Positive customer effort scores indicate your product or service is user-friendly and well designed. This will set a standard for product management teams to match when upgrading or developing a new product. Marketing and sales teams can also use these scores as a differentiator when attracting and engaging leads.
Negative responses alert your customer service and product management teams to roadblocks in the customer experience. If possible, you should follow up with these customers to learn more about their interaction with your product or service. You'll obtain valuable customer feedback and potentially prevent churn.
Customer effort scores provide your company with insights into product usability and customer satisfaction. But, before rolling out your first CES survey, you should be aware of this metric's advantages and limitations.
Customer Effort Score Pros and Cons
As with any data collection methodology, there are pros and cons to Customer Effort Score.
The strongest pros point to the predictive power of CES with regard to customer loyalty. The strongest cons are in relation to the lack of segmentation capability and the lack of information about a customer's overall brand perception.
Some pros include:
- It's the strongest predictor of future purchase behavior (according to an HBR study wherein 94% of customers reporting low effort said they would repurchase, while 88% said they would increase their spending).
- It's a strong predictor of referral likelihood, as 81% of customers reporting high effort say they would speak negatively about the company to others.
- It's highly specific and actionable.
Some cons include:
- Does not provide information regarding the customer's overall relationship with your business
- Lack of segmentation by type of customer
It's also flexible in its use due to its simplicity and its overlap with use cases for product and customer success teams. Sujan Patel, founder of Mailshake, uses CES, and he likes the CES survey for the same reason he likes NPS: "It's short and simple, and therefore it's likely to get a response from customers."
His team uses it at Mailshake, and it's given them a lot of valuable insight, particularly in that it has:
- Signaled if something is very wrong (ie. A huge percentage of respondents are saying we didn't make it easy to handle their issue).
- Given us an opportunity to interject manually with customers who are very unhappy with their experience before they churn or complain publically.
- Acted as a long-term metric that we track over time and actively seek to improve.
Our recommendation here at HubSpot? Use more than one survey type to answer different business questions. It's silly to think there's one question to rule them all in any circumstance, and CES is one of many questions you should be asking customers to get a full picture of your customer feedback.
To learn more, check out these customer satisfaction survey examples.
Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.
Originally published May 28, 2019 5:17:00 PM, updated May 28 2019