When to Use a CSAT vs. NPS Text Survey

Customer reading on phone

There’s no denying that business texting is a highly effective channel for collecting feedback about everything from agent performance to the overall brand experience. In fact, 75% of millennials prefer SMS communications for deliveries, promotions, and surveys. Of the general population, 31% respond to text surveys, with an average response time of less than six minutes. 

But once businesses decide to start sending text survey requests, they often encounter a critical question: should they use the CSAT or NPS survey format? 

Read on to learn about the differences between CSAT and NPS, which text survey is best used at which times, and more.

What Are CSAT and NPS Surveys?

The Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score (NPS) are both considered customer satisfaction surveys, but they have their differences. 

What is a CSAT?

A CSAT is a key performance indicator (KPI) used to measure the satisfaction of your customers on a percentage scale. The CSAT allows businesses to choose different points within the customer journey, like a particular product, transaction, interaction, or service, to measure the level of satisfaction a customer feels about them. The survey usually provides a 5-point scale, ranging from “very unsatisfied” to “very good.”

What is an NPS survey?

An NPS survey measures long-term success and customer service. The customer perception index ranges from -100 to 100, and ultimately predicts customer loyalty and customers’ willingness to promote your product, service, or brand. NPS surveys usually include a single question, like: “Considering your experience with our brand, how likely would you be to recommend our products to a friend or colleague?” Customers can choose a number answer on the scale from 0-10. Those who score from a 9-10 are “promoters,” and those who score from 7-8 and lower are “passive.” Those who score lower than 7 are “detractors.” 

When Is It Best to Use a CSAT Text Survey?

CSAT is a highly flexible and long-used test. Because the questions included in the survey can be used to measure whatever point in the customer journey a business is curious about, it can be applied to pretty much any customer-facing project, such as:

  • Product releases
  • Product performance
  • Customer service performance
  • Transaction convenience
  • Website experiences
  • In-store experiences
  • SMS customer service experiences

When sending a CSAT SMS survey, it makes sense to ask customers to provide feedback on something related to their business texting experience. For example, if you recently sent an order delivery notification through SMS, you can send a text message survey asking for delivery communications feedback. If you helped someone facilitate a return through SMS, you can send a text message survey asking for customer service feedback. If a customer texts in for help setting up a new product, send a text survey asking for product feedback.

No matter which point in the customer journey you would like to measure, responses from a CSAT SMS survey can give you a good idea of how your customers feel about it. 

When Is It Best to Use an NPS Text Survey?

NPS is a more specific survey, since it focuses on long-term success and customer loyalty. An NPS text message survey can be useful if you want to take the temperature of your business as a whole, and not measure the effectiveness of a specific aspect of your business. 

As with the CSAT, you’ll want to send your NPS SMS survey after most interactions, so you can get an accurate picture of how your customers really feel. You will get more accurate responses from customers who have used your services multiple times. 

Be sure to review customer history to ensure that the people to whom you send the SMS survey have interacted with your brand, either by asking questions or purchasing your product or service.

What Should a CSAT or NPS Text Survey Request Look Like?

While templates will look different depending on your company culture, your text survey will follow a standard format. In general, be sure to maintain your branding, stay positive, keep the request short, and proofread. 

For reference, here are some examples of effective text survey request templates: 

Hello {{first name}}, this is Anne from Fast Tech. We texted about your return yesterday. Would you consider providing anonymous feedback about your experience? {{CSAT link}} 

Hi {{first name}}, Hungry Hal’s Delivery here. Congrats—it’s your year anniversary of being in the Customer Gold program! Will you consider providing feedback online rating your experience so far? {{NPS link}} 🍕

Hello {{first name}}, we at Simple Crystals noticed you have opted into our texted appointment reminder program. Can you let us know how you like it? Here is a quick survey if so >> {{CSAT link}}

Hey {{first name}}, Sammy’s Boutique here. Thank you for your last purchase! If you liked what you got or if you have suggestions for improvement, could you provide feedback about your experience? {{NPS link}}


Need help creating your survey through your text service for business? Check out our blog for ideas.

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