Did you know that 74 percent of modern-day consumers are likely to switch brands when subjected to a complicated customer journey?
Well, consumers today are looking for convenience and they return the favor by being loyal to the brand, validating customer satisfaction. Obviously this is great for business, as it helps increase the overall lifetime value of a customer.
But how can you know if your well-optimized buyer journey is working for your target audience? That’s precisely where Customer Effort Score surveys come to the rescue.
With a Customer Effort Score (CES), brands can make informed decisions about the customer journey, optimize it with effect, serve their customers better, and increase customer loyalty.
In this post, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of the Customer Effort Score and its benefits, and share a complete guide on how to create, distribute, and evaluate CES surveys.
So let’s cut to the chase and dive right in!
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What is a Customer Effort Score (CES)?
Customer Effort Score, or CES, is essentially a performance metric that helps brands evaluate the impact of efforts they put into improving customer experience.
We may also refer to it as one of the crucial customer experience metrics that allow companies to realize the amount of effort customers have to put in just to stay with the buyer journey.
In other words, CES shows whether or not customers are having an effortless experience when completing a transaction, resolving a support issue, or simply interacting with your products and services.
But, how do you calculate your CES score? Generally, companies design and distribute CES surveys to their customers to receive a score on a 1-7 rating scale, following the customer effort score benchmark.
Why measuring Customer Effort Score?
There are several reasons businesses double down on conducting CES surveys. Here are a few advantages of measuring Customer Effort Score.
- CES reflects and helps predict future purchase behavior and customer loyalty.
- CES gives meaningful insights into the future, especially regarding changing customer behavior.
- An improved Customer Effort Score can boost your customer referral strategies.
- Customers who undergo low effort experience services are likely to make more purchases and even increase their spending.
What is a Customer Effort Score survey?
Now that you understand the importance of the Customer Effort Score, it’s time we move forward and figure out the medium through which companies can generate the score.
What you are looking for here is a CES survey that contains the Customer Effort Score questions which customers answer to help brands evaluate the “convenience factor” of their buyer journey.
Indeed, you can use the CES survey to evaluate different aspects of your business. But, most CES surveys will easily help evaluate —
- The ease of doing business with the brand.
- The ease of getting answers to resolve an issue through customer support.
- The overall effectiveness and helpfulness of customer support.
- The ease of finding answers and information across your online presence.
- Lastly, the ease of making a successful purchase or appointment.
In the following sections, we will discuss CES surveys from inside and out. So stay with us till the very end!
How to create CES surveys?
Most Customer Effort Score surveys are quite straightforward. This is because they have one primary or mandatory question for customers to answer.
However, we suggest you follow a different approach and focus more on the “why” behind the score. In other words, allow customers to tell the reason behind the score.
This tactic can be easily executed through follow-up questions, which you might have seen in Net Promoter Score surveys or Net Promoter System. The “why” behind the score makes it much easier to evaluate the score and make it actionable.
Here are a few things you should consider when developing your CES surveys.
1. Addressing the customer as a brand
You can ask questions to customers from different standpoints, one of which is asking questions as a brand. In this, you can simply replace the words “The Company” with your company name to make the survey more personal.
For example, you can ask:
To what extent do you agree with the following statement: “The Company” made it easier for me to make a purchase/ find information/ resolve an issue.
2. Addressing the customer as an employee
Next, you may also ask questions to customers from the standpoint of an employee. Here, you simply want to capture feedback regarding the recent interaction a customer had with an employee in your organization, most probably a customer support rep.
In this, we suggest you replace “The Company” with the individual or employee you want to collect feedback about.
For example, you can ask:
To what extent do you agree with the following statement: “Customer Support Rep Name” made it easier for me to make a purchase/ find information/ resolve an issue.
3. White-labeling the surveys
Regardless of the standpoints, we suggest you add your company’s logo or brand identity to the survey window while customers are filling out the CES survey.
