Customer effort score – what it is and how to calculate it

Customer effort score – what it is and how to calculate it

Customer effort score (CES) is a metric that measures the customer effort to access a company’s service or resolve an issue with an organization.

Customers are increasingly seeking fast, simple, and dynamic interactions with companies to optimize their daily routine. According to the Zendesk CX Trends 2023 report, 62% of consumers believe experiences should flow naturally between physical and digital environments.

Customer effort score (CES) is an essential tool to improve processes and the customer experience. Read this article to find out what CES is, how it works, and why it is important for your business.

What is Customer Effort Score ?

Customer effort score is a metric that measures the effort that the customer exerts when interacting with a business or using the products or services it offers.

The CES analyzes aspects such as:

  • How much effort is needed to use the services from a business through its official channels;
  • How much effort is needed to submit a complaint or request and ask for information;
  • Wait time for customer service calls;
  • Response time for emails, chats, and via messaging applications.

Then, by measuring the consumer service quality and brand perception, it is possible to identify areas of improvement as well as issues that could cause loss of customers to competitors.

How is CES used?

Customer effort score assesses the effort a customer exerts to contact an organization and use its services. It allows managers to have a broader view of the positive and negative aspects of the customer journey with the company. 

This way, the areas that are not producing the expected results can be adjusted, ensuring that customers have more dynamic and precise interactions while the company increases the level of consumer satisfaction, customer attraction and loyalty.

The evaluation is based on how much effort is required to access the products or services. It can be applied using three different scales:

1. Perception scale

This type of CES uses answers such as “a lot of effort,” “little effort,” “maximum effort,” “minimum effort,” “very easy,” “very difficult,” according to the question asked and the number of points on the scale.

2. Numerical scale

The numerical scale provides numbered answers, which generally range from 1 (extremely difficult) to 5 (extremely easy).

3. Emoji scale

Evaluation with emojis, recommended for companies with more informal communication, which can use different symbols, but paying attention to their meanings to avoid inadequate signs.

How to calculate the CES?

The CES can be calculated using the formula below:

CES = total number of occurrences / total number of answers. 

The answers are not quantitative, but qualitative. Therefore, they have to be transformed to allow the interpretation of results. To understand how it is done, see this example: 

A survey asked 300 customers “How much effort is needed to request the installation of our service?” The answers were:

Consider the scale from 1 to 7, where 1 represents the worst experience and 7 represents the best experience.

  • Extremely difficult (1): 20 customers
  • Very difficult (2): 30 customers
  • Difficult (3): 42 customers
  • Acceptable (4): 53 customers
  • Reasonable (5): 50 customers
  • Easy (6): 45 customers
  • Extremely easy (7): 60 customers

Using the information above, apply the formula: 

CES = total number of occurrences / total number of answers.

That is:

CES = (20 x 1) + (30 x 2) + (42 x 3) + (53 x 4) + (50 x 5) + (45 x 6) + (60 x 7) / 300
CES = (20 + 60 + 126 + 212 + 250 + 270 + 420) / 300
CES = 1,358 / 300
CES = 4.52

With the score of 4 indicating acceptable service and 5 indicating reasonable service, the company’s CES is acceptable. It means that customers don’t find major obstacles to request a service, but they don’t think the process is very easy.

Implementing the CES in your company

Customer effort score is an important tool for the company to find out whether its product or service fulfills customer’s needs or not.

Therefore, in order to implement this metric, it is recommended to:

  • define what will be assessed (products, services, support);
  • determine which channel will be used to apply the CES tool (email, SMS, chatbot, or others);
  • choose which questions will be applied (simple and objective questions);
  • define the type of grades assigned to questions;
  • collect and measure responses;
  • evaluate results and identify what can be maintained and what needs to be improved.

Another important aspect to consider is when to apply the CES tool. As it makes questions about the resolution of problems, it should be applied immediately after the process.

Then, the CES can be used: 

  • when completing an online sale;
  • after a telephone call;
  • after the last email exchanged to resolve an issue;
  • after an interaction via chatbot.

How Milvus can help improve the customer effort score

To improve the CES of your business, some good practices are:

– Improve customer service, making the process faster and more integrated; therefore, requiring less consumer effort;

– Personalize the service to create stronger and lasting connections with the target audience, increasing customer satisfaction;

If you still don’t know how to implement it, Milvus can help you achieve expected results. Our intelligent customer service platform offers several features to increase your company’s efficiency and productivity, such as service ticket management, help desk, and much more!

Contact our team of experts and take a free trial

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