How to measure customer service success: stars, smileys, and thumbs

Table of Contents

    It is easy to get lost with all the different rating systems, let’s make it Simplr for you.

    Customer service is paramount for small businesses — a great experience can make a customer loyal for life, while a bad experience can send them packing (or worse… online reviewing). So what is the best way to measure your customer’s experience?



    Thumbs have always been a swift and simple way to say “good” or “bad.” Thumbs determined the fate of gladiators in ancient Rome and let a generation of moviegoers know which films were worth the cost of admission (and another generation know what to watch or skip on Netflix). More recently, Facebook has taught us the value of a simple blue-thumbed “like.” Thumbs are an effective and quick way to measure customer satisfaction. Here’s a closer look: 

    1. Thumbs UP


    · It’s easy! = Higher response rate. 

    · Only captures positive feedback, with no variability of how much you like it
    · To rate agents, you need to calculate # of likes divided by # of inquiries. 

    2. Thumbs up/Thumbs Down


    · Opens the door for negative feedback
    · Simple 2 options = higher response rate
    · A great measure of effectiveness of content (Netflix shifted to thumbs up/thumbs down for rating videos)

    · Doesn’t capture the sentiment of a positive review: was it stellar or just ok?
    · To rate agents, you need to devise your own scoring system that weighs thumbs up and thumbs down. This maybe be difficult for your agents to understand. 

    A 5-Star/Smiley Rating 


    5-star ratings are pervasive in customer service-driven companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Similar to thumbs, they transcend language barriers and elicit a quick response. Customers have a broader range of response options, which gives your business stronger data.

    · Gives customers freedom to express how they really feel (e.g., “good” or “excellent”)
    · Easily convertible to the NPS scale. More on that in a bit.

    · Response rate may go down with more options
    · Differentiating the scores can be tricky. What’s the difference between a 4.1 and a 4.4?
    · Customers tend to vote in extremes — either a 1 or a 5. This creates diluted data, similar to thumbs up and thumbs down. 

    NPS — Net Promoter score


    NPS has traditionally been the gold standard in measuring overall customer satisfaction. By simply asking “On a scale of 0–10: How likely are you to recommend this service to a friend?” your business can tap a wealth of data that can be benchmarked against other companies.

    · It’s tried and true.
    · Helps spark discussions on what will “wow” customers and what can be done to eliminate detractors.

    · NPS has been around for a long time, so customers are more knowledgeable about the scale and know how to game it
    · The standard NPS question is broad and sometimes customers associate NPS at the brand level not with the specific level of service that a specific agent provided them with.

    How to convert a 5 point system to NPS:

    NPS Score 10 = 5 Stars
    NPS Score 9 = 4.5 Stars
    NPS Score 8 = 4 Stars
    NPS Score 7 = 3.5 Stars
    NPS Score 6 = 3 Stars
    NPS Score 5 = 2.5 Stars
    NPS Score 4 = 2 Stars
    NPS Score 3 = 1.5 Stars
    NPS Score 2 = 1 Star
    NPS Score 1 = 0.5 Stars
    NPS Score 0 = 0 Stars

    At Simplr, our first goal is to makes sure our SMBs and enterprises are at least using something to collect feedback. We know some platforms charge extra for this feature and that every penny counts, which is why on our platform we let you send surveys to customers for free, whether you use your own agents or ours.

    For most of our customers, our recommendation is the five point scale and then we leave it up to you on whether stars or smiley faces are a better fit for your brand.

    as seen on forbes simplr-1