If you’ve been tracking your Customer Effort Score (CES), you’ve hopefully gained insights into ways to improve your customer relations. But if you’re also measuring Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), you’re probably wondering how important it is to track customer effort.
These KPIs have a place in your customer survey program because each tells a different story. Let’s talk about why caring for your entire customer journey should focus on your CES now and in the future.
Why measure CES?
Regardless of how awesome your product or service is, if your customers face significant friction when they need help with an issue or a request, they less likely to remain customers for long. In fact, a Gartner study found your customers are four times more likely to become disloyal to your brand if they have an unsatisfactory experience trying to resolve a problem or issue. On the flip side, your customers are almost 95% more likely to buy from you again after an easy resolution experience, one that requires low effort on their part.
Specifically, your CES should look at:
“[Your company] made it easy for me to handle my problem/request” on a scale from 1 to 5, with one being strongly disagreed and five being strongly agreed.
Wording can vary, but the intent is the same. You want to measure friction or customer effort in getting resolution.
So beyond the NPS and CSAT, monitoring your CES is important to tell you how well you resolve issues and problems for your customers. A high CES score helps you retain customers and create raving fans, which has a direct effect on your bottom line.
McKinsey’s research proves that attention to your customers’ journey pays off. Attending to CES and the rest of the customer experience results in a 10% to 15% increase in revenues. And reducing friction in your customer effort can decrease your costs to serve by almost 20%.
There’s much more evidence in the Gartner study that shows measuring and reducing customer effort boosts your revenues by producing a tangible return on investment (ROI). So the effort and expense you invest in surveying and analyzing your CES pays off in the end.
The value is in your customer feedback and data.
How does CES compare to CSAT?
Obviously, you want to track your customers’ satisfaction in both the short- and long-term because you must know you’re meeting or exceeding their expectations. The CES, on the other hand, helps you understand customers who need an answer or some help in navigating your customer service.
Part of a high-friction customer effort looks like:
- Re-explaining a problem to someone else
- Moving from a web or mobile experience to the phone
- Being transferred to one or more representatives
- Contacting your company several times over the same issue
You can probably envision how adding other steps in the resolution process increases the friction. Because the more your customers must spend time and effort, the less happy they are and the more likely they’ll leave with hard feelings—ones they’re very vocal about.
Advantages of a healthy CES
Many customers are more likely to punish bad service than they are to reward excellent service as evidenced in the studies above. But when you’re satisfactorily addressing how easy it is for your customers to get resolution, help, etc. (CES), you can expect:
- Better feedback that is actionable and specific. Your CES should show you quickly where you need improvement and how to streamline your customer experience.
- Future customer behavior predictions. The higher your CES scores, the more likely customers buy from you again. As shown above, Harvard Business Review reported that 94% of customers who reported “low effort” said they would buy again. And 88% of those customers said they’d probably spend more money.
- Feedback on retention. Your CES score tells you how likely your customers will remain loyal and refer others to your brand. This differs slightly from your NPS in that one rates your products and services at the front end (NPS) and the other rates your company at the back end through its resolution process (CES).
Is CES the only part of the customer journey you must survey and track? Absolutely not. Most experts agree you should track NPS, CSAT, and CES because it gives you a more holistic view of the customer journey than any singular one. You want to see how your customers think, feel, and respond at the point of ordering or buying, what they think about your product or service once received, and how easy it was to deal with your company if they had problems or issues that needed resolved.
Each survey your run, the NPS, CAST, or CES, shows you a different metric. But taken as a whole, these KPIs show you how customers experience your brand, product, or service from beginning to end. That’s important to know if you want to improve and boost your customer loyalty.