4. Adding follow-up customer effort score question
We discussed how adding follow-up questions to the CES surveys makes more sense. It’s time you do precisely that.
However, make sure the follow-up questions are logic-based. In other words, you should be looking for more specific answers through the follow-up questions.
For example, a post-purchase follow-up question to a high-effort response can be a multiple choice question:
What can The Company do to make the purchase experience more convenient?
- Easier navigation
- Easier check-out process
- Better product descriptions
- Better pricing
- More billing options
5. Improving the survey’s CX
How can you improve the customers’ experience of filling out the CES survey? One of the simplest ways to do that is to make it easier for them to understand the survey. This you can do by making the survey multilingual.
Moreover, make sure the survey has standard font and proper color contrast.
How and when to distribute CES surveys?
CES surveys work when you distribute them at online/offline avenues where your target audience is already present. Distributing CES surveys is no rocket science and should be strictly customer-centric to ensure maximum response rate.
Therefore, figure out where your target audience is and only then begin sending the surveys out. Here are the instances when you should be distributing CES surveys.
1. Customer onboarding
CES surveys are highly recommended for B2B companies that want to improve their customer onboarding process. This is important because onboarding is essentially the first step post-sale.
If you are a company that requires training or a little set-up, you should use the CES surveys to make sure customers are fully capable of using your products.
The idea is to make customer onboarding quick, effective, and convenient — leading to increased customer loyalty.
Recommended CES surveys: Email surveys, surveys within the product.
2. Measuring the ease of transaction
Whenever someone makes an online purchase on your website, you should rush to deliver a CES survey to get customer feedback. This is because the customer has just completed the purchase and still has the customer experience fresh in their mind.
A quick CES survey with 1-2 questions will get the job done. We suggest you share the CES survey while customers are still on your website.
Recommended CES surveys: Web Popover surveys, email surveys, SMS surveys.
3. Measuring interaction with a customer service team
CES surveys are also effective when delivered just after customers end their interaction with customer support.
Measure the effectiveness of the interaction through the surveys by asking customers about the time they spent with the customer support executive and whether or not the issue was resolved.
This can be done by integrating the CES software with the helpdesk. This ensures that you trigger CES surveys whenever a ticket is closed.
Recommended CES surveys: Email surveys, SMS surveys.
4. Measuring experience at helpdesk
Customer interaction doesn’t always happen online. What if you own a brick-and-mortar store? You should look forward to conducting CES surveys inside the store as prospects become customers, and more importantly when they don’t convert.
- The in-customers can be surveyed through a tablet or by setting up a quick kiosk service where customers can leave instant feedback about the real-time customer experience.
- The out-customers or customers that didn’t convert can be surveyed through website customer feedback or email surveys.
How do analyse CES survey results?
Customer Effort Score calculation depends entirely on the type of scale you will use in the surveys. Here are different types of scales businesses use in their CES surveys.
1. Numbered poll
In this, we focus on the average response. This can be calculated by adding all the responses together and dividing the sum by the total number of survey responses. A high average score will mean low effort required.
2. Likert scale
On the Likert scale, customers will rate the experience on a scale of 1 to 7. Again, you will calculate the average response. The lower the average of the Likert scale, the worse the CES or high effort.
You may also use happy/unhappy emoticons to calculate the CES. With these you can calculate the percentage of customers that choose the happy emoticon and put it against the percentage of customers that choose the unhappy emoticon.
Simple and effective!
Now that you know everything about CES surveys, what’s the ultimate thing that all brands should do without skipping a beat? It’s to take action!
Just measuring the Customer Effort Scores won’t cut it. You will have to evaluate the customer feedback and apply the results to successfully close the feedback loop and, more importantly, ensure low effort.
The focus should entirely be on continuously ensuring customer satisfaction by reducing the effort it takes for your target audience to interact with your products, services, and more importantly, the purchasing process.
Did you find this post helpful? Let us know in the comments. Also, don’t forget to check out other informative posts on the blog!