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Mehmet Oğuz ÖzdilApr 30, 2024 2:14:00 PM6 min read

What is Customer Effort Score - CES

"How easy was it to complete your purchase?"

Imagine: Your customers need to update their information in your mobile app, but it looks like a maze. Buttons are confusing, features are unclear and logging in feels like solving a puzzle. They leave in frustration, and you keep wondering what the problem is. 

Unfortunately, this scenario happens all too often.  But what if there was a way to measure this frustration, to quantify the effort required for customers to interact with your brand?  

Meet the Customer Effort Score (CES). 

What is CES? 

CES, or Customer Effort Score, serves as a vital metric in assessing the ease with which customers accomplish tasks, find solutions, or resolve issues.  

Think of it as a precise gauge for measuring the friction within the customer experience journey. When customers encounter minimal hurdles and can swiftly navigate through processes, the CES tends to be good, signifying a smooth and effortless experience.  

Conversely, a bad CES indicates significant struggles and roadblocks encountered by customers, suggesting areas where improvements are needed to streamline processes and enhance overall satisfaction.  

By tracking CES, businesses gain invaluable insights into areas of friction within their customer interactions, allowing them to prioritize efforts towards building stronger customer relations and a positive brand perception. 

Why Does CES Matter? 

CES EN (1)

Customers expect seamless interactions, and businesses that make things difficult risk losing loyalty. CES helps you identify areas where your processes might be creating unnecessary hurdles. By minimizing customer effort, you unlock a range of benefits: 

1.  Boosted Customer Loyalty 

When customers can easily accomplish their goals, they're more likely to remain loyal and advocate for your brand.

2. Reduced Churn

Frustration often leads to customer churn. A low CES score helps you nip churn in the bud by addressing pain points.

3. Improved Efficiency

Streamlining the processes makes it much easier for the customer to get things done and have much less contact with your company,  which reduces the effort you put into keeping them happy.

How to Measure CES

While the core CES question is simple, there's more to effective measurement than meets the eye. Here's how to delve deeper and gain richer insights: 

1.  Leverage a Voice of the Customer (VoC) Tool: 

Manually sending CES surveys, collecting results, and extracting insights becomes impractical with a large customer base. VoC tools like Pisano streamline this process by automating survey distribution, data collection, and analysis. These tools can also integrate with various touchpoints, ensuring you capture CES feedback across the customer journey.

2. Craft Your Survey

The standard "How easy...?" question works well, but consider tailoring it for specific interactions. For example:

  • Website navigation: "How easy was it to find the product you were looking for?"
  • Product purchase: "How easy was it to complete your purchase?"
  • Customer service interaction: "How easy was it to resolve your issue with our representative?"  

3. Offer Multiple Response Options

While a simple scale (1-7) is common, consider adding options like text box for open-ended feedback. This can provide valuable qualitative data alongside the quantitative score.

4. Leverage Different Channels

Today, thanks to advanced technologies such as VoC tools, you don't need to be limited to single-channel CES surveys. Integrate them strategically: 

  • Website pop-ups: Capture feedback after key actions like completing a purchase.
  • Email: Greet your customers in their inboxes, one of the most frequently visited places in their personal and professional lives
  • In-app: Turn the intense adoption of smart mobile devices into feedback.
  • SMS: Use for short, post-interaction feedback.
  • QR: Provide a quick way to access surveys on mobile devices. 

5. Consider Sentiment Analysis 

For open-ended responses, use sentiment analysis tools to categorize feedback. This can reveal hidden insights beyond the numerical score. 

6. Track CES Over Time

Measuring CES once is a start, but the real power lies in tracking it over time. This allows you to:
  • Monitor progress: See if your efforts to reduce customer effort are paying off.
  • Identify trends: Spot areas where effort might be increasing or decreasing.
  • Benchmark performance: Compare your CES score to industry averages to identify areas for improvement. 

7. Integrate CES with Other Metrics

Don't view CES in isolation. Combine it with CSAT scores, Net Promoter Scores (NPS), and customer feedback to get a holistic view of the customer experience. 

By following these steps, you can transform CES from a simple score into a powerful tool for understanding customer effort and driving improvements across the entire customer journey. 

Taking Action on Your CES 

Once you have your CES score, it's time to translate it into action:

  • Identify Areas for Improvement: Analyze responses to pinpoint specific touchpoints causing high effort.
  • Benchmark Performance: Track your CES over time and compare it to industry averages to identify areas for improvement.
  • Optimize Processes: Streamline workflows and self-service options to minimize customer effort. 

🪷Putting CES into Action


Imagine Miranda, the ambitious CX leader at a reputable bank. Despite positive customer reviews for in-branch experiences, Miranda suspected something amiss with the mobile app. While metrics showed high adoption rates, internal data revealed a concerning trend – a significant drop in mobile banking transactions. 

Determined to understand the root cause, Miranda decided to leverage Voice of the Customer (VoC) tools. These tools capture customer feedback across various channels, providing a deeper understanding of customer sentiment. Integrating a CES survey into the mobile app, Miranda asked a simple question after every transaction: "How easy was it to complete your banking task today?" 

The results were a wake-up call. The average CES score was alarming. Miranda delved deeper into the VoC data. Textual feedback revealed a recurring theme – customers found the app confusing and frustrating to navigate. Many complained about unclear menus, hidden features, and a cumbersome login process. 

Armed with this data, Miranda presented the findings to the app development team. Initially skeptical, the developers were convinced by the sheer volume of negative feedback. Together, they embarked on a mission to revamp the app based on customer insights:

  • The menu structure was streamlined, with frequently used features readily accessible.
  • Clear labels and icons replaced confusing jargon, making navigation easier.
  • Fingerprint and facial recognition options were implemented for a faster, more secure login experience.

The results were transformative. Within weeks of launching the revamped app, the CES score improved incredibly. More importantly, mobile banking transactions surged by 30%. Customers were raving about the app's ease of use, with many praising the improvements on social media and app store reviews. 

Miranda's story exemplifies the power of CES. By measuring customer effort and leveraging VoC tools, she identified a hidden problem and spearheaded a solution that not only improved customer experience but also boosted the bank's bottom line. This is the true potential of CES  

Pisano: Your Partner in Effortless Experiences 

At Pisano we understand the power of a frictionless customer experience. Our Experience Management Platform empowers you to: 

  • Effortlessly Collect CES Data: Gather feedback across touchpoints for a holistic view of customer effort.
  • Uncover Actionable Insights: Go beyond the score and identify issues affecting customer effort that can only be illuminated by analyzing a large amount of data.
  • Drive Continuous Improvement: Prioritize and implement changes to make interactions effortless. Remember, exceptional experiences are what separate good and great companies. 

Only by measuring key experience metrics like CES you can foster loyalty and drives business success. Let Pisano be your partner in achieving a CES that reflects a truly customer-centric approach. 

Stand Out from the Crowd with Pisano

Join the ranks of forward-thinking businesses using Pisano to elevate customer satisfaction and loyalty. Discover how we can help you measure, understand, and enhance your CES score, turning satisfied customers into lasting relationships. 


Mehmet Oğuz Özdil

As a dynamic and forward-thinking marketer, he specializes in crafting growth-oriented marketing strategies that pave the way to sustainable success. His passion lies in embracing emerging trends, pushing the boundaries of innovation, and leveraging data to drive exceptional results.