How to Measure Your Customer Effort Score

How to Measure Your Customer Effort Score

Customer experience ·

Customer service is crucial to your company's success because it helps you maintain consumer relationships, thus increasing lifetime customer value. By offering superior customer care, companies cover client acquisition expenses and build a strong audience of customers that re-purchase and recommend other people to buy your products.

But how will you know that you are offering great customer service? How will you know your customers' satisfacrtion with the support they receive from your service team? How are you going to measure this? For that, you can calculate the so-called Customer Effort Score.

What is the Customer Effort Score?

Customer Effort Score (CES) is a customer service metric that is derived from a survey measuring how much effort your customers have to put to resolve a problem or avail of your products or services.

In 2010, a research team from the Corporate Executive Board (CEB Global, now Gartner) surveyed more than 75,000 people to understand the correlation between customer service and loyalty. The study helped the researchers find that reducing the amount of effort the customer put into resolving their problems may help the brand earn the customer's loyalty.

This study has two fundamental findings. First, delighting customers will not build their loyalty, but a faster response time to resolve an issue can. Second, the constant effort to work on customer issues can minimize customer service costs and drastically reduce the customer churning rate.

Based on the above, your customers' effort to interact with your business may impact your brand's success level. If a company wants to have a lot of loyal customers and stay in the competition for a long time, it should try to lower its score.

Why should you measure the Customer Effort Score?

All of the customer support metrics are important to measure the effectiveness of your customer service teams. However, the Customer Effort Score is better than any other metric for holistically understanding and formulating your customer service strategies. In fact, CES focuses on the process your customers need to undergo when they want to contact your team for assistance. It plays a pivotal role in their overall experience with your brand.

That is why you should take care of calculating CES and assessing your next course of action based on the results. Here are a few reasons to consider the Customer Effort Score as an important parameter for your company's success:

Improve the user experience

If your customers face problems while purchasing your product online, there is a good chance that they will abandon your site and buy from your competitors. 53% of online shoppers expect e-commerce sites to load within 3 seconds, and 1 out of 2 visitors ditch a website that takes more than 6 seconds to load.

Not only is the page loading speed critical, but the ease of payment and navigation also matter for a customer to stay on your website. If customers encounter a problem for the first time, there is a minimal chance that they will return next time. Hence, using the CES metric can help you understand whether your customers have a seamless experience while buying your products.

Reduce the spread of negative words

The cost and potential damage of negative word of mouth can be very high, and you not only lose a customer but fail to make a good impression on new and existing customers. Around 13% of dissatisfied customers will talk about their negative experiences to 15 or more people. However, the issue doesn't end here.

As a matter of concern, you will not always get complaints from your customers. They will simply stop taking your service next time. There will be only 1 in 26 unhappy customers who will take the initiative to complain. This means you will have no clue for a long time that your business is downgrading. The CES survey will detect the issues early, and based on that, you can redefine your customer service strategy.

Reduced customer service cost

CES can reduce the pressure on the customer service team. By minimizing customer effort, your company can deliver high-quality interaction at the lowest cost.

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Companies can recognize issues that typically arise during service experiences thanks to CES questionnaires that allow customers to disclose what went wrong. This aids in identifying glitches, opening new tickets, and proactively fixing problems. This reduces the workload for customer service teams and increases the procedure's efficiency.

Optimizing self-service channels

Suppose many customers give your business a poor Customer Effort Score due to a lack of self-service channels or technologies. In that case, you can decide to implement self-service solutions to enhance the customer experience. Similarly, CES data can support you in making service-related decisions with less margin for error.

Customers want to put in the least effort possible to complete tasks and solve their problems. And this may be accomplished by giving them the optimal support at the right time by using self-service solutions.

Reduced friction and an effortless experience

Customers always prefer a seamless experience and dislike spending too much time doing repetitive tasks. Reducing the customer effort score also entails minimizing the friction and increasing the likelihood of an effortless experience. This way, your customers will feel more comfortable using your products, and, even if they face any difficulty, they will know that it will be resolved without delay.

How to measure CES

Luckily, there is a formula to calculate the Customer Effort Score and, through that, it is also possible to make an evaluation out of it. Here is the equation:

CES = Sum of All Customer Effort Score ÷ Total Number of Respondents

This entails dividing the total number of respondents by the sum of all the good responses to the survey.

Here is an example to elaborate: If you have 200 respondents and 110 of them gave positive feedback on your service, your CES will be 200/75= 2.7.

Now you have to find out the average of all the CES data.

