Customer Effort Score (CES)


Customer effort score (CES) measures the amount of effort that a customer use in order to interact with your business. The measurement can be used to measure the sales process, customer service, or the effort it takes to use a product or service.

Customer effort score is generally gathered through a survey tool (similar to Net Promoter Score or Customer Satisfaction), though the question asked is centered around ease of use.

How is CES Calculated?

CES calculation typically involves a simple survey question. Customers are asked to provide a score between 1 and 5 (or 1 and 7) in response to the statement “The company made it easy for me to handle my issue.”

For instance:

  • To what extend to do you agree or disagree with this statement:
    Acme Inc. made it easy to solve my issue
    1 (Strongly disagree) 2 3 4 5 6 7 (Strongly agree)

In which a customer would choose a number from 1-7 that mirrors their sentiment.

The scores given are then averaged together to provide a single number that reflects the customer effort score.

Where did CES Originate?

It is believed that CES grew in popularity in 2010 after a popular Harvard Business Review article discussed it at length. The first use of the CES score was by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) around ten years ago. It was initially designed to measure customer satisfaction with customer service interactions. Today, CES is used to measure the effort required to make purchases, receive service, or interact with a brand throughout the entire customer experience.

How can marketers and CX professionals use CES to measure customer experience?

Marketers and CX professionals can use CES to obtain important insights into the customer experience. By measuring the effort required from customers, businesses can identify areas of friction and work to improve them. Using CES helps businesses fix issues in real-time to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction.

Measuring the customer experience is incredibly important, as it can better inform your marketing efforts and allow you to boost engagement and retention. Customer Effort Score (CES) is a valuable and straightforward metric that allows marketers and CX professionals to track interaction with customers. This insight can help create a better experience, as it identifies key areas for improvement and ensures that your customer experience is both efficient and engaging.