A guide to CSAT surveys – when to use CSAT instead of NPS scores?

Carla Vianna
Carla Vianna
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A guide to CSAT surveys – when to use CSAT instead of NPS scores?

While smiling faces and happy photos posted on social media can be a good indication that your guests are having a good time at your attraction, there’s a smarter way to measure customer satisfaction.

It’s called a Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score.

In this post, you’ll learn how tourism businesses of all sizes can improve their guest experience by tracking this key performance indicator.

What is CSAT? 

The CSAT score is a key performance indicator for customer service and experience quality across all industries. It’s used to gauge whether your services or product are fulfilling customer expectations.

For attractions, the CSAT score would tell you how your guest experience is measuring up to visitor expectations.

The score is defined as a percentage, with 100% reflecting an excellent satisfaction rate.

Why is CSAT important to track? 

Your CSAT score can help you begin to understand your customer experience.

If you’re meeting your customer expectations, your customer satisfaction will be positive. But if you’re failing to meet them, your customers won’t be leaving your glowing reviews.

This is an especially important metric for tourism attractions whose business plans are based on entertaining guests with an experience.

Unsatisfied guests are unlikely to return or recommend you to others. Happy guests, on the other hand, become loyal customers that bring you repeat business, positive reviews, and word-of-mouth recommendations.

Businesses keep track of their CSAT to understand how they compare to competitors. The data can also be used to identify key areas of improvement so that they can keep more customers coming back.

How do you measure CSAT? 

You can measure CSAT via a customer satisfaction survey sent via email, SMS, or a pop-up on a website, among other methods.

CSAT surveys are typically sent after a meaningful customer interaction to gauge how they feel about that specific experience. 

To understand how guests feel about visiting your attraction, you would send them a survey asking “How satisfied are you with your visit?”

Guests will use the following 1 to 5 scale to respond:

  1. Very unsatisfied
  2. Unsatisfied
  3. Neutral
  4. Satisfied
  5. Very satisfied

You can follow up the questions with an open comment form where guests can explain the reasoning behind their rating.

To calculate your overall score, take the number of satisfied customers who responded with a 4 or 5 and divide by the total number of responses. Then multiply by 100 to get your percentage. For example, if 75 out of 100 respondents gave you a rating of 4 or 5, your CSAT score would be 75% (75 / 100 = 0.75 x 100 = 75%).

What is a good CSAT score? 

CSAT scores can vary by industry, but a good to very good score will typically range from 75% to 85%. A score this high means that you are meeting guest expectations in whatever area you’re measuring.

The average CSAT score across all industries in the U.S. was 74.4% in 2020.

Rather than comparing your score to the national average, take a look at how your business matches up to the scores of your competitors. This will give you a better idea of where you stand in your industry.

What is a bad CSAT score?

If your CSAT score is below 60%, there is plenty of room for improvement.

Attractions with a low score likely experience low customer return rates and may struggle to hit sales goals. 

Your customer experience is the basis of your business, and a low score is a good indicator that there’s something wrong.

Average CSAT scores by industry 

Here’s a look at how average CSAT scores vary by industry:

  • Full-service restaurants: 80
  • Apparel: 79
  • Banks: 78
  • Online retail: 78
  • Car rentals: 76
  • Airlines: 76
  • Online travel agencies: 74
  • Hotels: 73
  • Health insurance: 72
  • Social media: 70
  • Hospitals: 69
  • Internet service providers: 65

What’s the difference between CSAT and NPS scores?

NPS is short for Net Promoter Score, a widely used metric used to measure customer loyalty. While both CSAT and NPS scores help businesses gauge how well they’re meeting customer expectations, there are key differences between them.

That’s because CSAT measures a customer’s satisfaction with a product or service, while NPS measures customer loyalty.

CSAT measures customer satisfaction based on a recent interaction between a guest and your company, NPS gauges the likelihood that a guest will recommend your attraction to others.

That being said, CSAT is more of a short-term reflection on guest sentiment based on how they’re feeling at that moment in time. If a guest’s issue wasn’t resolved after a customer support call, they’ll be unsatisfied with that interaction.

An NPS score, on the other hand, is a reflection of the sum of a guest’s interactions with your brand. They’ll take that phone call into consideration, as well as every other interaction with your brand.

When to use CSAT instead of NPS Scores? 

You would use a CSAT survey to measure short-term satisfaction after a recent interaction with your company. For example, a guest calls to find out if their ticket is refundable. Your customer service team handles the situation according to your company policy, and following the phone call, the guest receives a survey asking them to rate their satisfaction.

Other instances where a CSAT makes sense is to measure customer satisfaction after booking a ticket on your website, or after experiencing a new ride, event, or art exhibit at your venue.

CSAT surveys should be sent immediately after a meaningful interaction with your company.

An NPS is typically sent at the end of the customer journey. It’s used to measure how loyal guests are after their entire experience with your attraction, from the first touchpoint to their exit from your venue.

Your NPS score measures your brand perception after guests have visited your venue.

NPS surveys can be sent periodically throughout the year to track changes in customer loyalty. This can help you recuperate customers that are about to abandon your brand and turn them back into loyal guests.


This guide provides you with a better understanding of when to use CSAT surveys and how it can help you provide your guests with a better experience.

Whether you’re a big theme park or a small escape room, keeping track of these key performance indicators can make a big difference in your attraction’s success.


Writer Carla Vianna

Carla Vianna

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