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"Which is more important? Net Promoter® Score (NPS) or Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)"

Wrong question! The correct question is: Which drivers of NPS and CSAT are more important than others?

So! let us get right down to it.

NPS was first discussed by Fred Reichheld in the 2003 Harvard Business Review. It measures customer loyalty and tells you if your customers are likely to promote your company or product or service.

But CSAT has been there forever. It measures customer's (or user's) overall perception about your company and tells you if your company or product or service actually met their expectations.

CSAT depends on your customer's expectations and the critical-to-quality (CTQ) requirements.

NPS predicts potential for renewals, revisits, "come back again", and crowd-sources your referral revenue-stream. CSAT summarizes your company's or product's or service's performance.


Both are business-outcome metrics that are equally important to measure and both relate to Kano's Customer Experience and Competitive Advantage story.


There is a known strong correlation between the two metrics, especially in the tails of their statistical distribution. Causality or "which one causes what" is yet to be determined. High CSAT is likely to result in Promoter status. Low CSAT will push a customer within the detractor and neutral zone. Neutral and Passive makes a dead zone where drivers and behaviors of customers are harder to decipher. In this zone, studying behaviors shown by repeat customer (#bigdata), can provide additional insights.

There are however important business processes and behavioral drivers that are common to both CSAT and NPS.

The important drivers are the following

Driver Category

Drivers for NPS

Drivers for CSAT

Process and Flow

- Standardized Process with room to be creative

- Customers have an easy way to share stories

- Seamless processes

- Timeliness of response

- Average Handle Time (AHT)

- Clear hand-offs across functional areas

Product Features

- Intuitive Design

- Creative-thinking Skills

- Understanding the user

- Intuitive Design

- Understanding how your customer or user uses your products and services

Policies and Programs


  • - Easy way to cancel use of your products and services with remuneration

Passive and Promoters

  • - User or customer adoption programs
  • - Incentives


  • - Clear escalation policies
  • - Easy retribution for poor service

Neutral and Very Satisfied

  • - Customer Recognition
  • - Involving the customer in the decision
  • - Providing options
  • - Customer Advocacy or Community Relationship program
  • - Understanding and measurement of CTQs


Provide unexpected Kano Delighters:

  • - Employees rewarded for “Going out of their way to help”

- Critical-thinking Skills

Ability to establish credibility or trusted advisor

Empowered and well-trained workforce that provide Kano Satisfiers:


What are you measuring? Are you measuring and managing the drivers?

Our Games simulate all those behaviors and helps your employees acquire the skills needed to maximize your customer-retention metrics. Our PAKRA Console and Analytics uses game-mechanics that in turn helps your employees adopt the skill faster. Our consulting services helps you acquire a deeper understanding of the actual processes that your customer experiences.

To learn more about our success stories, visit our store.


1. Apple retains lead in American Customer Satisfaction Index, but Samsung gaining, Ben Lovejoy, 9to5mac Blog, May 22, 2013

2. Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance. Farris, Paul W.; Neil T. Bendle; Phillip E. Pfeifer; David J. Reibstein (2010). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN 0-13-705829-

3. Customer Satisfaction Index,  Microsoft Partner Network Blog

4. The infrastructure behind a Net Promoter System, Bain Brief, Rob Markey and Fred Reichheld, May 28, 2013

5. Net Promoter Score (NPS) Criticisms and Best Practices, Vovici Blog, Tue, Apr 28, 2009

6. Using Driver Charts and Gap Analysis to Identify Areas of Improvement, Satmetrix Net Promoter Community, May 12, 2011

7. Measuring customer satisfaction and driving behavior, Callcentre helper Blog, Mats Rennstam, 9 Dec 2009

8. Customer Experience: Customer Satisfaction vs. Customer Loyalty, Customer Experience Management Feature Article, Vance Christensen, April 10, 2006

9. Podcast Transcript:  Driving Customer Satisfaction - What Do the Best Contact Centers Do?, Jeff Furst

10. Measuring your Net Promoter® score, Bain & Company, 2013

11. What's your experience with Net Promoter Scores? Forrester Community Page, 2011

12. 10 Things to Know about Net Promoter Scores and the User Experience, Jeff Saura, April 2012


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