Microspeak: Sats

Raymond Chen

I introduced this Microspeak last year as part of a general entry about management-speak, but I’m giving it its own entry because it deserves some attention on its own.

I just want to have creative control over how my audience can interact with me without resorting to complex hacking in a way that is easy to explain but ups our blogging audiences sats to a new level that may also stimulate a developer ecosytem that breeds quality innovation…

Ignore the other management-speak; we’re looking at the weird four-letter word sats. Sats is short for satisfaction metrics. This falls under the overall obsession on measurement at Microsoft. For many categories of employees (most notably the approximately 1000 employees eligible for the so-called Shared Performance Stock Awards program), compensation is heavily influenced by customer satisfaction metrics, known collectively as CSAT. Satisfaction metrics are so important that they have their own derived jargon.

Jargon Meaning Description
VSAT Very satisfied Percentage of customers who report that they are very satisfied.
DSAT Dissatisfied Percentage of customers who report that they are somewhat dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.
NSAT Net satisfaction NSAT = VSAT − DSAT

All of these jargon terms are pronounced by saying the first letter, followed by the word sat, so for example, NSAT is pronounced N-sat. You can see some of these metrics in use in a blog post from the Director of Operations at Microsoft.com. Notice how he uses the terms VSAT and DSAT without bothering to explain what they mean. The meanings are so obvious to him that it doesn’t even occur to him that others might not know what they mean. (By comparison, Kent Sharkey includes a definition when he uses the term.)

And if you haven’t gotten enough of this jargon yet, there’s an entire training session online on the subject of the Customer Satisfaction Index. If you’re impatient, click ahead to section 9.


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