Introducing Zonka 2.0 - Innovative & Easiest CX Management & Analytics Platform. Read all about it. ➝

×
Request a Demo

Request a Demo

Look No Further. Get Started Today

Table of Contents

What is Customer Effort Score

There are lots of ways to augment customer loyalty for your brand, one among them is by reducing customers’ efforts to get a resolution to their queries. Business or service organizations struggling to cut down their customers’ efforts and drive customer loyalty for their brands.

Therefore, it is crucial for you to determine whether you are high or low in terms of customers’ efforts. For this, CEB, now Gartner has created an action-driven customer experience survey metric called Customer Effort Score. It allows users to gauge the levels of effort your customers put to achieve their goals.

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 customer effort score. 

They said that reducing efforts is much more important than delighting your customers. By acting on the data collected from CES to help you to remove obstacles for the customer and improve their customer experience.

Why Need Customer Effort Score

According to Gartner, 96% of customers with a high-effort service interaction become more disloyal compared to just 9% who have a low-effort experience. A high effort service interaction can mislead your customers and make them lose interest in your brand. They either leave your website or share the negative word of mouth about you. So, to avoid this situation, the Customer Effort Score (CES) enters into the play.  

The Customer Effort Score Survey serves the businesses with the metric that not only triggers specific interaction between them and their customers but also gauge the level of effort they put to achieve their goals. CES helps the business to deliver higher-quality interactions and improve fidelity towards the brand.

Here are some noticeable statistics that can help you to realize very well that why you need Customer Effort Score for your business:

  • Ensure Effortless Experience - 88% of the customer going through an effortless experience are likely to spend more.
  • Improves Repurchase Rate - 94% of customers who experienced low-effort service interaction are intended to repurchase.
  • Reduce Cost - CES has phenomenally declined 40% of repeat calls, 50% of escalations and 54% of channel switching. This has lower the effort experiences and reduced costs by 37%.

Research suggests that high-effort interaction or service experience leads to disloyal customers and increase the churn rate. Whereas, the low-effort experience will quantify customer experience and increase loyal customers. Customer Effort Score is the one-stop solution that offers unique insights on your customer experience and helps you to increase customer loyalty without spending extra services and support expenses.

When To Use Customer Effort Score

The Customer Effort Score (CES) metric enables you to capture meaningful insights at any stage of the customer journey. There are various customer touchpoints where you can use the CES metric to improve their experience. Explore 3 crucial use cases of customer effort score metric:

  1. To measure the overall experience with the brand.
  2. After interaction with customer service 
  3. After interaction with a product that led to a purchase or subscription.

1. To measure the overall experience with the brand

Besides measuring the discrete level of user experience, the customer effort score metric enables you to gauge the overall customer loyalty for the brand. CES can be used among both customer success teams and product teams to improve the effort experience of the customers. 

Many business entrepreneurs have stated that the CES metric is more superior to the Net Promoter Score (NPS) metric to identify the moments where customers begin to feel frustrated and lost. They feel that asking the fluid question - "How likely are you to recommend [company] to a friend?" is not useful at this stage. This was opposed to the NPS. 

But both the metrics have their own significance when it comes to improving customer experience. NPS is more useful to segment customers into different categories, whereas CES helps you to identify and resolve the real bottlenecks in the customer experience itself. Be it CES or NPS Score, both the metrics focus on creating an "effortless experience," which tends to affect the overall customers’ experience.

2. After interaction with Customer Service

Since the inception of the customer effort score metric, “when to send CES Survey” is the biggest point of concern. Most of the companies send a CES survey at any regular time.

When to send CES Survey? As you all know, the CES metric is being employed to ask customers to specifically rate their level of effort they’ve put into resolving a problem or issue. Always send a CES Survey to the customers immediately after a customer service touchpoints like post email support ticket has been resolved.

3. Post interaction with a product that led to a purchase or subscription

This is the most common use case for CES surveys when customers intended to purchase your product or subscribe to your service. This action will not only help to improve your customer experience but also create a positive impact on your customers’ minds.

For instance, you can send the CES survey once your customer signs up for a free trial or finishes the on-boarding period. This will lead to a low-effort experience and help you to quantify customer experience and increase loyal customers.

Types of Customer Effort Score Scales

When it comes to measuring Customer Effort Score (CES), the CES metric offers an extensive range of scales that help you to collect data in an exciting manner from your customers without boring them.

Note - Different types of CES surveys can change the way you calculate and score of surveys.

