Disloyal customers cost businesses billions. However, according to a former CEB Global study, the easiest way for your business to avoid losing customers is to ensure that interactions with your products and services are effortless. It is where a customer effort score survey comes in. It’s a single question in your customer experience survey that asks respondents to rate the difficulty of their interaction on a scale.
Businesses use several different survey types to understand their customers’ sentiments, but one that is gaining traction is the customer effort score (CES). CES is a single-item metric that asks respondents to rate how easy it was for them to interact with a business, usually on a scale of 1-5. The premise behind CES is that the more effort customers expend to interact with a brand, the less likely they are to return.
A high CES can cost your business dearly in terms of customer loyalty. Disloyal customers are expensive to keep, and they often speak negatively about your company or post negative reviews online. A customer effort score survey helps you identify areas where friction points occur so that you can reduce them to prevent future customer frustration.
Another benefit of a CES survey is that it provides a clear lens into your operational efficiencies and bottlenecks. It is peculiar and actionable and allows you to get a granular view into distinct areas of your business, such as how easy it is to file a support ticket or navigate your website.
However, a drawback of the CES metric is it needs more predictive power for long-term customer behavior. It focuses only on individual interactions and does not consider other factors that may impact a customer’s satisfaction, such as price competition or product quality.
Customer loyalty is a difficult concept to quantify. Still, a range of metrics enables businesses to measure and track the many factors that contribute to customer loyalty. Loyalty can be nurtured through various means, such as providing employees with the support and training they need to thrive in their roles and offering them an excellent work-life balance. It can also be achieved by ensuring customers experience consistent brand values and high service levels across all touchpoints.
Knowing your customers and building trust is essential to cultivating customer loyalty. The best way to do this is through a continuous feedback loop, which can be conducted through surveys or interviews. A constant feedback loop helps businesses identify improvement areas and act on these insights.
By implementing these changes, brands can build loyalty and encourage repeat business. Measuring customer effort is essential to measuring customer satisfaction (CSAT). A CSAT survey asks a single question about the overall experience and uses a simple rating scale to measure the level of satisfaction. However, a CES survey offers more detail about the specific pain points that customers might be experiencing.
Customer Effort Score (CES) surveys use a single question with a simple rating scale to gauge how easy or difficult customers found their most recent experience with a product, service, or company. The survey is often sent immediately following the interaction and can be delivered via email or text, on a web page, as a phone call, or even in person.
Ideally, the questions and Likert scale answer options are delivered while the experience remains fresh in the customer’s mind to improve completion rates. Unlike satisfaction-focused metrics, which are often measured on a 1-to-10 scale, CES is based on the belief that consumers move toward seamless and hassle-free experiences. Whether buying a product, returning, or seeking help from a frontline representative, companies that reduce the effort to get what they want are more likely to keep loyal customers.
Customer Effort Score data can help identify specific pain points and make improvements, such as shortening website checkouts or reducing the steps required to register new customers.
It can also reveal trends over time that can be used to anticipate what customers will want from future interactions. It may mean reducing wait times for telephone support or increasing staff availability during busy periods. Companies that regularly collect and act on this feedback can better meet customers’ expectations and grow their business.
The level of effort customers feel they’ve expended in interacting with your business correlates to their loyalty levels. Disloyal customers cost businesses billions of dollars annually. The good news is that reducing friction in fundamental interactions can dramatically impact customer loyalty and revenue. It is where CES surveys come in.
CES surveys are a straightforward, single-question metric that allows you to measure how difficult your consumers found it to interact with your brand based on a simple rating scale. By distributing them immediately post-interaction and regularly monitoring your CES data over time, you can pinpoint specific pain points and take steps to improve them.
The question that determines the CES score is: “How easy or difficult did you find it to do [insert task] with your company?” Survey respondents are asked to rank how hard or easy they felt they’d had to work to accomplish a particular task. They are then provided with answer options (e.g., Very Difficult – Neither Difficult nor Easy). You may also use an open-ended question to capture more qualitative feedback.
Typically, a CES survey is distributed in-product, embedded in a website page or mobile app, or sent out via email after a specific touchpoint along the customer journey. It ensures the experience is fresh in your customers’ minds and provides a better response rate than a more general satisfaction or loyalty questionnaire.