What is the Customer Effort Score?
Customer Effort Score (CES) is a favored survey method that ranks the ease of a consumer’s experience with a company. It does so by asking customers about the effort taken to use a product or service. This metric evaluates how likely it is for that customer to continue using and paying for the product or service.
Service organizations should try to be low effort. Why? Because effort has the most reliable connection to consumer loyalty. By tracking CES, organizations can make enhancements that improve the customer experience. Service organizations can provide higher-quality interactions and lower costs if they reduce customer effort. They can use CES to uncover high-effort pain points in customer interactions.
What does it mean to reduce customer effort? In simple terms, it means to eliminate obstacles. Customers dislike having to reach out to a company over and over again to resolve an issue. They hate having to rehash a problem to several different people and having to switch between service channels. For example, they don’t want to call after trying to address an issue on the company’s website. Customers punish bad service more often than they reward a delightful experience.
CES Survey Types
Companies can use different metrics to measure Customer Effort Score. However, the chosen metric can change the way the company calculates and scores surveys. The survey types include:
- The 1-10 scale – respondents offer an answer in the 1-10 range to a question. The 7-10 segment usually carries positive responses.
- The Likert Scale – this method involves a scale with a range of responses. These responses often go from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree.”
- Emoticons – this metric is simple. It uses a sad face, a neutral face and a happy face to rate customer experience.
- The 1-5 scale – the answer options in this case are as follows: Very Difficult – Difficult – Neither Difficult nor Easy – Easy – Very Easy. Companies can also reverse the order.
Why is CES Important?
The modern idea of Omnichannel service is all about reducing customer effort. It’s also about lessening conflict between service channels. CES gives companies a whole new layer of customer feedback. This additional context allows the company to identify deficient channels and processes. It can then take steps to improve them.
Customers want to find what they need easily, and as fast as possible. They want to buy something, perform a task, or get some service. They’re not looking to establish a relationship with a brand. However, they will do so if they have an excellent customer experience. If the website is easy to navigate, they’re likely to buy more products. If the process is simple, they will sign up for a new service. Moreover, if a company does an excellent job in resolving issues, they’re likely to recommend it to others.
When Should You Use CES?
The CES survey is most effective when used after specific customer service checkpoints. For example, companies can use it after a customer resolves an issue via an online help desk. Alternatively, they can deploy it after the customer speaks to a call center attendant. These micro touchpoints show how easy a company is making life for its customers. They can use information from the responses to make future interactions easier. Companies can thus improve customer loyalty in the process.
Customers are busy. Fast, uncomplicated interactions with a company’s products and services are what they want and expect. Companies should use CES to ensure they’re meeting their customers’ expectations. It can also pinpoint new opportunities that will improve their experience. Why should they provide measures that decrease their customers’ level of effort? Because it will pay off in the things that matter the most to their business, like customer retention.