Customer Satisfaction Index FAQ
By using this site you agree to the use of cookies for analytics, personalized content and ads.

Customer Satisfaction Index FAQ

The Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Index is an easy-to-use, online survey system that provides third-party market research services, delivered by TNS on Microsoft’s behalf. You can use the CSAT Index tool to survey and measure customer satisfaction and loyalty. Find answers to frequently asked questions about the CSAT Index by referring to one of the following FAQs:


Q. What are the benefits of participating in the CSAT Index?

A. The CSAT Index provides:

  • Valuable market research. Obtain customer feedback by using proven market research methodologies. Discover strengths and weaknesses to help you identify your most critical business issues and better meet your customers’ needs.
  • Improved customer communication. Create an ongoing dialogue with your customers to deepen your relationships and establish yourself as their trusted advisor.
  • Resources at no additional cost. Use survey results to gain useful insight without incurring additional costs.

Q. Who in my organization can access the CSAT Index tool?

A. Silver competency, gold competency, and Small Medium Sized Business partners have access to the Partner Customer Satisfaction Portal. Individuals associated with your Microsoft Partner Network account can access the CSAT Index tool. We recommend that you designate one member of your organization to manage the survey process.

Q. Will Microsoft have access to my customer lists?

A. All customer contact information is kept confidential by TNS and is not shared with Microsoft.

Q. How are CSAT Index results used?

A. Partners can view the detailed survey results to help them assess customer satisfaction and loyalty. Survey results are reported in aggregate to Microsoft.

Q. How can I assure my customers that their privacy will be protected?

A. When they answer the survey, customers can choose the option to remain anonymous, and contact information will be withheld from you.

Q. Is the survey available in a variety of languages?

A. Yes, your customers can participate in the survey in the following languages: Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (UK), English (US), Estonian, Finnish, French (Europe), German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian (Bokmål), Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish (Latin America), Spanish (Spain), Swedish, Thai, and Turkish.

Q. How were the survey questions developed?

A. The survey is designed to provide actionable feedback for partners who provide solutions and services that use Microsoft technology. The core questions were streamlined in April 2013, based on input from partners and on analyses of which questions most indicated that customers would choose to continue to do business with a partner, to engage a partner again, and to recommend a partner to a colleague or friend. Partners can add custom questions about issues that are specific to their businesses.

Q. Why was the program design changed in April 2013?

A. The program was redesigned to make it easier for partners to collect feedback regularly from all of their customers, either at milestones in a project or at regular intervals during an ongoing relationship. Review the What’s New guide for more details about these changes.

Customer participation

Q. What should I tell my customers about participating in the CSAT Index?

A. Let your customers know that their participation in this survey will help you provide the best possible customer service by helping to identify your company’s strengths and weaknesses. Explain to your customers that their permission is necessary before they can receive the survey invitation. And let them know that survey participation is:

  • Quick. It takes only about 5 minutes to complete the survey.
  • Private. Their contact details are not shared with Microsoft, and the information provided doesn’t allow Microsoft to trace their identity. Microsoft sees only the collective results of survey responses.
  • Confidential. Customers can choose to remain anonymous when they respond to the survey.

Q. How will the surveys reach my customers?

A. You have the option to send the survey invitations yourself or through TNS.

  • You or your company sends the survey: use your company’s unique survey URL to send the survey to your customers directly. You can send it through email or integrate the survey into your current communications (ex., invoices, project check-in emails, website).
  • TNS sends the survey through email: an invitation and one reminder is sent by TNS. To help ensure that email invitations are not routed to spam filters, ask your customers to add to their email address books (in their safe senders lists).

Q. How do I provide the names of customers to be surveyed?

A. You upload your customer contact information on the CSAT Index website on the Invite Customers tab.

Q. Can I add my own questions to the CSAT Index survey?

A. Yes, you can write your own questions and add them to the survey.

Q. How are my results reported?

A. Your results are displayed graphically on the CSAT Index website and are also available for download. You can also opt to receive monthly reports, which will be sent to your Microsoft account email.


Q. What are the CSAT Index requirements, and what do I need to do?

A. Participation in the CSAT Index is required to attain or renew a gold competency. You must receive at least 10 survey responses in the 12 months prior to when you renew.

