Customer loyalty is often a major objective within Customer Experience. You can analyze loyal behaviour, for example from your sales figures or your CRM system. How do you find out about the customer’s experience with your organisation and how does this experience influence the intrinsic conviction (from the heart) and the loyal behaviour of the customer?

To find out, engage with your customer and ask questions to get to know your customer better. Besides the recommendation question in the form of the Net Promoter Score, there are more interesting aspects that affect your customer’s loyalty. The Customer Effort Score is one example.

Customer Effort Score (CES)

The Customer Effort Score (CES) is a customer-centric KPI that tells you something about your customer’s experience. This mainly revolves around the extent to which your organisation is able to answer customer questions.

The CES is a measurement tool developed by three people: Matthew Dixon, Karen Freeman, and Nicholas Toman of The Corporate Executive Board. The CES is expressed as a number and shows how much effort the customer put into getting a question or problem solved. Or more generally: to be helped. Within CES, one question is central, that of the customer’s perceived effort to get the problem solved.

The central question

The central question is, “How much effort did you have to make to get your question or request handled?”

The result

The result is shown as an absolute score, not a percentage, and this score is between -100 and +100. In short, the higher the CES, the less effort customers have had to put in to get help. The CES has a strong predictive value aimed at the future (repeat) purchasing behaviour of the customer. A three-year study from Harvard* of more than 75,000 B2C and B2B customers about their recent experiences with service inquiries across non-face-to-face channels such as phone, chat, online and email shows that:

  • 94% of respondents who indicated that they experienced little difficulty intend to remain a customer and make a repeat purchase
  • 88% of this group indicate that they will also spend more
  • Only 1% of this group indicated that they speak negatively about the organisation in question

In comparison, of the customers who experienced more difficulty when answering a CES question, 81% said they were negative about the organisation in question.

Measuring CES with CYS

With our software, you can measure and improve CES. Setting up your own survey is very easy with the intuitive questionnaire tool. View all features here.

*Harvard Business Review, 2010, Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers by Matthew Dixon, Karen Freeman, and Nicholas Toman

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