Customer Experience

How to Calculate and Evaluate Customer Effort Score?

How to Calculate and Evaluate Customer Effort Score?

Customer Effort Score (CES) is a customer service metric that measures the levels of effort your customers have to put into a certain interaction with you to achieve their goals. CES is calculated by asking a simple question "How easy was it to interact with us?” Customers rank their experience on a seven-point scale ranging from "Very Difficult" to "Very Easy."

How Customer Effort Score Developed?

Poor customer experience increases disloyal customers, as a result, they either leave the website or provide negative reviews. According to Gartner, it seems that around 96% of consumers that reported having difficulty solving a problem were more disloyal. Customer Effort Score has gained immense popularity in 2010 when the Harvard Business Review published an article entitled "Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers."

In this article, they’ve laid emphasis on the importance of calculating and evaluating the effort experience of the customers because evaluating and acting on the data collected from CES to help you to remove obstacles for the customer and improve their customer experience.

How to Measure Customer Effort Score?

When it comes to measuring Customer Effort Score, CES is a useful metric that provides valuable customer feedback. But the two notable issues that made CES difficult for global organizations to use it as a benchmark are:

  • Participants/ Respondents didn’t always correctly interpret both the Customer Effort Score Question and the answer.
  • Word ‘effort’ does not translate well into other languages leading to confusion in some geo-locations.

These Limitations led to the inception of CES 2.0. This CES 2.0 version was released in the year 2013. CES 2.0 introduced the 7 level answer scale to make it easier to analyze the level of customers’ efforts. You can measure CES by surveying customers with the simple and right customer effort question “To what extent do you agree with the following statement: The company made it easy for me to handle my issue?” Customers usually provided with the scale ranges from 1-7 to rate their effort experience:

1 = Strongly Disagree

2 = Disagree

3 = Somewhat Disagree

4 = Undecided

5 = Somewhat Agree

6 = Agree

7 = Strongly Agree

This is also known as CES 2.0. Here in this scale range, a 1-3 segment (Strongly Disagree to Somewhat Disagree) will be associated with negative results, whereas the 5-7 segment (Somewhat Agree to Strongly Agree) represents positive results.

How to Calculate & Evaluate Customer Effort Score

Zonka Feedback, a CES Survey Software comprises default CES question templates that follow a general approach to calculate and evaluate customer effort score. You can calculate the overall CES by finding the average of all you customers’ scores:

Customer Effort Score Formula 

Customer Effort Score = Sum of all Customer Effort Scores ÷ Total number of respondents.

Customer Effort Score Formula - Zonka Feedback

For Example:

Say, if you get 12 responses: 3, 7, 5, 3, 7, 7, 6, 5, 7,7, 7, 7.

So, you customer effort score = Addition of all customer effort scores ÷ Total number of respondents.

CES = (3+7+5+3+7+7+6+5+7+7+7+7) ÷ (12)

(71) ÷ (12)

Therefore, your Customer Effort Score = 5.9

What is a Good Customer Effort Score?

Here customers rate their effort experience on the scale ranges from 1 to 7. Scale 1-3 segment (Strongly Disagree to Somewhat Disagree) will be associated with negative results, whereas the 5-7 segment (Somewhat Agree to Strongly Agree) represents positive results. The ideal CES Score is over 5/50.

Learn more about the Customer Effort Score (CES)

Published on Jan 24, 2020. Updated on Oct 22, 2020.


Written by Archit

Jan 24, 2020

Experienced Content Writer and Strategist, been in the IT industry for the last 7 years. Associated with the Zonka Feedback. Passionate about writing customer experience, customer satisfaction, customer feedback, and Net Promoter Score.

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