Up to eight survey responses can be from the same customer organization. You may survey more than eight individuals from the same customer organization, but only the first eight responses will be applied to the CSAT Index requirement.

Survey responses can be received in one or more survey periods. Survey responses are cumulative over 12 months.

Q. Why is the CSAT Index a requirement for attaining a gold competency?

A. The index provides a consistent way to recognize partners who are committed to customer satisfaction and high-quality service. By meeting the CSAT Index requirement, you can be recognized for your ongoing commitment to measuring and monitoring customer satisfaction. Addressing your customers’ business needs and exceeding their expectations require ongoing conversations with your customers. The CSAT Index can facilitate this dialogue and strengthen your customer relationships.

Q. How often must I participate in the CSAT Index?

A. You must participate in the CSAT Index every 12 months. The CSAT Index survey never closes, so you can survey your customers when it makes sense for your business. We recommend building this practice into your standard business procedures to deepen your relationships with your customers and so you can ensure that you have enough survey responses for the gold competency requirements.

Q. Is there a minimum score that I must attain, aside from receiving 10 survey responses?

A. There is no minimum score that you must meet; however, survey results help you gain customer insight about how best to achieve comparative benchmarks.

Q. If my renewal date is in January, by when must I participate in the CSAT Index?

A. You can participate in the CSAT Index any time before your renewal date. However, you should allow sufficient time for your customers to respond to the survey. After you have received 10 responses from at least two different organizations, your partner membership account will show that you have met the CSAT Index requirement. We recommend building this into your standard business practices throughout the year so you can ensure that you have enough responses to meet the requirement.

Q. When will my partner membership account reflect the number of survey responses I have received?

A. Within 24 to 48 hours after you receive 10 responses from at least two different organizations, your partner membership account will show that you have met the CSAT Index requirement.

Q. I am a partner with the Learning competency. Is the CSAT Index a requirement for me, and can I continue to use Metrics that Matter?

A. Partners with the Learning competency can fulfill the CSAT Index requirement by receiving 10 Metrics that Matter evaluations. Evaluations must be completed in the 12 months prior to your renewal date. These partners can also participate in the CSAT Index if they choose, but it is not required if they have received 10 Metrics that Matter evaluations.

Q. What can we do to ensure that we obtain enough CSAT Index survey responses?

A. One way you can help encourage participation is to send customized invitations to customers and explain the survey benefits and how you will use the results. Whether you send the invitations or have TNS send them, let your customers know that their participation is voluntary and is designed to help you improve customer service. Other ways you can obtain the required number of survey responses include:

  • Calling your customers after the survey has been sent and asking them to complete the survey.
  • Tracking the number of survey responses that you have received and sending surveys to additional customers as needed. Note: up to eight survey responses can be from the same customer organization. The average response rate is 25 percent, so you should plan to survey at least 40 people from customer organizations.
  • Incorporating the CSAT Index into your regular communications with your customers and integrating it into your standard business practice. Add your unique survey URL to customer communications such as invoices or transactional emails.
  • Providing an incentive for your customers to complete their surveys.

Q. I already run my own customer satisfaction surveys. Must I participate in the CSAT Index?

A. To maintain a consistent process, all partners with a gold competency must participate in the CSAT Index. Even if you have your own satisfaction survey, you can use CSAT Index surveys to augment your in-house programs.

Q. Our company is set up as multiple organizations with multiple memberships in the Microsoft Partner Network. Must each organization participate in the CSAT Index?

A. Yes, if you have chosen to have multiple memberships, each enrolled organization is required to complete the CSAT Index requirement separately, just as each enrolled organization must meet the requirements for attaining a gold competency.

Q. Our company is set up as a global organization with multiple locations. Must each location participate in the CSAT Index?

A. No, if one location participates and meets the requirement, the remaining locations are not required to participate.


Q. Where do I go for support for the CSAT Index?

A. If you need technical assistance, contact your Regional Service Center.

Q. Where should my customers go for support for the CSAT Index?

A. Customers should contact you with any questions they have regarding the CSAT Index survey.