Understand how the CES (Customer Effort Score) metric works and learn how to use it to retain your customers – WAU

The CES (Customer Effort Score) is a metric used to measure how much effort a customer needs to make to be able to buy a product.

Looking for ways to build customer loyalty is a constant concern for anyone working in marketing. The loyalty benefits make this area a constant field of research and development. The CES (Customer Effort Score) shows that not always focus on surprising and delighting the customer are the main factors to conquer it for good.

And if instead of wishing to feel enchanted, customers just want ease and less effort to solve your problems?

It was to answer this question that CES (Customer Effort Score) emerged, through a 2010 survey by Harvard Business Review called “Stop Trying to Delight Your Costumers”.

But what exactly is the CES (Customer Effort Score) and how do you know if it can be used in your company? Check out this article.

What is CES (Customer Effort Score)?

The CES (Customer Effort Score) is a metric with a single item, to measure how much effort a customer needs to make to be able to buy a product.

In fact, the effort required to get your problem resolved is evaluated. And this is not only when buying a product, but it can also be applied in other cases, such as having a request answered, a question answered or even returning a product or service.

You may have come across the following question in your email when buying a product over the Internet: “On a scale of ‘very easy’ to ‘very difficult’, how easy was it to relate to our company?”

This simple question is the CES (Customer Effort Score) assessment, which is a qualitative assessment (most of the time), based on a rating scale from “very easy to very difficult” or “strongly disagree to strongly agree”.

With the search results in hand, perceived that customers are more loyal to brands with products or services that are easy to consume.

What is the difference between CES and NPS?

The NPS (Net Promoter Score) is a similar metric, which can also be qualitative and is widely used by companies. Your objective is to assess how likely a person is to recommend a company product or service to a friend.

Both seek to evaluate the customer experience and are important for improvements in the Customer Experience, being able to work together to find where these upgrades can be implemented.

a way of working together is to use NPS to classify customers by degree of satisfaction and then use the CES (Customer Effort Score) to measure the degree of perceived effort in each customer group.

Why use CES (Customer Effort Score)?

It is notorious to need to measure the level of service quality for a customer and their perception of what they receive. Some companies even invest in techniques like that of the hidden customer to know where to improve.

During the Harvard Business Review survey that led to the creation of the CES (Customer Effort Score), carried out with 75 thousand people, it was found that 96% of customers who felt they had a high effort made it unfair to the companies that provided this experience, while only 9% of those who had low effort experiences were unfaithful.

The result of this research made evident the need to focus on making life easier for customers, to increase satisfaction and consequently, the company’s LTV (Life Time Value).

The importance of this metric is so great that Sarah Dibble, executive consultant at Gartner, said, “If you can measure just one thing, it should be the effort.”

When to use CES (Customer Effort Score)?

With the CES (Customer Effort Score), it is possible to measure the degree of satisfaction in several processes, including specific ones, that is, you can apply it in different places, according to the company’s need and bottlenecks.

This makes the CES (Customer Effort Score) simple to use and be measured, but regardless of where it will be used, it is essential to pay attention to “when to use”.

The CES (Customer Effort Score) needs to be collected immediately after the action you want to measure, be done. That’s why right after receiving a product purchased via the Internet, you receive an email with the question that evaluates it.

When postponing the evaluation, there is a high probability one of the following occurs:

  • the customer can forget how you felt and giving a false answer;
  • the client ignore the evaluation;
  • the client evaluate the wrong process (if his purchase journey has not yet been completed. For example, the evaluation was to verify the ease of buying through the website and the customer evaluated the speed of delivery).

To facilitate the implementation in your company, we separate here the moments when CES (Customer Effort Score) is most used.

1. After a purchase: to assess how easy the purchase process was for the customer. It is widely used in e-commerce, to make changes to the experience on the site.

2. After subscribing to a service: the idea is the same here, but in this case, there is a time difference, which can be from two weeks to a month, for the customer to evaluate the ease of use of the signed service.

3. After interacting with a brand touch point: This case is important to evaluate the effectiveness of customer service, for companies where this is of fundamental importance, such as Internet services, cell phones and health plans. Sometimes, on the call itself, the attendant already asks the customer to evaluate. But it can be sent via email after a short period after the end of the service.

How to use CES (Customer Effort Score)?

The CES (Customer Effort Score) can be used 3 distinct shapes and the ideal choice for your company depends on the persona, the product, the marketing strategy, etc.

Numerical scale

Despite being used more qualitatively, it is possible to transform the CES (Customer Effort Score) into a numerical scale, which usually ranges from 1 to 7, where 1 is “very difficult” and 7 “very easy”.

It is good to divide the color numbering, because depending on the target audience, there may be confusion when it comes to responding and some customer may come up with a wrong answer for not understanding the question properly.

Qualitative approach – Likert scale

The most used without a doubt is the qualitative classification, using the Likert Scale, which is a very common type of scale in questionnaires.

The Likert Scale is used to demonstrate how much the evaluated person agrees with the question asked, on a 7-point scale, which are as follows: Totally Disagree, Disagree, Partially Disagree, I Don’t Know, Somewhat Agree, Agree and Strongly Agree.

There may be slight variations in the scales above, as there are surveys that use 9 points and others that use only 4, excluding the “Don’t Know Opinion” for force the customer to give a more sincere opinion.

As it can be a little difficult to interpret, it is worth inserting some graphic element that helps to better understand the scale. After all, we are looking for ways to decrease customer effort, right?

Using colors also helps to make it easier to understand the scale.

Emoticon scale

Some companies prefer bet on playful when creating your assessment and doing a survey using emoticons. This helps the design to make it clearer what the company wants from the customer. But to use it, have to fit the language used in the business so as not to cause dissonance in communication.

How to interpret the results?

Depending on the type of scale used, the results obtained will vary, so there is no right rule for calculating a company’s CES.

For those who have the numerical scale, the calculation is done as follows: all the scores are added and divided by the number of people who answered the question. A score higher than 5 (on a scale of 1 to 7) already means a good CES (Customer Effort Score).

For those who prefer the qualitative scale, surveys whose majority of responses are Agree or Totally Agree on their own already show positive results. But stop whoever wishes to have a note, you can assign a value for each answer, from 1 to 7 (equal to the numerical scale) and perform the calculations.

On the scale of emoticons, need calculate the percentage of people who responded with each face in relation to the total number of people who responded to the survey. The higher the percentage of happy faces, the better the CES (Customer Effort Score).

Even for those who already have good grades CES (Customer Effort Score), needs to be constantly evaluating the feedback given by customers, because as it is a perception, it can change with the entry of new customers.

Being up to date is also essential for those who want to improve the experience with the company and have greater loyalty. The trend is to focus more and more on the customer.

We are in the era of customer centricity. Therefore, the second edition of Websites Are Us Magazine came to explain what this philosophy is, its results and how to apply it. Access here and read right now!