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What Sets Top MSPs Apart from the Rest: Customer Satisfaction

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A comparison of 3 methodologies for measuring customer satisfaction for your MSP.Are-Your-Customers-Satisfied

Do you ever wonder why some MSPs do so well? And why others struggle with consistent performance? Today, we dive into some compelling reasons as we compare 3 important research methodologies for measuring customer satisfaction.

As a business owner or service manager, you know keeping customers happy is vital. The only way to know how well you are doing and how customers truly feel about your service is to ask them.

From measuring customer satisfaction to capturing your Net Promoter Score, surveys help you understand what you’re doing well—and what you need to improve. In this post, we discuss 3 common methodologies, explain what each concept does and how to plot your organization to each model:

  1. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  2. HDI Customer Satisfaction Index (HDI CSI)
  3. CSAT

Now, let’s dig into each survey method.

Measuring Your Net Promoter Score

Promoters account for 80% of referrals in most businesses. It’s no wonder many businesses are turning to the Net Promoter Score (NPS), developed by Fred Reichheld. The NPS is an index ranging from -100 to 100 used to measure the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services to others.

The idea behind the NPS is based on the perspective that everyone of your customers can be split into three categories: detractors, promoters, and passives. By concentrating on those most “enthusiastic”, you can focus on the key driver of profitable growth: clients who not only return to you but also are more likely to recommend you to others.

It measures this by asking the question: On a scale of 0-10, how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend? See below.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) Sample

Next, respondents are placed into three categories:

  • Promoters (score 9-10) – loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and referring others
  • Passives (score 7-8) – satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings
  • Detractors(score 0-6) – unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth

The way to calculate the NPS Score is to take the percentage of customers who are promoters and subtract the percentage who are detractors. For example, let’s say that you’ve received 100 responses in your survey.

  • 20 responses were from detractors
  • 20 responses were from passives
  • 60 responses were from promoters

To calculate the percentages, you subtract the score of detractors (20%) from promoters (60%), resulting in 40%. As a score is always represented in integers, your NPS will be 40. Analysts suggest average scores vary from industry to industry, so 40 or above is considered really good.

Why Use NPS?

  1. Utilizes one or two simple questions
  2. Builds benchmarks against yourself and others using a standardized metric
  3. Digs into the client-company relationship

Although this method is particularly valuable as a company grows, especially if it operates in a mature industry, NPS is not as effective in my opinion for collecting direct feedback on a specific transaction or being responsive in the moment. It also requires a lot of dedication to the methodology. I have only scratched the surface of the concept here, but you can create your own survey in ConnectWise using the NPS format to do your own calculations or hire an outside service to manage the NPS process for you.

Calculating HDI Customer Satisfaction

One of the most commonly-used surveys in the ITSM market is the HDI Customer Satisfaction Index (HDI CSI), developed specifically for the IT Service Management and Technical Support industry.

HDI measures performance based on five questions on a scale of 1-to-5 or 1-to-10, which allows people to have a standardized service benchmark to see where they fit in a customer satisfaction index and against their peers. See the example below.

You can subscribe to the service with HDI or simply use the same format on your own surveys to have comparable data. If you are using their service, you upload a list of ticket numbers and some demographic information and it is configured to send a survey to any percentage of incidents and requests.

Currently, the recommended setting is 30% of all tickets at random. There is also a setting that prevents one person from getting more than one survey every 30 days.

HDI CSI Survey Questionnaire

HDI CSI Survey Questionnaire

Why Use HDI CSI?

  1. Randomly selects sampling utilizing 5 questions
  2. Benchmarks performance against established goals, other companies and the ITSM industry as a whole
  3. Creates historical statistics, including graphing, raw data, and links to customer comments, as well as alerts your team when a customer responds unfavorably

For these reasons, it’s a great way to measure your performance against goals and other service providers in your industry. When using the HDI service, you get the added benefit of potentially getting better feedback since it is being performed by a third-party. This gives an added level of professionalism to your customer feedback mechanism, but it does lose the personalization aspect. The options for randomization and preventing someone from being surveyed repeatedly can have both benefits and drawbacks. CSAT

Making sure customers are happy so that they’ll keep coming back is not a new concept. But gauging their level of engagement and satisfaction on each interaction is very compelling. CSAT, developed by the folks at, works well for one very specific reason: one click response. CSATWith a selection of emoticon faces ranging from happy to very sad, it makes submitting feedback both easy and fun for clients. It’s also been proven that those businesses that implement this methodology have seen four times more in engagement, which means you are building relationships with clients. Your clients simply chose one icon out of three to indicate their mood at the moment: positive, negative or neutral. The customer can add a comment if they like, and you can get an automatic notification of their selection in real time. They can also update their reaction at any point.

Net CSAT Score           Net-CSAT-Score

CSAT offers a standard metric, the Net CSAT Score, in addition to giving you the ability to track the CSAT score by company, resource, service board, custom tags and more. The CSAT benchmark response rate is calculated by taking into account all opens and reactions that are gathered across all of their partners. This metric also excludes your own data to guarantee an accurate number.

Another important measurement is the CSAT survey response rate that is calculated by dividing your number of survey responses, which is the number of recipients who clicked one of the three faces, by the total number of your message opens.

Why Use CSAT?

  1. Easy for a customer to give you an immediate reaction on a ticket without having to take a survey
  2. Delivers actionable feedback, displaying metrics and links to customer comments on a board, as well as alerting you when a customer responds unfavorably
  3. Much higher response rate than traditional surveys
  4. Flexible notifications and tightly integrated within ConnectWise

As you can see, CSAT is a great way to measure customer satisfaction at a transactional, point of service level. Plus, it’s quite interactive and easy for clients to engage with you and for your team to get focused around customer excellence.

Getting the Facts

Making customer satisfaction a strategic goal that managers can work toward requires a balance between being simple and clear-cut. The methodology you choose should effectively divide clients into groups deserving different attention and organizational responses. Most importantly, the method you choose should be intuitive enough to your clients and employees who are responsible for interpreting the results and taking action.

At this point, you’re probably thinking: which survey method should you be using?

It’s a fair question. My personal bet for the MSPs who want to keep customers happy and improve growth is to use a combination of two methods: CSAT to measure on a transactional, point of service level and NPS for measuring satisfaction at a relationship level.

If you like what you read or have more questions, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]. Our powerful all-in-one MSP business intelligence platform makes it easy to turn this data into action points.

How Does ConnectSMART SP Make it Easy?

ConnectSMART’s core purpose is giving you just the information you need, when and how you need it, and the ability to take action on it! The best part is you won’t need another console or report to look at. Regardless of the method or combination of methods you might use, ConnectSMART puts it all together on your dashboard for you. When you want to follow up on any negative or neutral reactions, especially those with a comment in it, simply click on the CSAT Follow-Up Widget to drill down into the list and click the link to directly update your notes on the reaction and mark it as completed. It’s that easy – sign up today!



CSAT Reporting: Maximizing Client Retention

Business get 4x more client feedback with CSAT. Watch this 16 minute webcast as Brad Benner, Founder of and Daniel Martin, President of ConnectSMART guide you on how to leverage CSAT to build relationships with your clients and turn data into action points. 


With Your All-in-One ConnectSMART SP Business Intelligence Platform

Get beautiful dashboards and reports, plus 4x more client feedback with free integration pack with the purchase of your subscription.

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