Customer Effort Score

1. What is the Customer Effort Score (CES)?

Customer Effort Score (CES) is a type of customer satisfaction survey used to measure the ease of service experience of an organization. It asks customers to rate the ease of using products or services on a scale that ranges from very difficult to very easy. Higher CES does not indicate a satisfied customer and cannot accurately tell you the loyalty of your customer. Customer Effort Score is a feedback metric that measures the ease of interaction rather than the satisfaction rate.

2. Customer Effort Score example:

CES Example

The example above uses the Customer Effort Score 5-Point scale to determine how simple it is to conduct business. The 5-point scale contains options such as extremely positive, positive, neutral, negative, and extremely negative to gather customer data. Customers choose to react positively, neutrally, or negatively to doing business with you, and this method helps you encapsulate said data.

3. When to Use Customer Effort Score

  • Immediately following an interaction with a product that led to a purchase or subscription
  • Immediately after the customer service interaction
  • Measure the aggregate experience that someone has with your brand or product in general

4. What is a good Customer Effort Score?

Deciding on a good Customer Effort Score (CES) is quite tricky, as there are no extensive industry standards or benchmarks for comparing the quality of scores as there are for NPS. The quality of your CES score depends on the type of question you are asking and the scale you are using.

A. Positive Customer Effort Score 

A positive Customer Effort Score means that your customers can use your products or services easily without any effort. It also indicates that your Customer Support Service Agents are solving the customer's queries efficiently. A good CES score can be used effectively by marketing and sales teams as a testimonial or a differentiator to attract qualitative leads.

B. Negative Customer Effort Score 

A Negative Customer Effort Score means that the customers are making more effort to answer their questions. Either this will make your customers frustrated, or they'll just get out of your business. To avoid this churn, you should follow up with them, improve their customer experience, and close the feedback loop. This helps you retain customers in your business.

5. Application of Customer Effort Score

Evaluate the feedback you get from the Customer Effort Score survey. If your organization has a high average, it is indicative that the experience of your business is convenient for consumers. A low average means that there is potential for progress to make customer service better.

An organization with low customer satisfaction can use the Customer Effort Score to determine areas of concern within the business. After figuring out where your customers think you need to focus most of your efforts on, you will begin to fix these areas to cater to your customer's needs. This can help in improving customer loyalty over time. Note, however, that decreasing customer effort does not always mean growing customer loyalty. Instead, consumers expect most companies to offer services that require little effort.

Consumer Effort Score should be one of the survey forms used for any customer transaction with your company. The use of the CES survey is transactional following the interaction of the customer.

6. Advantages and Disadvantages of Customer Effort Score (CES)

Advantages:

  • It's better to predict brand loyalty and repurchasing tendencies and is also less volatile than other metrics. Although CES isn’t an exact measurement of customer satisfaction, you can conclude ease of interaction to satisfaction.    
  • This scoring model extends to all client-based systems, making it incredibly easy to take corrective steps in the company.
  • It is a highly accurate method of forecasting consumer behavior and satisfaction.

Disadvantages:

  • In particular, this scoring model is limited to service and does not cover your overall business.
  • Its only results are whether or not consumers find it difficult to use a service. You can't determine what was difficult or why the process was difficult.
  • The impact of factors such as your cost, competitors, or product quality is not taken into consideration.

7. Customer Effort Score vs. Net Promoter Score

Customer Effort Score (CES) and Net Promoter Score (NPS) are linked surveys with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Both Customer Effort Score and Net Promoter Score can measure customer loyalty and satisfaction. However there are situations where NPS is more effective than CES, and there are situations where CES is a stronger predictor. They both ask various sets of questions that are more or less complementary to each other.

NPS determines the probability of a recommendation – "How likely are you to recommend Company X to a friend or colleague? It is typically used to analyze the shareability and loyalty of the brand. NPS fails to evaluate customer behavior for their latest interaction with the organization. This is where the Customer Effort Score calculation will help.

Customer Effort Score asks consumers to rate the difficulty they encountered with the organization’s services. The more difficulty you reduce, the better it will be for brand loyalty. High difficulty levels show that you need to change the way you operate and make customer satisfaction your priority.

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