CES (Customer Effort Score): how much effort does the customer have to put in?
What does CES mean? The Customer Effort Score is a customer-centric KPI that measures experience and amount of effort. After all, customers don’t want to go to too much trouble to make a purchase or get a question or problem solved. CES reflects the customer’s encountered effort and measures you with the demand:
‘How much effort did you have to make to get your question fully answered / to complete your purchase of product x?’
Respondents answered the CES question on a scale of 1 (very much difficulty) to 5 (very little difficulty). The calculation of CES, like the Net Promoter Score (NPS), works with an absolute score. To calculate the score, take the percentage of score 5 (very little difficulty) plus the percentage of score 4 (little difficulty). From this total score, the summed percentages of score 2 (much difficulty) and score 1 (very much difficulty) are subtracted. Thus, the final CES score can be between -100 and +100.
Convenience serves man. Making as little effort as possible is what makes customers happy. And you won’t really know what does or doesn’t bother clients until you ask them. Organizations often overlook a crucial point: convenience. Customers are not necessarily loyal because the service was excellent rather than normal. The ease with which customers received service has a much greater impact on loyalty.
CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score): customer satisfaction.
In addition to the NPS and CES scores, the Customer Satisfaction Score is also a customer experience KPI. The CSAT reflects satisfaction. This, unlike the other KPIs, is not measured as an absolute score. CSAT is a number and can be compared to a report grade. The customer is asked to assign a rating in the form of a number on a scale of 1 to 10. You apply CSAT particularly when a recommendation question is not appropriate, think government or healthcare institutions.
Whereas NPS focuses on the long-term such as customer loyalty, CSAT measures short-term satisfaction after a given touchpoint. It answers the question:
‘How satisfied are you with product x / handling of your question x?’
What do CES and CSAT provide?
Convenience score (CES) and satisfaction rating (CSAT) are a part of valuable customer feedback (Voice of the Customer). Thus, the Customer Effort Score has a strong predictive value on the customer’s future purchase behavior such as a repeat purchase or increased spending. The less effort, the greater the intention to remain a customer and the less negative comments about the organization in question.
For employees, a CES or CSAT is significant and easily traceable to, for example, the Customer Journey or a timeline. At what point did it become less attractive to the customer and/or required more effort. This simplicity makes it immediately understandable to employees how they themselves can contribute to a better score, namely by making it easier for the customer. Research, analyze and remove (sometimes literally) the barriers that hinder your customers.
After all, customers are the heart of the organization that you want to serve to your full satisfaction. And that’s not the same as saying, “The customer is king! Take customer feedback seriously and listen to the story behind the score. In many organizations, measuring the Voice of the Customer stops at focusing on the number, when in fact the feedback from the open and follow-up answers are important. You will find out what is going well in the organization and where there are areas for improvement. Read about the importance of the Voice of the Customer for organizations in the next blog.
The use of multiple customer-centric KPIs
In practice, we see that the deployment of Customer Experience