How to measure customer satisfaction without surveys

Aksheeta Tyagi

July 7, 20238 min read

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I recently went out shopping with my mother to a nearby mall. I love spending time with her, just the two of us. 

We strolled around, tried and found a few great looks.  

But when we approached the billing counter, our happy trip soon came to a halt. 

Despite being prior customers, their system couldn’t find our details. To add insult to injury, it simply broke down after a while.  

These things happen, we understand. 

So, we patiently waited for, get this, 50 whole minutes! By then, we were reasonably unhappy, tired and hungry.  

When they finally got it to work, they asked a question that was our last straw. 

“Could you fill up a survey to tell us about your experience?” 

“Could we what?”, I thought, astonished. 

Customer surveys can often be intrusive and impersonal — often hindering user experience. 

Now, before you fill any blanket survey, you too would pull an escape act even Houdini would envy.

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So how can you, as a business, effectively measure customer satisfaction without surveys? How do you truly capture the voice of the customer? The reasons why they are happy — and sad? 

Let’s get into it. 

Table of Contents

Why is customer satisfaction measured? 

The key benefit of measuring customer satisfaction is to ensure your customers keep coming back. Because the ones that aren’t satisfied won’t think twice before abandoning a brand. 

Happy customers are the lifeblood of any business. They remain loyal, amplify positive word-of-mouth and attract fresh faces.  

Measuring satisfaction helps you understand what's effective, rectify shortcomings and enhance the overall experience. It's the key that propels expansion and fosters robust connections. By valuing and improving customer satisfaction, we create a virtuous cycle of contented clients, sustainable growth and enduring success. 

Benefits of measuring customer satisfaction 

Every business change should always remain focal to customers. Regularly measuring customer satisfaction makes sure that all your changes do. 

  • 💡Insights: Measuring satisfaction unveils the key to customer desires, uncovering priceless insights for strategic decision-making. 

  • 🤝Loyalty: Satisfied customers become unwavering advocates, standing by your side through thick and thin. 

  • 📣Referrals: Delighted customers spread the word like wildfire, sparking curiosity and attracting a steady stream of new patrons. 

  • 📈Growth: Happy customers fuel exponential growth, breathing life into your business and expanding its horizons. 

  • 🔃Adaptation: Measuring satisfaction allows you to swiftly adapt, tailoring your offerings to match ever-evolving customer expectations and maintaining a competitive edge. 

Read more: Your roadmap to decoding customer satisfaction 

5 ways to measure customer satisfaction without surveys 

People often avoid surveys because they can lead to survey fatigue, raise privacy concerns and lack perceived impact or benefit. But there are some organic and even more efficient ways to measure customer satisfaction without surveys.  

1. Observe customers in their natural being

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Public and your own brand communities offer customers a safe space to engage with like-minded people. They are comfortable sharing their true thoughts and experiences — to people who relate to them too. 

These communities work as a direct line of sight into prevailing notions that are fiercely authentic — ones that often don’t surface on surveys.  

  • Communities highlight ways your product is excelling — and the reasons why the customer satisfaction dips. 

  • Communities help disrupt and innovate solutions contributed through collective customer intelligence 

  • Communities work as early warning systems that allow you to spot trends, intervene in time, fix issues and bolt like Batman! 

Community moderators make work much simpler for customer service too — as customer happiness is a common goal for both. Managers and moderators work in tandem to build lively communities that often help unravel deep-seated notions customers keep. 

2. Decrypt customer joy from real-time conversations

The things your customers tell you in your interactions is your source of wisdom. 

But alas, many of us struggle to understand any of it.  

In fact, our research shows that almost seven in 10 businesses struggle to make anything useful out of data they constantly generate.  

However, this same data can, quite literally, help you hear how satisfied your customers are. With AI-powered conversational analytics, you can derive deep insights from real-time conversations. 

  • Map out top problem areas and trends that are key to low satisfaction  

  • Use impact analysis to find out exactly which factors influence your CSAT 

  • Tap into voice of customer (VOC) to detect user intents and sentiments 

  • Detect CX issues as soon as they are voiced instead of waiting for a negative survey response 

AI detecting and flagging concerning levels of customer satisfaction

In fact, AI can even help you predict CSAT after carefully reading the context of a conversation, user tone and sentiment. This analysis occurs proactively to help you perceive emotions before customers explicitly display them. 

Your customers want you to listen to them intently. But they don’t appreciate being pestered with a survey. Tuning into what they have to say in real time can help you experience why they are satisfied (and dissatisfied), first-hand. 

Know more: Turning talk into treasure with conversational analytics 

3. Conduct user testing in controlled settings  

One way to measure customer satisfaction without surveys is to simply decode your customers’ behavior while they engage with your product/service in a controlled setting. 

The logic is: If you take the path your customers do, you can detect specific roadblocks and points of errors objectively. Let your customers interact with your products in a simulated, conducive environment. Doing so will help you track the behavior, feedback and reactions that highlight core usability issues. 

