3 Best Practices for Writing the Perfect Customer Effort Score Question

Companies that measure their customer effort score (CES) and optimize their customer service team performance in response to this critical and timely customer service data on an ongoing basis have the potential to improve the customer experience, reduce costs, increase operational efficiencies, and drive repeat sales and long-term customer loyalty. 

It’s no wonder then that leading brands keep track of this KPI alongside other important measures, like customer satisfaction (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score (NPS). 

If you’re ready to understand your company’s customer effort score or take your approach to capturing CES to the next level, here are three easy but effective best practices for writing the perfect customer effort score question that you can put into immediate action.

3 Tips for Creating the Perfect Customer Effort Score Question

#1: Write your customer effort score question from the point of view of your customers

Customer effort score can be one of the most effective voice of the customer survey methods—when your brand measures your CES by directly asking your customers about their experiences, without attempting to evaluate customer effort from the internal company POV that is.

After all, customer effort isn’t about what you think the customer experience is like, but about what actual customers think the customer experience is like, based on their individual assessment.

#2: Phrase your customer effort score question the right way, using this template

To put tip #1 into practice, and evaluate your company’s CES from your customers’ perspective, be sure to collect responses using this customer effort score question template provided below, which can be adapted to mention a specific experience or agent by name.

How much do you agree or disagree with the following statement: [Name of company or name of agent] made it easy for me to handle my issue?


What is Customer Effort Score?

This template is what Stella Connect clients—which include worldwide leaders in customer experience, like, Choice Hotels, Quicken Loans, and more—use as the basis for their own CES questions. 

#3: Don’t forget to give your customers the freedom to provide more information and context, if desired

Customer effort scores provide a wealth of quantitative data about the perceived amount of work involved in interacting with your brand. You can take things a step further by giving customers the option to submit additional open-ended comments, if they want, which will enable you to add qualitative insights and context to this quantitative data you’re already capturing. 

This is a best practice for dealing with negative customer feedback in particular, as research shows that customers who have an upsetting experience are likely to tell up to 16 other people about what happened, versus customers who have a positive interaction may only tell up to nine other people about it.

By proactively asking about what happened—or what should have happened differently—in the moment, you’re not only giving your customers the opportunity to have their voice heard, you’re giving your people the chance to make things right, right away. 

Ready to Make Things Easier for Your Customers?

Completing transactions, using a company’s products and services, and getting help from customer services—these activities are all essential to the overall customer experience and ones companies must work to ensure are smooth, seamless, and easy to accomplish.

After all, no brand can stick around for very long if it’s too difficult for their customers to get their needs met.

That’s why today’s customer-centric organizations are prioritizing not only keeping track of CES, but finding ways to improve upon it, such as by making important changes to their customer service training programs, pairing CES ad QA audits together to offer real-time micro-coaching, and by introducing service recovery workflows that incorporate CES into the process to measure the impact of customer retention efforts on perceived effort. 

See for yourself how leading service-focused brands and Stella Connect clients like Mercedes-Benz, Postmates, and Sam’s Club have achieved gains in CES, CSAT, and more using our real-time customer feedback, QA, and coaching solutions to maximize both customer service delivery and performance. Schedule your Stella Connect demo today.