All You Need To Know: Customer Effort Score (CES)


There are various ways to understand how customers feel about your business, most of them coming down to delivering a simple survey

Within the survey approaches, you may develop a variety of sorts, such as a general feedback survey or a Net Promoter Score survey. Each focuses on a different part of your customers’ experiences, yet they all try to comprehend their feelings.

What is a customer effort score (CES)?

The amount of effort customers make to connect with your organization is measured by a service statistic called the Customer Effort Score (CES). These encounters might involve how difficult it is to utilize your product or service or how simple it was for them to address a problem with your customer care representatives.

If a consumer needs to browse through several knowledge base articles to get the one they need, they will expend a lot of work, but they will spend less effort if they can phone a service representative and have their refund completed immediately.

There is a lot of proof that a particular experience’s simplicity is sometimes a more significant predictor of client loyalty than merely gauging consumer happiness. Additionally, customer loyalty is an absolute cornerstone of successful companies in a market that is getting increasingly competitive.

Because of this, CES is well-liked by customer success teams. You ask the buyer to rate the convenience of their experience rather than how delighted they are.

With the publishing of an HBR article titled Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers in 2010, the Customer Effort Score gained prominence. The essay is instructive – if not for the high caliber and breadth of the study, then at least for the surprising conclusion: The most straightforward approach to developing customer loyalty is not by impressing your consumers but by making it simpler for them to accomplish their goals.

When to use customer effort score

Knowing when to utilize CES surveys is crucial since it may hugely influence success to know how much effort customers make to engage with your company.

  • Following a transaction or subscription-related contact

A smart approach to get information on the amount of effort a client put in to complete their purchase is to send them a CES survey after they have engaged with your company and ultimately made a purchase.

They will have just completed an action, so the details you requested are still fresh in their minds. For instance, you might set it up so that, as clients reach the page confirming that their transaction has been processed, a poll cleverly asks them about their overall experience.

CES is often assessed by sending consumers an automated post-interaction survey asking them to score a specific statement on a set scale, depending on the interaction they just finished.

  • Immediately after your customer service team or any other service-related encounter is finished

Sending surveys at any regular frequency doesn’t make much sense because CES surveys expressly ask consumers to assess the amount of effort they put into alleviating a pain issue.

Instead, businesses will also send them immediately following a customer care interaction, such as after an email support case is handled or after a service-related experience, like reading a knowledge base article, to see how successful it was in fixing the issue.

Customers who have to call your company for troubleshooting should instantly get CES questionnaires when their problem has been fixed. By doing this, you’ll be able to determine how hard they tried to reach out to you for a solution.

  • To supplement product teams’ UI and UX testing

The overlap in using the Customer Effort Score by product and customer success teams is an intriguing feature. Product teams are starting to utilize CES to obtain feedback on how effectively the UI supports new feature uptake and to pinpoint instances where consumers begin to feel confused and lost.

There are two ways to present your CES surveys.

  • Likert Scale

A Likert Scale is a numerical rating scale with five to seven points corresponding to pertinent terms like “very tough” or “extremely easy.” Higher numbers indicate greater work, whereas lower numbers indicate relatively easy/low effort. 

Customers are informed of the possible range of answers in the survey’s instructions for Likert Scale questions that occasionally contain numbers. 

  • Emoticon Ratings

Although emoticon ratings are less common than Likert Scales, they are nonetheless useful indicators for consumers since they allow them to connect effort level to cheerful or sad expressions. 

Regardless of your approach, it’s crucial to remember that the questions you use should be unique to the aspect of the organization you’re trying to examine. The query should be focused on that contact, for instance, if you want to know how much work goes into opening a customer support ticket.

Customers can also be asked open-ended questions after giving their first response to help you understand why they gave a particular score.

You should know your average score after you have a sizable number of survey replies. Let’s discuss how you can determine your CES score.

Customer Effort Score Calculation

Your customer effort score is determined by multiplying the total number of survey replies by the sum of all customer effort ratings. The outcome will show you the typical level of effort clients make while dealing with your company.

Customer Effort Score = (sum of customer effort ratings/ Total number of survey responses)

The procedure is slightly different if you’re utilizing emoticons. For your internal analysis, you should give each emoticon a unique number. For instance, you may connect three to a sad face and one to a happy face. The greater figure represents the average amount of effort made by your consumers. You would next compute the average number of persons who chose each face.

What is a good customer effort score?

For customer effort scores, there is no unambiguous industry standard. Nevertheless, based on how you set up your survey scales, average effort ratings that tilt more in one of the two directions show where your company is in terms of customer experience.

If your scale, for instance, rates one as low work and seven as substantial effort, a score of three indicates that consumers aren’t facing any major obstacles. Six, on the other hand, signifies frequent customer difficulty.

Your CES provides important data for analyzing usability and overall experience. Despite your best efforts, your CES still does not tell you how pleased your consumers are with your company. You should be familiar with all of the benefits and restrictions of this statistic before launching your first CES survey.

A Customer Effort Score ultimately provides a robust measure since it lets you know how simple it is for consumers to connect with your company, which is probably your desired aim since you want to simplify their lives.

There is no customer feedback survey whose responses give you all the information you need. Choose the best option after determining what is appropriate for your company and the type of information you need.