  • Select a group of individuals who represent your target cohort 

  • Ensure a moderator, a usability or an R&D expert are overseeing the experiment 

  • Request participants to perform specific tasks like exploring a service or completing a payment 

  • Record observations on navigation, technical lags, points of frustration and the user-friendliness of the interface 

These results can be both quantitative (like number of errors encountered and drop-offs) and qualitative (like user’s verbal feedback).  User testing is a great way to witness the typical journeys customers take and how that impacts the overall satisfaction they yield.  

4. Take the pulse of ground reality with social listening 

On X, formerly Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook — your customers are living their lives digitally today. They talk about the things they do, people they hang out with and the experiences they have with brands

Tuning into organic social conversations is another way to measure customer satisfaction without surveys. 

Recently, Frontier Airlines came under much heat over an Instagram video. The viral video showed an employee yelling at people to “hurry up” while boarding a flight. 

 “Frontier airlines always doing the most to provide top-notch customer service. 💯”, the user amusingly (and sarcastically) captioned the post.  

On a more concerned note, she goes on to say “But seriously, what is this??? People just trying to board the plane without getting PTSD”. 

The video was reposted on TikTok and X, formerly Twitter and went on to rake over 2 million views with thousands slamming the brand. This case only goes on to show the earth-shifting impact social media has on customers’ notions and satisfaction. 

With robust social media listening, you have a real-time pulse of your audience and their CSAT. You can: 

  • Oversee complaints and respond to them in time 

  • Monitor sentiments around your competitors and benchmark against them 

  • Identify vocal brand advocates and leverage user-generated content (UGC) to amplify your voice 

  • Spot emerging trends and take action in time to avoid full-blown crisis 

Check this video out. 

Track KPIs that inadvertently tell you about customer satisfaction 

Customer happiness is a state of being.  Quantifying it can be tricky, but the right customer experience metrics can come in handy. 

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): Find your promoters who spread the word, passives who are lukewarm and detractors who badmouth you. NPS is a solid metric to track customer satisfaction without surveys. 

  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): Calculate how much each customer is worth over their lifetime. The more satisfied they are, the more likely they are to spend on you. 

  • Churn rate:  Track how many customers you're losing over a period. Less churn rate is a clear indication of high CSAT. 

Case study: How to accurately measure customer satisfaction? 

Customer satisfaction is directly proportional to customer experience. If you don’t fall short with the experiences you deliver, there’s no way your customers won’t exit your store smiling. 

1. Ferrara sweetens service experiences for its customers 

Like me, you probably love a Ferrara candy too. After all, the brand is known to bring happiness to taste buds with its range of tempting treats — for well over 100 years! 

To truly connect with its users online, Ferrara knew it had to assimilate with its people.  

The company used social listening to tune into mentions and conversations happening across digital media. 

We want to keep people as advocates and loyalists for life, which means reaching out and building a relationship with those who are vocal about their love for our brands. 

- Brian Camen
Ferrara’s Senior Director of Media, Content and Public Relations

Armed with insights from social and AI, Ferrara aimed to unify its 30 digital channel to make sure it spoke to each customer with one true brand voice.  

How did it work out for the brand? Ferrara found out a way to keep its customers happy. The agents, equipped with cutting-edge social technology, engaged with a sweet army of 37 million followers. With the help of powerful conversational AI, the agents tackled high ticket volumes with ease. Whereas AI-powered reporting and analytics helped Ferrara quantify its NPS and CSAT scores with solid user insight. 

2. How an electronics giant turbocharged its customer service 

A San Jose-based electronics company needed to take its CX game a notch up. As a brand that housed everything from phone chargers to refrigerators, customer service was no easy play. It figured out that to measure customer satisfaction without surveys, it needs to make two key changes. 

  1. Diversify its SMS-first customer service to multiple, integrated digital channels 

  2. Improve in-house agent experience to turn agents happy and customers happier 

The team deployed powerful AI features like Smart Pairing and Agent Assist tools. 

Smart pairing empowered them to detect customer intent and sentiment and efficiently route cases to qualified agents. These agents could then use a host of features like AI-powered Smart Responses to respond quickly to customers on the go. 

And how did that work out? The brand saw a 15-point jump in NPS and a four-point jump in CSAT. All without using a customer survey. 

Read the full story: Technology company unifies customer service experiences with AI 

Customer satisfaction is the reward of meeting expectations, where happiness blossoms from seamless experiences.  

To uphold this reward, customer service must be your guiding compass. 

Build memorable customer experiences without using customer surveys 

Surveys aren’t the only way customers choose to express their thoughts. They like to tweet about it, make reels on Instagram, engage in public forums and everywhere else in between.  

To gauge how happy they are truly, you have to observe their digital behavior across multiple channels. 

The Sprinklr Service Strategic Handbook is your go-to resource for crafting unforgettable experiences.  

Explore practical strategies, real-life success stories and expert tips to delight your customers. From mastering  

multi-channel engagement to delivering personalized care, this handbook has you covered. Download your copy now

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