Customer Effort Score

What is Customer Effort Score?

Customer Effort Score (CES) gauges the amount of perceived work a customer has to put into dealing with your company. 

That can include the effort behind making a purchase, resolving a service query or signing up for an account.

CES surveys are generally a single question that customers answer on a scale from most to least difficult. 

How to calculate your CES 

We may have touched on this part a little earlier… essentially, you ask the customer exactly how easy their recent experience was.

A typical Customer Effort Scorecard looks like this:

Customer Effort Score Scale

To understand CES across your service, simply calculate the average score from your survey results. You’ll get more actionable data if you apply separate surveys to different areas of your service. 

CES surveys usually have either three, five or seven options in their range. The wider the scope of possible responses, the more honest your customers can be and the easier it is for them to respond to your survey. 

The last thing you want is to have the survey itself being hard to navigate!

Why does Customer Effort Score Matter?

There is general consensus that making service easy does good things for customer satisfaction

There are two sides to the customer effort score metric:

The advantages of Customer Effort Score

  1. You can easily measure the effort score for each business interaction in isolation
  2. The feedback highlights friction points in your service

The disadvantages of Customer Effort Score

  1. It’s difficult to benchmark CES because there’s no standard for it
  2. The isolated incident recorded is not a full representation of a customer’s satisfaction overall

How to keep your CES low 

There are a few “variables” your company ought to focus on so that your customers don’t find interaction with you difficult.

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Offer automated agent support  

Customer service agents can sometimes be the root cause of customer difficulties. Training plays a part here, but you need agents to be as knowledgeable as possible as soon as possible.

Many contact centers fill the gap with Natural Language Understanding tools. These tools ‘prompt’ agents with useful service options. 

Improve your self-service tools 

Customers are increasingly keen on solving their own problems – and that’s a win for everyone! If your self-service tools are simple and easy to use, customers will try them. 

That’s especially true of conversational tools that work like Siri or Alexa and which require very little from the customer. 

Make service flexible with No-Code tools

Finally – there’s no point gathering survey data if you can’t act on it. Too many contact centers are trapped in this terrible situation… they know what’s wrong, but they can’t fix it. 

That’s why a lot of businesses are choosing to put No-Code tools into the hands of Ops teams. With No-Code tools, contact center leaders are able to make major (or minor) changes to their service quickly, and without .tech skills. 

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