Satisfied customers are more loyal, buy more and add significantly to the company’s revenue. Customer satisfaction is therefore a very important domain in marketing and self assessment of a company. Gauging it tells the concerned company how well its product or service fared in the consumer market. Studies suggest that customers who are satisfied with a company’s product are more likely to spread a good word about it. This increases the probability of their immediate circle buying the company’s products as they hold a good perception of the company.  Furthermore, satisfied customers are more likely to return to the same company for repeat purchase. There are many indicators of customer satisfaction. Customer Effort Score is one of them. It is a type of customer satisfaction metric that measures the experience of a customer with a company. It examines the ease with which the customers were able to have their issue resolved successfully or complete an action. Customer Effort Score focuses on creating an "effortless experience". Further, the nature of the Customer Effort Score survey is oriented towards problem handling in a self-service environment. Even though the environment is self service type, the company must aim at reducing customer effort for their own advantage.

Benefits of Customer Effort Score

Increase in customer effort diminishes customer experience which translates into a decreased customer satisfaction. This will eventually decrease customer retention and loyalty. Needless to say, a dissatisfied customer will not be a promoter or brand ambassador.  Having loyal customers, brand promoters and customer retention is on the checklist of every business owner. Since Customer Effort Score provides all this, it is a desirable measure. It has other benefits as well.
  • Many a times, measuring Customer Effort Score has proved to be better at predicting the probability of retention as well as rate of repurchase of customers of than simply measuring customer satisfaction directly.
  • It is also a better indicator customer loyalty.  One can also infer that rather than wowing their customers, it is more desirable for companies to reduce their 'Customer Effort' to increase customer loyalty.
  • Due to the factors stated above, this metric is more reliable.
  • It also measures the efficacy of the internal teams of the company.
  • Both customer success teams and product teams can use the scores and work on it.
  • Great for collecting real-time feedback.
  • It provides meaningful insights into the customer experience.

How to measure Customer Effort Score

1. Customer Effort Score Question

Simply put, customer effort score measures a customer’s perception of how easy (or difficult) a company made it for them to complete some action. To access Customer Effort Score, companies try to ask the same question in a discrete manner. The authorities may ask simple questions like

"How much effort did you personally have to put forth to resolve your issue?".

“How easy was it to deal with our company today?”

Or, “How easy was it to get the help you wanted today?

Specific wording of the CES survey can vary depending on the context or nature of the concerned company.

2. Rating

After asking the question, respondents are provided with options. The authorities can assign a number or score with each response. For instance:

Strongly Agree – 5

Agree – 4

Neutral – 3

Disagree – 2

Strongly Disagree – 1

3. Calculation

The authorities calculating the score can take the average number of respondents who agree as well as strongly agree and subtract it with the average number of respondents who disagree as well as strongly disagree and decide it with the total number of respondents. The number achieved can be represented with a percentage sign, this is the score.

They can also add the scores assigned with the responses as given by the customers. The result is divided with the total number of respondents. The number achieved can be represented with a percentage sign. This is the score.

4. Reading the scores

After calculating the Customer Effort Score from the feedback of the respondents, the company can access the convenience of its services. If the scores are high, the concerned organization is making things convenient for the customers. On the other hand, a low average indicates that the company needs to improve the services it provides its customers.

The authorities can use the same rating in this segment as well. This will further add to the convenience of reading the scores.

Strongly Agree – 5

Agree – 4

Neutral – 3

Disagree – 2

Strongly Disagree – 1

The authorities can check the average scores first (which will be between 1-5) and then fill this sentence. ‘On a scale of 1 to 5, I _____ (average score) that it was convenient to get my work done in this company’.

High Customer Effort Score according to this scale would mean -

a. Positive word of mouth

b. High repurchase rates

c. (Eventually) Increase in customer loyalty

d. Higher-quality interactions

e. Reduced costs

f. Increased employee retention

Vice versa is true for low Customer Effort Score.


  • This metric is indicative of only whether customers find it difficult to use a service or not. Why are they facing the difficulty or what are those difficulties in the first place remains unanswered.
  • The impact of factors like the cost, competitors or product quality is not taken into consideration.
  • Also, CES surveys only refer to a specific event or circumstance instigated by the customer.
  • This scoring model limits itself to customer service and not on the overall business.
Companies measure customer effort along with other customer success metrics. For example, Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score (NPS). This is because it measures only one domain of customer satisfaction. It asks customers only 'how easy it was to get a job done'. Neither does it ask why the customer faced the problem, nor does it ask how for suggestions or any other considerable feedback. Therefore, the concerned authorities must supplement it with other customer satisfaction surveys.

When to Use Customer Effort Score

Customer Effort Score is the kind of survey that is implemented after a customer completes a transaction with the respective company or organization.
  1. Immediately after an interaction with a product that led to a purchase or subscription.
  2. Immediately after an interaction with customer service.
  3. To measure the aggregate experience a customer had with a product or brand in general.

Posted in Analytics, Customer Feedback, Customer Satisfaction, Surveys

Tagged customer effort score, customer effort score calculation, customer feedback, customer feedback online, customer feedback online survey, customer feedback survey, customer feedback system, customer satisfaction, online customer survey response