CSAT, CES, and other NPS Alternatives – When should you stick with NPS vs. using an alternative metric

Carla Vianna
Carla Vianna
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CSAT, CES, and other NPS Alternatives – When should you stick with NPS vs. using an alternative metric

When and why should you be tracking customer loyalty?

Guest loyalty is a complex metric that helps you keep a finger on the pulse of your entire guest experience. After all, a guest won’t become loyal to a brand that doesn’t meet their expectations, right?

Remember that guests begin interacting with your brand long before their actual visit. They might message you on social media, buy tickets on your website, and call you to make a special request.

All of these interactions play into the guest experience, and whether or not your guest will develop loyalty for your brand. This is why it’s helpful to continuously measure guest satisfaction throughout the customer journey not just after an experience at your venue.

In this guide, we’ll go over exactly what that means and show you the different methods and KPIs used to measure customer satisfaction.

What is an omnichannel customer experience?

Why is measuring customer satisfaction important?

What are the methods to measure customer satisfaction?

What are the best customer satisfaction KPIs?

When to use NPS surveys

When to use CES surveys

When to use CSAT surveys

What is an omnichannel customer experience? 

Remember when we said your guests will likely interact with your brand on multiple occasions before their visit? Well, they’ll likely do so on more than one channel.

An omnichannel customer experience is when a business communicates with guests across multiple channels that are seamlessly connected to one another. This means that when a guest reaches out to you via email, they can easily continue the conversation on another channel, like a phone call.

Most businesses today use a variety of channels like social media, email, SMS messages, and chatbots to interact with customers. But not all of them provide an omnichannel experience.

It’s frustrating for a guest to have to repeat the same request or ask the same question multiple times, just because they chose to reach out via a different method the second time around.

A truly omnichannel business will offer a single, frictionless experience across all of its channels. Your guests can pick up the conversation on another channel, without your company skipping a beat.

This way, guests can choose to use the channels they feel most comfortable with. In turn, your business can then cater to a broader audience given that all of your platforms offer an equal experience.

Why is measuring customer satisfaction important? 

Guest feedback is essential to continuously improving and growing any business — and measuring customer satisfaction plays right into that.

Attractions gain a better understanding of their customers’ needs and expectations by measuring customer satisfaction. It’s important to know what aspects of your business are working for your customers so that you can continue to market those to the world. Yet it’s equally — if not more — important to identify what’s causing customer dissatisfaction. 

That’s where popular customer satisfaction survey metrics, like NPS, CSAT, or CES, come in handy.

What are the methods to measure customer satisfaction? 

The most common way to measure customer satisfaction is with a customer feedback survey. But there are a few other methods to explore how customers feel about your brand. Let’s take a look at a few of them here.

Customer feedback surveys

Surveys are the best vehicle to do so, and they can be packaged in a few different ways.

  • In-app surveys: A quick survey will pop up in an app that your guest is currently using. It’ll ask them to rate their satisfaction with the user experience, making way for an immediate reaction and high response rate.
  • Post-service surveys: A feedback survey is sent to your guest immediately after a meaningful interaction with your brand, such as after solving a problem over the phone. The survey can happen on the same phone call or be sent via email or SMS.
  • Email surveys: These surveys allow customers to take their time in answering multiple questions. You might consider including an open-ended question where guests can respond in more detail.

Social media listening and sentiment analysis 

Social media is a great place to find out what your customers are thinking about you.

When a guest has a good time at your attraction, they’ll likely want to share the experience on their social media pages. Instagram and Facebook are especially popular for sharing photos, videos, and travel memories with friends and family.

Guests often turn to social media to complain about bad customer service, too. This is why it’s a good idea to monitor social media for mentions of your company — you’ll be able to spot and address negative comments before too many people see them.

Tools like Google Alerts or Mention help companies track social mentions and analyze the sentiment behind them.

Tracking web analytics

Your web analytics can tell you quite a bit about your customer behavior. First, you can track what pages they’re visiting and what content they’re sharing. This gives you an idea of the kind of content your guests are most interested in.

Meanwhile, you can also track conversions to find out how well your website drives direct bookings. If conversions are low, this might indicate that there is room for improvement on your site, such as a more streamlined checkout system.

What are the best customer satisfaction KPIs? 

A slew of different metrics are used to keep track of customer satisfaction, but these are the top KPIs used by businesses of all kinds.

Customer Satisfaction Score

As the name suggests, the Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score is the most straightforward KPI for measuring customer satisfaction.

CSAT surveys are typically composed of a single question that asks customers to rate their satisfaction level — 1 (very unsatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied) — after a meaningful interaction with your company.

