When it comes to customer experience (CX), measuring the effort of a customer is just as important as monitoring other core metrics such as net promoter score (NPS) and customer satisfaction (CSAT).
Customer effort score (CES) is a metric that indicates the level of effort for customers to complete a desired action. It can range from a variety of actions including creating an account, making a purchase, interacting with a customer service team for assistance, and many more. Everywhere in the customer journey, customers will express a certain level of effort and your brand needs to make every action as effortless as possible.
In The Effortless Experience, research found that 94% of consumers who have low-effort experiences say they will purchase again from the same brand. High-effort experiences, meanwhile, drive down CSAT and make frustrated customers think twice before spending their hard-earned money on your brand again.
As a metric that tracks customer behavior, CES directly correlates to customer loyalty and the likelihood of a customer deciding to purchase from a brand for the first time or as a repeat customer.
Here’s why you need to start measuring customer effort score today.
3 Reasons to Measure Customer Effort Score
#1: Identify & Resolve Operational Inefficiencies
Easily identify issues in your business’ processes causing customers difficulty making a purchase or getting support for help, for instance.
By measuring customer effort score, you may find that customers take longer than usual to make purchases due to a cumbersome checkout system or unexpected website errors. Knowing this information, you’re able to act quickly so the same issues don’t continue to affect your brand’s reputation and, more importantly, future sales.
CX depends on overall customer service performance, and having an understanding of customers’ needs and wants can impact the resources necessary to provide excellent service. Successful brands focus on continuously building relationships with their customers — yet this is only possible with a deep understanding of how customers actually experience a brand, including when they’re interacting with your customer service team.
Operational inefficiencies don’t always surface immediately and clearly, but CES sourced from survey responses pinpoints if your brand offers seamless experiences and where improvements can be made. You just need to ask the right questions in your surveys throughout the customer journey.
#2: Optimize Customer Service Interactions to Boost CSAT
Measure how well interactions between customer service representatives and customers go by looking at customer effort. For example, you may find out through CES that many customer complaints occur because of overzealous agents pushing products or services onto new customers who aren’t quite ready to purchase. Instead, they’re just looking for information prior to completing an initial or repeat purchase to feel confident in their decision.
If you’re not measuring CES, you won’t be able to see how well your customer service interactions are going or what can be improved. Also, if you don’t have a baseline measurement for all customer interactions, you’ll never know where to start when it comes to improving agents’ skills through coaching.
Customer service involves more than just answering a call or responding to a message, of course. Agents spend the majority of their time on the phone with customers or chatting with them all in an effort to foster long-lasting relationships with customers. The way you train agents impacts how they speak and engage with customers on a daily basis, hence why it’s important to see if they’re increasing or decreasing the effort required by customers.
CSAT trends in the opposite direction of CES in that, as customer effort rises, customers don’t feel satisfied because they couldn’t easily complete a desired action. And as you know, CSAT often determines if a customer will come back to your brand or turn to the competition.
#3: Increase Customer Loyalty While Decreasing Costs
Customers who feel like they aren’t receiving outstanding experiences will likely choose another brand in the future if it offers similar products or services without all of the hassle.
Based on our Customer Service Trends for 2021 report, 64% of consumers say they’d stop doing business with a brand after just two or three bad experiences — without customer loyalty, your costs are bound to increase significantly as you work harder to acquire and retain customers.
Reduce costs associated with customer retention such as advertising campaigns meant to build awareness or encourage repeat purchases by prioritizing customer loyalty from the start. CES tells you just how easy or difficult it is to engage with your brand, and if you realize it’s too difficult, don’t default to spending more on advertising campaigns but rather focus on what’s resulting in this high level of effort. Maybe your website isn’t easy to navigate, or perhaps agents lack product knowledge to answer questions effectively.
Customer loyalty is a critical indicator of success for any business. Ensuring that your customers are satisfied with the way they experience your brand will go a long way in ensuring that you retain them for future revenue. In addition, this also makes customers more likely to refer your brand to others — whether by word-of-mouth or an online review.
Get Started with a Tool to Analyze Customer Service Metrics
Customer effort score reveals a customer’s willingness to exert effort to achieve an outcome, measuring their perception and satisfaction with the experience they had. When it comes to improving customer experience, CES is a metric that you use in order to not only figure out what’s wrong but also which actions will result in desirable changes.
To improve customer effort score, you’ll need to know what today’s current level of effort is. Collect data from past interactions and set goals for the future.
Stella Connect combines everything you need to measure and reduce customer effort. In a single platform, you’re able to collect real-time customer feedback, make QA actionable, and coach agents in the moment to understand what customer effort for your brand looks like today and how it can improve tomorrow using key insights.