Customer Effort Score

What is a Customer Effort Score?

The customer effect score (CES) measure how easy it was for your customer to do business with you. When customers have to expend more effort than they expect, they leave. High effort equals low customer loyalty. The CES helps you monitor this. Learn more below.

Stop Bribing Your Employees for Good NPS Scores

We’re early in Customer Experience (CX) capability development, and I absolutely love it! We’re discovering the best practices that our successors will take for granted; “of course that’s how you do it.”

Unfortunately, being in this early stage means that some “best practices” aren’t. Some actually hinder the goal of improved CX – to create loyal customers who love your brand and come back time and again.

One “best practice” that can create a terrible customer experience is paying employees to achieve good NPS, or Customer Satisfaction, scores. This needs to stop.

Read more

Move to the Top Levels of the Gartner CX Pyramid with Journey Mapping

Last week I discussed Gartner’s CX Pyramid and its approach to evaluating your customer experience. Yesterday’s post discussed how to use journey mapping to help you move up the first three levels. Today, I’ll talk about using journey mapping to move to the top of the pyramid – the Proactive and Evolution levels.

Getting to these levels requires significantly more investment in both customer insights and design. Interviews – particularly in-person at your customer’s site – are good ways to help you in the lower stages, but here it requires deeper methodologies to truly understand your customers’ needs. Read more

Moving up Gartner’s CX Pyramid with Journey Mapping

Last week I wrote about the Gartner CX Pyramid, an interesting maturity model. This week I’ll go into how to use journey mapping best practices to move up the model based on Gartner’s description of the model on their public website.

Selecting the right journey mapping approach requires you to understand where you are on the model and where you aspire to be. An inaccurate assessment will create waste; attempting to create a Proactive-level approach with only a Communication-level infrastructure will be expensive and ultimately frustrate customers instead of creating loyalty. Similarly, using a lower-level approach won’t have sufficient impact with higher-level design capabilities. Journey mapping doesn’t exist in a vacuum – it requires enough staffing and leadership to implement the changes that come out of it. Read more

Delight your customers – but only if they want to be delighted

Delight your customers, or make it easy for them? How do we reconcile two popular CX books with opposite conclusions – The Effortless Experience vs. The Power of Moments?

Consultancy CEB is the driver behind The Effortless Experience. They conducted thousands of surveys after service calls across multiple industries, and this research led to a clear message: delighting customers doesn’t create loyalty –  consistent delivery and easy experiences do. The book offers compelling research to back this up, showing why you need to reduce effort in your service experience. It’s a great read, and I highly recommend it. This book also introduces the second version of the Customer Effort Score, which is their preferred way to measure transactions. According to the CEB, companies earn the most loyalty when they move customers from a low to a moderate score.

The Power of Moments is another great book, and I included a Q&A of the authors here. They use data from rival consultancy Forrester to come to the opposite conclusion – that it’s most important to delight your customers. Forrester similarly conducted thousands of surveys across multiple industries to show that companies receive disproportionate levels of loyalty when they delight customers. According to Forrester, companies earn the most loyalty when they move customers from a moderate to a high Customer Effort score.

Wait, what? How can both be true? Read more

The Three Keys to a Game-Changing CX 

Customer experience pays. There’s no shortage of research on the impact of an improved customer experience, including improved revenueprofit, and, as a result, stock price. But how do you improve your CX? By focusing on Effectiveness, Ease, and Emotion. Improving on these three factors will ensure you are improving your customers’ outcomes, as well as your own. 

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Customers + Bad Math = Worse Strategy 

There’s something that always bugged me about how people present their customer scores – whether satisfaction, NPS, Customer Effort, or anything else. 

There are really two primary approaches to this reporting: 

  1. Give an average (4.65 out of 5, for example) 
  1. Give the % of top box (5 out of 5, 9 or 10 out of 10) or Top-2 Box (4 or 5 out of 5) 

From what I can tell, nobody really thinks about this. They just do what’s traditional. If a vendor reports one way to one customer, they report this same way to ALL customers. As if everybody’s customers react the same way, and all points in the scale matter the same. 

But that’s not true.  Read more

Reduce effort > Giving refunds

customer-compliantsWhat do you do with an unhappy customer? Refunds are the easy way out. They don’t fix the problem. They just put a band-aid on the situation, without addressing the underlying problem that led your busy customer to take time to call you.

But don’t take my word for it. A report from Beyond Philosophy entitled The Customer Complaints X-Ray uses a survey of 1015 respondents in Europe and the USA to study which made more of a difference in loyalty – the outcome of the complaint, or the way it was handled. (The full report isn’t available without joining, but you can get a summary on their website.) What did they find?

The first question is: what drives a customer’s likelihood to continue doing business with you? Is it the outcome (getting a refund, resolving the problem, etc.) or the way the complaint is handled? Read more

“A dirty car hurts you more than a clean car helps you.”

PizzaI love this quote from Mark Van Wagenen, Director of Global Customer Experience at Hertz. My friend and client Lori introduced it to me, and it perfectly encapsulates one of the problems we have in customer experience: Are you trying to make your customers love you more or to hate you less?

It’s not a simple question, and you’re certainly trying to do some of each. But how you focus on improving things for detractors is different from building customers who love you.

I hear this confusion quite often in health care. Health care has amazing stories about saving peoples’ lives, and they don’t understand why that’s not sufficient to get their patients to love them. But it’s really hard to love an organization that gives you five redundant forms, and make you wait for a half-hour past your appointment.  People won’t love you until they stop hating you.

You need to make it easy on customers to stop the bleeding. That’s the impetus behind the customer effort score. It truly matters to preventing customers from leaving you. But it’s not how you make them love you. That’s where the kindness, the listening, and the empathy kick in. You need both. But each serves a different role.

When I’m trying to explain something complex, I often find a pizza metaphor helps. Read more

Customer Effort Score 2 – Is it easy?

Loyalty impact of support callsEffort is the bane of your customer experience. Or, as I like to say, “Thinking is bad.” But is customer effort the right measurement to use?

First, an overview. The CEB created the Customer Effort Score (CES) as a transactional measurement. You can see my early post here. Its original phrasing was “How much effort did you personally have to put forth to handle your request?” and a lot of blogs still point to this confusing phrase. Luckily, the CEB reworded it to “The company made it easy for me to handle my issue” in the CES 2.0.

Unfortunately, they haven’t taken the next step to call it the Customer Easy Score, which is much more fun to say. Read more

Webinar: Thinking is Bad

nanoRep and I recently partnered on a webinar to discuss reducing effort in your customer experience. We discuss the Customer Effort Score, simplicity, and how to use self-service to prevent customer disloyalty.  You can view a summary at http://www.nanorep.com/blog/VIDEO—Thinking-is-Bad-Drive-Customer-Loyalty-by-Simplifying-Your-Service-Experience.  Enjoy!