Your CSAT score is the number of satisfied customers who responded with a 4 or 5 divided by the total number of responses, multiplied by 100 to get a percentage. For example, if 60 out of 100 respondents gave you a rating of 4 or 5, your CSAT score would be 60% (60 / 100 = 0.60 x 100 = 60%).

Customer Effort Score

The Customer Effort Score (CES) measures the ease of interacting with your company. More specifically, this survey asks guests to rate the effort they had to exert during a customer service interaction.

The survey typically has a scale from 1 to 7, where 1 reflects the highest level of difficulty and 7 reflects great ease. CES is useful in measuring guest satisfaction after specific guest requests or complaints.

Your final CES score can be calculated by finding the average of all responses. If your survey has a scale of 1 to 7, a higher score would allude to happier customers.

Net Promoter Score

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures customer loyalty. An NPS survey asks guests to rate how likely they are to recommend your attraction to others on a scale of 0 to 10. Based on the responses, businesses can identify their biggest fans as well as unhappy customers.

NPS survey respondents can be grouped into three categories.

Guests that answer with a 9 or 10 are considered “promoters,” or brand advocates that will encourage others to visit your attraction. Those that answer with a 7 or 8 are known as “passives.” They’re unlikely to recommend your attraction to others. The lowest scores of 0 to 6 are “detractors,” or unhappy guests who might discourage others from visiting you.

The final NPS score can be calculated by taking the percentage of respondents under the “promoter” category and subtracting it from the “detractors.” The higher the score, the more brand loyalty your company has.

First Response Time

Slow response times won’t do your customer satisfaction any good. Your guests would like their questions and requests to be addressed promptly, especially if they’re in the midst of travel planning.

When Zendesk asked customers what matters most to them when trying to resolve a customer service issue, about 70% replied that resolving the issue quickly was the most important factor. Nearly 60% said that “they respond quickly.” 

Moreso, your guests expecting your customer service to be efficient across all channels. Remember the omnichannel experience? This means your team should be monitoring your social media accounts for guest requests just as much as the ones that come in via email or phone calls. Overall, quick response times can drive higher customer satisfaction.

Average Handle Time

Keeping an eye on your Average Handle Time is also key. This is the time it takes for a customer to fully resolve an issue with your company, from the first to the final interaction.

Nobody likes to sit on the phone on hold. Longer handle times means customers are having to put more effort into getting an issue resolved. This directly impacts your CES, and poor CES scores correlate with decreased customer satisfaction.

Online reviews

Online reviews act as a marketing tool for attractions. When guests search for your company online, they’ll find your reviews. Positive reviews can persuade guests to choose your attraction over your competitors.

Reviews can say a lot about customer satisfaction. Ideally, your pool of positive reviews should always be growing.

If negative reviews start to come in one after the other, that’s a good indication that something is off in your customer experience.

When to use NPS surveys 

An NPS survey is best used after your guest reaches a big milestone with your company — like their very first visit.

This is because an NPS survey measures how guests feel about your overall brand, not just a single customer service interaction. Since an NPS survey asks customers to rate the likelihood of recommending your brand to others, their responses will be based on all their interactions with your company. They may consider the ease of purchasing tickets on your website just as much as the visit itself.

An NPS survey can provide valuable insight about why your happiest guests tell all of their family and friends to visit.  

When to use CES surveys

CES surveys should be sent immediately after a guest interacts with your customer service team. Your CES score will tell you how much difficulty a guest had in getting an issue resolved. The survey can be deployed after a guest calls in to make a request, or during an online interaction with a chatbot on your website.

Regardless of the channel guests use to reach out, CES surveys should be used to understand the efficiency of that channel.

If guests are having a hard time dealing with your company, their satisfaction levels can sharply drop. It’s important to deploy a CES survey after such customer service interaction to understand what areas of your customer service are lacking and need to be improved.

When to use CSAT surveys 

CSAT surveys are best used to measure short-term customer satisfaction. More specifically, they’re used to measure individual interactions or touchpoints. These might include support calls, sales interactions, customer onboarding, event feedback, website checkout processes, and more.

The survey should be sent immediately after the interaction to catch them while the experience is vivid in their minds. Customers are asked to rate their satisfaction on a scale, and they’ll be answering based on how they emotionally feel about the interaction.

This way, you can quickly pick up on changes and touchpoints that need to be reviewed.


As you integrate these KPIs into your customer success strategy, consider the ways you’ll be tracking all this new customer data.

The key to measuring customer satisfaction is having a plan in place to analyze and act on the feedback.


Writer Carla Vianna

Carla Vianna

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