customer effort score

Why You Should Care About Your Customer Effort Score

Survey Tips

Do you know your customer effort score? Do you have a grasp of what it is?

Your customer effort score (CES) measures what your customers think about how easy or difficult your business makes it for them to complete an action.

The CES measures how many hoops your customers have to jump through to get what they need. For example, are they looking for info on your website and can’t find it? Or, are they getting a busy signal each time they call customer service?

One study says it is 25% more predictive of customer loyalty than the next best metric. Combined with the Net Promoter Score and Customer Satisfaction Score, you should have a working knowledge of how your customers feel about you.

Because it’s so important, in this article, we look at why you should care about your customer effort score.

The Customer Effort Survey

First, let’s look at how you get this information.

The CES survey involves a single question that is scored on a scale from one to seven.

The question might look like this:  X (your name) made it easy for me to get what I needed (or find an answer, or some variable of this).

The answer options are: strongly agree, agree, somewhat agree, neutral, somewhat disagree, disagree, strongly disagree.

If you get a negative score, you can use your survey to send them to another question that is empathetic and looks something like this: “It looks like we could have done a better job helping you. Please let us know more about your experience.

You would then list seven options underneath for them to click on. For example, answers might be: I was on hold too long, your website was confusing, no one answered my question, etc.

Now let’s look at why it matters.

You Can Improve Your Service

Using your CES data can help you improve your customer satisfaction. It can help you get your customer service right the first time, so you don’t have unsatisfied customers.

If your score is low, you want to train your staff to not only respond quickly but to respond with empathy and knowledge. If they aren’t trained correctly, they will fall short.

The CES helps you learn where your staff and your company fall short and where you can improve.

You Can Improve Your Speed

Customers waiting too long on hold? Or, are they spending a lot of time on your website and not finding answers?

Speed is so important in the 21st century. In a world of immediacy, people are not willing to wait.

So, surprise them and speed things up.

If your CES shows that customers are waiting too long, you can add staff and improve your processes.

You Can Improve Your Options

Oftentimes, people are happy to solve their problems on their own, but they need the right information to do so.

You can help your customer service process by exploring your self service tools.

Your most modern customers will be glad to look for some answers on their own. Make these easy to find, and always offer the option of talking to a person, too.

Final Thoughts

If your customers have to expend too much effort to get what they want and need from you, they aren’t going to return.

Effort is a good predictor of how loyal your customers are and will be in the future.

Your customer effort score can help you understand where your company, products/services, and staff fall short so you can improve. (tweet this)

Today’s marketplace is all about providing the best possible customer service, and that includes how much effort your customers have to spend to get what they want.

When you reduce their effort, you increase their loyalty.

Surveys help you make the best decisions for your business. Are you ready to get started with your free Survey Town trial? Start with your free account today, and you can upgrade at any time.

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Decoding the Customer Effort Score (CES)

Survey Tips

Have you heard people toss the term CES around the conference room? Struggling to understand just what it means?

In this article, we are decoding the customer effort score (CES) so you understand how it can help your business.

What is the Customer Effort Score?

In the simplest terms, the customer effort score measures your customers’ perception of how easy or hard your company made it for them to complete their chosen action. (tweet this)

This could be anything really. For example, how easy or hard was it for:

  • A customer to buy something from your website or in your store.
  • Someone to resolve an issue with your staff.
  • A customer to register a product.
  • Your website visitors to navigate your website.
  • A person to leave you a review.

So, you can see that while the CES most often involves your service and support staff, it doesn’t always.

You can use the CES metric to evaluate how easy it is for your customers to deal with your business in a myriad of ways. One of the most common uses it to learn how easy it was for your customers to find a resolution to their problem with your service team.

In the 21st century and age of social media and review sites all over the internet, you know your customers want to do business with companies that are easy to work with. And, all too often, if they had a bad experience, they’ll spread it all over the internet.

You don’t want this to happen. It’s imperative that your customers are happy with their solutions and that they feel their issues were handled promptly and simply.

The CES allows you to determine if this is actually true.

When Should You Use the Customer Effort Score?

Best practice is to use the CES right after a customer has had an interaction with your business.

For example, you would send the survey after a customer purchased a product or service or had an interaction with your customer service department.

Your goal is to get real-time feedback. If you let too many days or weeks go between the interaction and the survey, you are likely to lose valuable data.

How to Measure Customer Effort Score

As we mentioned, you want to send out your CES survey shortly after any particular interaction.

The survey includes only one statement.

A sample question may look like this: “Your company (X) made it easy for me to handle my issue (buy a product, purchase a service, talk to support, use your website, figure out how to use a product).

The possible answers would be: strongly agree, agree, somewhat agree, neutral, somewhat disagree, disagree, or strongly disagree.

You might also ask the question like this: “How easy was it to solve your problem with (name of your business) today? The answer choices might be: very difficult, difficult, neither, easy, or very easy.

It’s also possible to send out your one question CES survey with just Yes/No as the possible answers.

Some businesses even include the option of allowing their customers to leave a comment. This can often provide a better look at what happened to that particular customer.

You’ll find many successful businesses measure CES right alongside the Net Promoter Score.

Why Use the CES

If you want to instill customer loyalty in the people who shop with you and retain them in the future, you want to explore the customer effort score.

The CES tells you in the most basic terms whether or not you are providing the best customer experience. If you are, great. If you aren’t, you know it’s time to improve if you want to better the customer experience.

When you reduce customer effort in all aspects of your business, but especially when it comes to service, you build customer loyalty.

Bottom line – you differentiate your business from the competition when you help your customers by providing them a quick and easy way to purchase from you, use your products or services, and work with your service staff.

Why Customer Effort Matters

You’ve been there before. You ordered something from a business, it didn’t work, and you called customer service. Then, you spoke with the first tier, second tier, and third tier, and yet you still don’t have a resolution.

That means you expended way too much customer effort. You probably won’t return to that business again, and you certainly won’t recommend them to others, and you may even broadcast your bad feelings about them.

Now, you don’t want that to happen to your own business, and that’s why your customers’ effort actually matters.

By reducing customer effort, this is what you get:

  • People who will recommend you to others in the form of positive word of mouth. This is where your Net Promoter Score can come in.
  • Customer retention increases and your customers purchase from you again.
  • Your costs decline because you solve customers’ issues quickly instead of spending additional money on labor costs.
  • Employee retention also rises because they are happy to provide a better customer experience, so they incur less stress and frustration.

How CES Helps You Improve Your Team

If you have staff members or customer service agents who above normal CES results in negative territory, you can recognize that they either need additional training or a new job.

Knowing your CES score can help you identify where you can help your team grow which ultimately makes your company stronger.

Do be cognizant though of your service staff who regularly handles the most difficult and complex cases. Naturally, their CES score may be less than the agents that handle the easier issues.

Final Thoughts

Measuring the customer effort score ultimately helps you grow your business. Combine it with your Net Promoter Score, and you’re well on your way to providing the best customer service.

Today’s customers demand a good shopping experience, and they’ll shop elsewhere if they don’t find it with you.

Effortless customer service will improve your bottom line. Make a concerted effort to eliminate hurdles and hassle for your customers, and they’ll soon be shouting your praises.

Surveys help you make the best decisions for your business. Are you ready to get started with your free Survey Town trial? Start with your free account today, and you can upgrade at any time.

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