CES (Customer Effort Score) and CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score) are both customer experience metrics used to measure customer satisfaction, but they also differ in their approach and focus.
✅ What does it mean? 🤔
Measures the effort a customer had to put in to resolve an issue or achieve a goal.
Measures customer satisfaction after they try out a feature or perform an action on your product
✅ Type of indicator 📈
✅ How is it measured? 🧮
CES is typically measured using a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10, with a low score indicating low effort and a high score indicating high effort.
Here’s an example of CES 👇🏼
”On a scale of 1 to 10, how much effort did you put forth to use this feature in our product?”
Lower scores indicate a more effortless experience, while higher scores suggest that customers had to exert more effort to accomplish their goals.
CSAT is typically measured using a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10, with a high score indicating high satisfaction and a low score indicating low satisfaction.
Here’s an example of CSAT 👇🏼
"On a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied are you with this feature?"
The response options typically range from
1 → Very dissatisfied
5 → Very satisfied
Higher scores indicate greater satisfaction with a feature or interaction, while lower scores implies lower levels of satisfaction.
✅ Focused On 👀
Getting an understanding of the effort required over a single feature or a single customer interaction in your product.
Getting feedback or satisfaction over a single feature or interaction in your product.
✅ Level Of Specificity 🔭
It can be very specific on a certain action or feature of your product.
It can be incredibly specific on a certain action or feature on your product.
✅ What does it fundamentally measure? 🚀
How easy is it to use?
Did it meet customer expectations?
How do you measure Customer Effort Score? 🧮
Customer Effort Score (CES) is measured by asking customers to rate their effort on a scale of 1 to 5. This could be about a particular task or about resolving an issue with your product.
We’ve broken down the 6 fundamental steps to measure CES 👇🏼
1. Identify the interaction to be measured 🤔
Determine the specific interaction or feature in your product that you want to measure the customer effort for. This could be a customer service call, a purchase flow, or a valuable feature.
2. Create a CES survey ✅
Create a short survey asking customers to rate how much effort they had to put in to accomplish the task or resolve the issue. The survey should be easy to understand and take no more than a few minutes to complete.
Some sample questions could be
On a scale of 1 to 5, how easy was it to accomplish your goal today?
On a scale of 1 to 5, how much effort did you have to put in to accomplish your goal?
On a scale of 1 to 5, how much effort did you have to put to use this feature?
On a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied are you with the level of effort required to complete your transaction?
Would you say that resolving your issue or accomplishing your goal was a quick process?
Overall, how easy was it to interact with our company today?
3. Determine the rating scale ⚖️
Use a rating scale of 1 to 5, with
1 → indicating that the task required very little effort 🥵
5 → indicating that it required a lot of effort 😄
4. Distribute the survey 📤
Send the survey to customers who have recently interacted with the product and or the specific feature you want to measure. This could be done via email, phone, or push notifications inside your product.
5. Calculate the CES score 🧮
Calculate the average score by adding up all the responses and dividing by the number of respondents.
A lower score indicates that customers had to exert less effort to accomplish the task or resolve the issue,
While a higher score indicates that customers found the experience hard and had to spend a ton of effort.
6. Analyze the results 🤞🏼
Analyze the results to identify areas where you can improve customer experience and reduce customer effort. Doubling down on them will lead to higher CSAT and NPS scores 🚀
What are the different ways to measure CES?
There are different ways to visually represent a CES scale to your customers. We’ve listed the three common ones below
1. Likert Scale 💪🏼
It consists of a series of statements or questions that respondents are asked to rate on a scale of agreement or disagreement, with 5 to 7 response options ranging from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree.”
For example, a survey may ask respondents to rate their level of agreement with the following statement using a Likert scale:
"Using this feature in your product was extremely easy"
Neither Agree nor Disagree
The responses are typically assigned numerical values that can be used to calculate a mean or average score for each question, allowing researchers to analyze and interpret the data.
2. Numbered Scales 🔢
Traditional Likert scales are commonly used for measuring attitudes and opinions, while Customer Effort Score (CES) surveys often use a numbered scale to measure customer effort.
