What Is A Customer Effort Score (CES)? And How To Measure It For Success

We’ve all heard of popular forms of customer experience measurement like NPS and CSAT, but what about CES?

CES, short for, Customer Effort Score, is a critical question used to help determine customer satisfaction. Incorporated into an array of customer surveys, it’s helped businesses elevate service and better understand customer expectations.

In this blog, to share the relevance of the popular metric, we’re breaking down what a customer effort score is, how to measure it, and the best practices for using it.

What is a Customer Effort Score (CES)?

A customer effort score, or CES for short, is a scaled question measuring how easy it is for a customer to obtain your product or service. Usually, on a scale of 1-10 or a scale of “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree”, this question is asked in order to understand the customer’s effort in obtaining a product or service. 

The ease of obtaining your business’s offerings can be contributed to a number of things like employee service, product/service availability, technology and so much more. This is why a customer effort score is best used alongside other key survey questions to better understand the answer provided.

Further, a CES survey is easy to incorporate into surveys and ideal for those looking to evaluate the current stance of their business and how to improve operations. It can be disseminated on a range of channels and isn’t specific to online or offline experiences. And although a CES can’t provide an overall satisfaction rate, it does provide the effort which is a major contributor to overall satisfaction and key insights like busy times of day, website performance, employee performance, customer trends, loyalty and so much more.

CES Survey Example

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Houston Hotel made it easy for me to handle my issue.

When To Use A CES Question

A CES is a great question to ask after an interaction with a team member or immediately after the entire experience. With a CES question, it’s best that the experience is kept top of mind so details can be shared on how easy the process was to obtain your product or service. With Loop, you can do this and more. Send a survey as a customer is stepping off your property or prompt them when they’re at the cash desk, it’s easy to tailor with geofencing capabilities. As soon as a customer walks into a specific touchpoint within your establishment, they’re prompted with a survey, saving your team time and giving you more granular data.

In addition, when sending out CES question it’s always important to consistently send your surveys and measure over time. This will provide your business with insight into changing trends, locations performance, and more. Further, with Loop, you can track these changes through custom dashboards – so the data you need is always at your fingertips.

CES Score Best Practices

When designing your survey to incorporate a CES question type, it’s important to leverage several best practices in order to receive an ideal response rate. Here we list some of the top ones.

Leverage Key CX Performance Metrics

When drafting your survey, leverage key CX metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfcation Score (CSAT) to provide additional context to your CES question. These questions go hand in hand and provide you with more insight into bettering the customer experience. In addition to multiple question types, we also suggest multiple question formats such as long-form and multiple-choice to keep customers engaged and to receive greater detail.

Analyze Feedback

Regardless of what type of question you ask, analyzing feedback is essential to business growth. Especially with CES you can analyze feedback to better understand sentiment, source of effort, average rating and common trends. With the Loop Experience Platform, you can even see feedback in multiple visual formats to get a better understanding of trends and performance. Measure over time and learn which best practices are working for you and where work is needed.

Respond In Real-Time

With CES surveys, and really any survey for that matter, real-time communication is paramount. Say, for instance, a customer is browsing your store and suddenly scores their experience below an 8. If the customer is still in store, it should be a standard for an employee or management to reach out in a personal manner and resolve the issue. Why was the experience so difficult? Is there anything you can immediately do to improve the experience and retain the customer? By responding in real-time recovering customers is made easy and your operations continuously improve.

Optimize The Survey for Mobile

Today there are 5.13 billion people in the world who own mobile devices. Which means, if your customers are filling out your CES survey, especially if they engaged through a QR code, it’s most likely on their mobile device. When designing your survey, remember to tailor it to a mobile audience; Keep the survey simple and ensure the customer isn’t overwhelmed with images, open text or questions.

Always Follow Up

For customers that have opted in for communication and that have provided an unsatisfactory CES response, it is vital to follow up in a personalized manner. If you already communicated with them in real-time, then maybe it’s a simple “Thank you” and special discount code for a future visit. A low rating is high effort, which means the customer was inconvenienced by their experience and might not be willing to come back. So acknowledging their experience and providing a resolution is paramount in retaining the customer and maintaining the experience.

The Loop Experience Platform Can Assist Your CES Efforts

When it comes to sending optimized and responsive surveys, the Loop Platform is a robust solution that delivers. Whether you are looking to collect feedback using online and offline channels, send surveys in real-time or measure responses over time, with the Loop Platform, you can ensure your entire experience is consistent and you’re obtaining data that enhances the overall experience.

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