes this even easier, thanks to a seamless implementation. 

Remember: Generative AI and automation can definitely enhance the customer experience, but as tools to support your team rather than replace them. Implementing Autoflows can help free up time for live agents to resolve more complex issues. 

Our open beta is live. Find out how you can generate policies and customer journeys automatically to maximize coverage!

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Interested in generative AI for customer support? Check out this guide to learn about the 3 key pillars you need to get started.

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