The scale typically ranges from 1 to 5 or 1 to 7, with 1 indicating that the task required a lot of effort and 5 or 7 indicating that it required very little effort.
Here’s an example of a numbered scale that can be used for your CES survey 👇🏼
How much effort did you have to put forth to resolve your issue today?
1 - A lot of effort
2 - Some effort
3 - Neutral or moderate effort
4 - Little effort
5 - No effort at all
3. Emoticons 👿
This can be incredibly useful if you’re running a bunch of CES loops on your product and need to reduce cognitive load. Instead of using numbers or words, use themed emojis to convey the message. Here’s an example 👇🏼
😋 - No effort at all
😃 - Some effort
😶 - Neutral or moderate effort
😢 - Little effort
😭 - No effort at all
The tricky part with emoticons is getting the right emojis to convey the meaning. It also depends on your ICPs, since some users might not be used with emojis in the first place.
Why should you measure CES?
1. Predicts customer loyalty 🫂
Reducing customer effort can increase loyalty and repurchase rates. CES can help you identify areas where customers are experiencing high effort and take steps to reduce that effort, which leads to a better product experience. Reducing customer effort in a bunch of places eventually leads to an incredible product
If customers had to choose between two products that did the same thing, they’ll always choose the one with the lowest effort to get the job done 💪🏼.
2. Identify pain points ✅
CES can help you identify specific pain points in the customer journey. By understanding where customers are experiencing the most effort, you can prioritize improvements and make changes that will have the greatest impact on CSAT scores.
3. Provides actionable feedback 🧗🏼♀️
CES is a leading metric that can help you predict the NPS of your product. It provides actionable feedback that you can use to improve the customer experience. By rating their effort on specific tasks or interactions, you can identify areas where you need to make changes and take immediate action to address concerns. By applying this feedback, you will see NPS scores go higher in the future.
What are the different places to measure Customer Effort Score (CES)?
1. After a customer service interaction 👩🏼💼
Measuring CES after your customer has had an interaction with the customer service executive can help you identify the amount of effort it took to resolve it.
If it took a lot of effort, you can double down on
→ Customer Education
→ Training for your support executives.
2. After a purchase in your product 🏦
Measuring CES after purchase can help you identify areas where there’s difficulty with the purchase process, such as with the checkout screen or when adding a delivery address.
3. After a feature usage 🪚
Right after a customer has used one of your features, CES can help you identify areas where the feature may be causing frustration or confusion.
4. After a product installation 💾
Measuring CES right after your product installation can help you identify how the product was hard to install. It’ll allow you to improve the overall user experience.
What are the pros & cons of the Customer Effort Score? 💪🏼
Customer Effort Score (CES) is a valuable metric for measuring the customer experience, but like any metric, it has its pros and cons. Here are some from the top of our mind 👇🏼
Pros of Customer Effort Score 🕺🏼
✅ Predicts Customer Loyalty
Reducing customer effort can increase loyalty and repurchase rates, making CES a valuable predictor of customer loyalty.
✅ Provides Comparative Data For Standardisation
CES provides a standardized metric that can be compared across different customer interactions or touchpoints. It allows you to create benchmarks while also compare your effort scores with industry standards.
Cons of Customer Effort Score 🤸🏼
✅ Limited Overview Of Entire Customer Experience
CES is focused on measuring customer effort, which may not provide a comprehensive view of the overall customer experience. You may need to supplement CES with other metrics like CSAT to get a complete picture of the customer experience.
✅ Lack Of Context
CES surveys may not provide enough context to fully understand the reasons behind your customer's rating. Follow-up questions or open-ended feedback may be necessary to gain a deeper understanding of the customer's experience.
✅ Limited Industry Benchmarking 🔮
While CES provides a standardized metric, benchmarking can be difficult because the score can vary based on the specific industry or touchpoint being measured.
P.S: If you loved reading about this growth metric, you will find this list of 23 growth metrics incredibly helpful 💪🏼