Ways to Raise Your Customer Effort Score

It is more important than ever for a company to improve its customer experience. Poor customer experience can lead to high customer churn and lower sales.  One way to improve the customer experience is by analyzing and improving the customer effort score. 

Not sure what that is exactly? Let’s take a look at what the customer effort score is, how it can impact your business and 5 ways you can improve it.

What is a Customer Effort Score?

A concept created by Gartner in 2010, the customer effort score (CES) refers to a metric used to measure the amount of effort that customers need to exert when interacting with a brand. This might refer to the effort of finding what they need, of the purchasing process or simply putting an item in their cart.

The idea is that the more effort that a customer has to exert to continue to be a customer with your brand, the harder that relationship will be.

The impact a good CES can have on business

The CES was implemented as a way of improving a business-to-customer (B2C) relationship. By reducing the amount of effort a customer must make to interact with a brand, then the customer is more likely to return to the business.

Having a good CES means that shopping with you is easy-peasy. Better experiences minimize the chances of your customers being annoyed at your brand. It also increases the likelihood of these customer’s experiences.

Whether you realize it or not, a good CES can improve recurring revenue and brand loyalty.

The importance of your CES

The CES is extremely important because it gives you insight into the business relationship. By improving this score, it tells your consumers that you care about their time and effort. An improved CES means that the company does not want its customers to work too hard to make a purchase.

Some brands might look at other metrics around customer mood, like the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT). However, these metrics are inconsistent. Actually, consumers can be satisfied or very satisfied with your business and still end up leaving.

The CES can tell more about how your customers feel about your brand. They might be satisfied with aspects of your business, like the product and the pricing, but they might not think that the amount of effort they expend would matter.

Analyzing your CES can anticipate potential problems and stop high churn rates.

When to use Customer Effort Score

Here are some specific situations where CES can be particularly helpful:

  • After a customer service interaction: Following a support call or chat session, asking the customer to rate their experience in terms of effort can help the company identify areas for improvement in their support process.
  • After a transaction: If a customer has just made a purchase or completed an action (such as filling out a form), asking them to rate the ease of the process can provide valuable feedback on the user experience of the company’s website or app.
  • During a customer journey: Tracking CES throughout a customer journey (e.g., from initial awareness to purchase) can help companies identify pain points and opportunities for improvement in their customer experience.

Overall, CES can be a useful tool for any company that wants to prioritize ease-of-use and customer satisfaction.

5 Easy Tips for Improving your CES

Improving your CES is simple and can go a long way to increasing customer retention and creating a positive experience. 

#1. Assess your transaction experience

The experience of making a transaction can be extremely taxing for your customers. If you haven’t gone through a purchase as if you were a new customer in a while, then optimizing the checkout experience can help you to identify points of frustration.

Maybe your payment processing glitches on certain browsers or your customers have to click through 10 times from product page to sale. There may be things that occur during this transaction experience that are adding effort. Assess this experience and minimize the issues.

#2. Implement customer support tech, like AI-powered tools, for convenience and simple solutions

Customers need to approach your business for support. If your customers are continually getting bounced around between customer service agents or their call is not being responded to in a timely manner, something needs to change.

AI-powered tools can streamline this process so that your customers are getting addressed faster. Implementing an AI chatbot means that they are getting immediate feedback, and this should speed up the customer support process.

#3. Offer self-service options, like an FAQ

Self-serve options give customers the chance to solve issues independently. One of the easiest ways to do this is by adding an FAQ to your page. A simple and easy-to-follow FAQ might solve consumer problems or give them better insight when consulting your team.

#4. Provide methods for them to give feedback

Customers are never forced to respond to feedback questionnaires. Therefore, implementing one will give those who want to give feedback a chance to do so without connecting with your call center.

Send out surveys through email marketing or have a quick web survey pop up after their transaction. This can help you measure CES and find hidden frustrations.

#5. Pull actionable insight from consumer feedback

Once you receive customer feedback, you need to implement it. This shows your consumers that you are available and willing to improve their experience with your brand.

Organize your feedback into categories with labels. Then, start to implement this feedback immediately.

Raise your customer effort score to improve retention

By reducing the amount of effort on the customer’s behalf, you can improve the customer experience and make them happier. This might, in turn, encourage them to continue shopping with your brand.