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What Is Customer Effort Score (CES) & How To Calculate It

June 19, 2023

What Is Customer Effort Score (CES) & How To Calculate It

You could have all the data in the world from conversion rate optimization tests and user activity on your website, but when it comes down to it, the easiest way to gauge how your customers feel about your business and your online store is to ask. Surveys for measuring Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) have made it easy to ask customers about their level of satisfaction with your brand. With another prevalent customer service metric, CES, you can take the question of satisfaction a step further by asking customers how much work it is to, well, work with you!

Why Should Measuring A Customer Effort Score Matter To E-Commerce Brands?

Customer Effort Score (CES) is a customer service metric that measures how much effort a customer has to put in to interact with your business. This may seem a bit silly at first – of course, we have to exert some effort to make a purchase or interact with a brand – but think about it like this: if you’ve just purchased a new rug for your kitchen floor that was somehow delivered with an unfortunate stain in the corner, you’re going to want either a refund or exchange immediately. However, if you have trouble figuring out how to get in touch with a customer service agent, or if the customer service agent makes it difficult to resolve your problem, it’s doubtful that you’d ever do business with that brand again, right? We can safely say that you wouldn’t be alone with those feelings. Nearly 81% of customers who go through a high level of effort with a company are likely to share their bad experience with friends versus only 1% of those who went through an effortless experience. The takeaway from this statistic is that even if our customers don’t tell us when they’re frustrated with a complicated process, they still may tell others about their bad experience and drive away potential customers. In case you’re still looking for a better reason to regularly measure CES, though, here are a few benefits you can expect from staying on top of your Customer Effort Score and analyzing survey results:

  • Better gauge on customer loyalty and what affects satisfaction levels within your primary audiences
  • Deeper insight into where to reduce friction to smooth out the customer journey
  • Increased ROI from continual improvements on customer touchpoints that are backed by data

How To Use The Customer Effort Score Formula To Track Customer Satisfaction

To measure your Customer Effort Score, you’ll start by presenting a survey to customers after key customer touchpoints or moments in the customer journey. Here are a few examples of CES surveys you can steal for your business:

  • After submitting a ticket: “How easy was it for you to submit an inquiry”
  • After completing an order: “How much effort did it take to purchase a product on our website?”
  • After interacting with a chatbot: “How easy was it to use our chatbot to resolve your inquiry?”

Typically, customers complete CES surveys by leaving a rating on either a 1 - 5 or a 1 - 7 scale. Once you have a substantial amount of survey responses, you’ll want to average the highest scores and use the following Customer Effort Score formula to calculate it: Customer effort score = (Sum of customer effort ratings / total number of survey responses) If you want a more straightforward solution for your Customer Effort Score calculation, use this handy customer service metrics calculator from HubSpot.

Best Practices For Using Customer Effort Score Surveys Throughout Your Customer Journey

Measuring your brand’s Customer Effort Score doesn’t have to be complicated. To ensure that you’re setting your brand up to get clear results from your customers, here are a few best practices we recommend keeping in mind as you create your Customer Effort Score survey strategy.

1. Keep surveys simple & straightforward

Ask easy questions that get straight to the point. Questions that are too wordy or too open-ended may need to be clarified for participants so they don’t skew the results. Additionally, keeping your surveys short will likely result in more responses from those willing to share their feedback quickly.

2. Optimize your survey for mobile devices

We won’t even get into the irony of making a customer put in too much effort to complete a CES survey – the joke writes itself. We will say that optimizing your mobile CES surveys makes them more accessible, which will lead to more responses for you to use in your calculation.

3. Use automation to remove headaches

If you already have helpdesk software in place, we recommend using it to set up automations that send CES surveys after key touchpoints and interactions. Automated solutions for tasks such as this are a must because they:

  • Ensure that you don’t lose or miss out on feedback opportunities.
  • Send surveys at appropriate times without oversight from your team
  • Allow for easy collection in a spreadsheet or report to be analyzed at a later time

Elevate The Customer Experience By Measuring & Analyzing Your Brand’s Customer Effort Score

When you’re busy running an E-Commerce business, it’s always better to learn sooner rather than later whether the majority of customers have to exert too much effort to interact with your brand. Staying on top of your CES by regularly sending surveys at strategic moments will ensure that your customers are heard and that their feedback can be used to improve processes and systems within your business. If you’re interested in learning where your processes can be improved and how you can elevate the customer experience with agents who understand your audience, consider working with TalentPop. When you partner with our team, we’ll match you with the right agents to meet your needs as well as a Customer Success Manager who will help oversee the training and management of your agents. Start today by scheduling a call with our team, and we’ll show you how easy it is to prioritize customer satisfaction in your brand.

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