Mastering Customer Effort Score: A Comprehensive Guide

Feb 6


Archit Jain

Archit Jain

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Understanding and improving the Customer Effort Score (CES) is crucial for businesses aiming to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. CES is a metric that gauges the ease with which customers can interact with a company and accomplish their desired outcomes. A lower effort score indicates a smoother customer experience, which is linked to higher customer loyalty. This guide will delve into the nuances of calculating and evaluating CES, ensuring that businesses can effectively measure and optimize their customer interactions.

The Evolution of Customer Effort Score

Customer Effort Score (CES) is a pivotal metric in customer service that quantifies the effort required by customers during an interaction with a company to fulfill their needs. Originating from the insight that reducing customer effort can bolster loyalty,Mastering Customer Effort Score: A Comprehensive Guide Articles CES has been a focal point since the Harvard Business Review highlighted its significance in the 2010 article "Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers." The article underscored the correlation between high effort experiences and customer disloyalty, citing a Gartner study which found that a staggering 96% of customers with high-effort interactions reported disloyalty Gartner.

Measuring Customer Effort Score: Overcoming Challenges

Initially, global organizations faced challenges in benchmarking CES due to varying interpretations of the metric and the difficulty in translating the term 'effort' across languages. To address these issues, CES 2.0 was introduced in 2013, featuring a seven-point scale to streamline analysis. The revised question, "To what extent do you agree with the following statement: The company made it easy for me to handle my issue?" is rated on a scale from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 7 (Strongly Agree). Scores from 1 to 3 indicate negative experiences, while scores from 5 to 7 suggest positive experiences.

Calculating and Evaluating Customer Effort Score

To calculate the overall CES, businesses can use the following formula:

Customer Effort Score Formula

Customer Effort Score = Sum of all individual CES responses ÷ Total number of respondents

For instance, if a company receives the following 12 CES responses: 3, 7, 5, 3, 7, 7, 6, 5, 7, 7, 7, 7, the calculation would be:

CES = (3+7+5+3+7+7+6+5+7+7+7+7) ÷ 12 CES = 71 ÷ 12 CES = 5.9

A score of 5.9 suggests that, on average, customers find it relatively easy to interact with the company.

What Constitutes a Good Customer Effort Score?

A "good" CES is typically above 5 on the 7-point scale, with the higher segment (5-7) reflecting positive customer experiences. However, the target score may vary depending on the industry and customer expectations. It's essential for companies to benchmark their CES against industry standards and continuously strive for improvement.

Interesting Stats and Insights

While CES is a widely used metric, some intriguing statistics and insights are often overlooked:

  • According to a CX Network report, reducing customer effort can increase customer spending by up to 88%.
  • A CEB study revealed that 94% of customers who reported low-effort experiences said they would repurchase, compared to only 4% of those with high-effort experiences.
  • A Forrester study found that improving CES by one point can lead to a $1 million increase in annual revenue for a typical $1 billion company.

By focusing on these nuances and continuously refining the CES measurement process, businesses can gain a competitive edge in customer experience management.