If you get 5 responses, such as 2.7, 3, 2, 4.5, and 7.1, your company's CES will be:

Sum of all customer effort score / total no of respondents = (2.7 + 3 + 2+ 4.5 + 7.1) ÷ 5 =3.86

Customers often rate their effort experience on a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 means an unfavorable response and excessive consumer effort, and 7 implies little consumer effort and a favorable response.

The CES is determined by the proportion of customers who give the company a score of 5 or more. This means they somewhat agree and are satisfied with the service. If customers abstain from giving no or neutral responses, there is a significantly greater chance of developing loyalty.

Methods for raising the Customer Effort Score

Here are 4 tips to improve CES that you may find beneficial. Know when to reach your customer Your team needs to ensure they know when to send the survey form to the customers. Here are 3 ideal times to reach them:

  • After they buy something,

  • After delivery,

  • After they visit your website and subscribe to the newsletter.

Provide Training

Training greatly impacts an agent's ability to help a client. The more a customer service agent is knowledgeable about your company's products and services, the easier it will be for them to solve a customer issue.

Ensure your training program is incorporated into your company's marketing strategy. Provide your customer support executives with information about common customer pain points and brand standards to provide them with the skills they need for fruitful interaction.

Reduce Waiting Period

The more your customers put their efforts into getting their service done from you, the more likely they will avoid taking your service next time.

So, if your customers face a high waiting time, you must solve this issue as quickly as possible. But if the waiting time does not decrease over time and you keep having this problem, appoint more executives or provide customer self-service options through video tutorials, FAQ pages, etc.

Keep your customers informed

Don't stop communicating once a customer makes a purchase. Post-sales experience plays a pivotal role in the success of your brand and in establishing premium customer support services.

Emails and SMS may help establish your communication with your end-users in the post-sales period. You can provide insightful information about how to maintain their product to increase longevity, reminders about upcoming servicing and warranty renewals, and any new product launch.

Benefits of a Good Customer Effort Score

Various businesses use the Customer Effort Metric due to its multiple advantages. They are as follows:

Higher Repurchase Rates

A high customer effort score is a reliable indicator of prospective purchasing behavior. In 2010, a Harvard Business Research survey found that 94% of customers who reported little effort indicated they would make another purchase, and 88% stated they would even increase their expenditure.

Similar findings are reported by Gartner, which notes that 4 percent of customers who experience high-effort interactions plan to repurchase, compared to 94 percent of customers who engage in low-effort interactions.

Promotes Employee Retention

An ideal CES can boost employee retention and reduce new employee induction costs and effort.

When service employees can provide excellent customer service, they feel much better, are more satisfied with their jobs, and tend to stay with the company for a long time. Their intention to stay in a company may rise by about 17%, which is also beneficial for the company.

Drawbacks of CES

CES also has some drawbacks. First, it doesn't provide comprehensive information about customer experience. It is solely focused on assessing a single process of customer interaction. As a result, you can never get a complete picture of the customer experience. To comprehend the entire scenario, you have to use it with two other metrics: Net Promoter Score and Customer Satisfaction Score.

Second, CES is only available if the customer fills the survey. If they ignore the questionnaire, it will be difficult for the company to gauge the level of satisfaction for that particular customer.

To conclude, one cannot know the exact reason for a bad customer effort score. You may see a score that is so poor that you are unable to evaluate the proper reason behind it and correct yourself. For that reason, you need to use other metrics and keep analyzing those reports to understand where your team is lacking. To learn more about the other customer service metrics click here.


The Customer Effort Score is an important metric that you can never ignore as it can predict your customers' purchasing behavior and indicate the possibility of customer referral. When the Customer Effort Score starts getting worse, try to investigate the reason behind it by using other metrics and direct communication with your customers. As you might have noticed, customers’ expectations and needs are constantly changing so you need to keep up with them and always offer innovative solutions.

If you want to improve your customer effort score, Layerise is the perfect solution for you. Layerise helps to bridge the gap between brands and their consumers and assists businesses in providing a heightened customer service experience.

Layerise provides exceptional self-service support, allowing end-users to solve problems independently, without engaging with helplines and waiting in the queue to speak to a customer support executive. This positively impacts the Customer Effort Score, making customers' lives easier.

To keep up with the challenges of every day, Layerise offers a unique blend of tools to enhance your customer experience, with data collection and marketing campaigns so you can forge ongoing relationships with customers and create continuous revenue streams. From the onboarding to the commercial expansion, Layerise can accompany your brand on the way to successful customer relationships!

If you want to learn more about how Layerise can help your business grow, book a free demo with us now!