4 Major Types of Customer Effort Score Scales:

  1. The 1-7 Scale: CES 2.0
  2. The Likert Scale
  3. The 1-5 Scale
  4. The Emotion Face Scale

1. The 1-7 Scale Survey: CES 2.0

Here in this type of CES Survey, respondents are asked to rate their experience on the basis of simple question “To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement:
[Company / department] made it easy for me to handle my request?”
Here respondents are 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.

2. The Likert Scale Survey

In this survey type, customers are provided with the “Strongly Agree/Disagree”, “Neutral”, and “Agree/Disagree” scale to choose according to the level of effort they put in to get their queries resolved. It can also be represented with different color codes like: Red color = Strongly Disagree and Green color = Strongly Agree.

3. The 1-5 scale Survey

Here in this type of CES Survey, respondents are provided with the 5 options:

1 = Very low effort

2 = Low effort

3 = Neutral

4 = High effort

5 = Very high effort

In this case, you will get a CES between 1 and 5, lower the score, better will be the results.

4. Emotions Face Survey

It is important for a Surveyor to make his survey intuitive enough to get a high response rate. Here Emotions Face metric helps you to make your survey spontaneous and entices your respondents to quickly answer it.

Here in this survey, recipients will be provided with 3 emotions:

  • Happy Face = Low Effort
  • Neutral Face = Neutral Effort
  • Unhappy Face = High Effort

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:

  1. Participants/ Respondents didn’t always correctly interpret both the question and the answer.
  2. 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.

CES 2.0

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 question:

“To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement: [Company / department] made it easy for me to handle my request?”

Customers usually answer on a standard scale ranges from 1– 7 scale whether they agree or disagree with the statement.

Here respondents are 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.

Customer Effort Score Benchmark: What is a Good Customer Effort Score?

Deciding a good Customer Effort Score (CES) is quite tricky. As there are no specific industry standards or benchmarks to compare the quality of the score.

What is a Good Customer Effort Score?

The quality of your CES score depends on the type of CES question you are posing and which CES scale you are using. Thus, CES metrics and questions are the two most important elements that determine the quality (Good or Bad) of your customer effort.

Here in 1-7 scale, 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. The ideal CES Score is over 5/50.

How To Improve Customer Effort Score at Your Company

Today’s customers are tech-savvy and want easy & seamless interaction. Be it transaction or the response to their queries, they expect quick and seamless service from you. The level of effort experienced by the customers determines the customer experience. So, analyzing the effort level of your customers is mandatory for you. Here Customer Effort Score metric enters into the play.         

Customer Effort Score (CES) metric is the imperative benchmark that cannot only improve the experience of your customers but also helps you to develop long-lasting customer-relationship.   

Here we are compiling 3 common ways to improve Customer Effort Score at your company:

1. Provide Easy-to-use Feedback Platform

Feedback channel provides your customers with a platform where they can speak about your company and your products/services and share their grievances for any inconvenience. So, if you provide your customers with the easy-to-use feedback platform, you could easily figure out your customers’ perception of your brand. And when you give quick responses to their queries and address their grievances, they get satisfied and become your loyal customers.

You can provide your customers with the numerous multi-channel feedback options including Email Survey, SMS Survey, Kiosk, QR Codes, Tablet Feedback system, and many more. These feedback channels provide real-time communication platform and drive quality response rate.

SMS & Email as a Customer Feedback Channel

According to Zingle, customers have experienced a 400% increase in response rate with text message surveys compared to the industry average email survey response rate.

2. Close the Negative Feedback Loop

Getting negative reviews from customers is not the biggest concern, as long as figure out the solutions to mitigate their impact. When you received negative feedback from your customers, don’t panic. Strategize to mitigate the impact of negative feedback and focus on closing the feedback loop on a positive note to improve the customer experience.

So, if you want to retain your customers then start following up with your customers who responded with a negative rate and closes the negative feedback loop. When you follow up with your grumpy customers and address their grievances, this gives a positive impact on customers that you are really concerned about their negative experience and want to improve it. Closing a negative feedback loop provides you with the opportunity to reduce the customer churn rate and rebuild customer loyalty.

3. Evaluate Your Customer Service Performance

Customer Service is the linchpin that determines the success of the business. Today’s customers are tech-savvy and expect everything to be quick and seamless. Thus, slow response time and high effort experience can turn your customers away from your website. So, if you want to improve the customer experience, you need to speed up the communication process to reduce the interaction efforts.  

Customer Effort Score metric will not only evaluate the customer efforts to interact with you but also help you to find specific points where you can speed up communication.