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Customer Effort Score (CES)

What is Customer Effort Score (CES)?

CES is a metric used to measure customer satisfaction with one single question. Instead of asking customers if they are satisfied, the customers are asked to evaluate the ease of their experience.

The typical CES survey question is "How easy was it to interact with us, on a scale of 'very easy' to 'very difficult"? If customers experience that a service or product is easy to use, they are also more likely to be satisfied and loyal.

To measure the ease of a given experience is a better indicator of customer loyalty in some cases, compared to measuring customer satisfaction directly. The underlying thought is that organisations can get loyal customers by reducing the experienced effort. That's why the CES is a popular method amongst many organisations.

What is a good CES?

A customer rating of 5, on a scale of 1 to 7, is considered a good score.

When to use Customer Effort Score?

CES is mostly used to measure service or product level issues. Most Customer Effort Score surveys are sent immediately after a customer service touchpoint (i.e. an email support ticket). CES can also be used to measure the aggregate experience someone has with a brand, but it is not optimal. That is because the question implies an isolated user experience.

Other related customer service metrics are Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT). An organisation can have use of all these metrics, depending on what goals the organisation has.