CES Survey — What Is It And What Are Its Best Practices

The Customer Effort Score (CES) is a customer loyalty statistic that businesses use to determine the amount of effort that a customer expended during a specific contact.

Initially developed by the Corporate Executive Board to use a simple, cross-sectional research technique without the advantage of real measures of customer behavior in the study model, the Customer Effort Score has become widely used. In their publication, The Easy Experience, they provide an in-depth examination of their results and recommendations.

The study focused on the elements that influence consumer attitudes in a customer service environment, particularly with regard to specific issues that needed to be addressed. The amount of effort a customer had to put forth was shown to be the most important element in deciding whether or not a consumer would purchase with or suggest a business in the future.

According to the study’s findings, high customer effort increases the possibility of customer disloyalty, but low customer effort does not enhance the likelihood of customer loyalty. In other words, if a client has to exert much effort to resolve an issue, they are unlikely to return to your firm or promote it to their colleagues. However, even if the customer’s demands are foreseen and provided with no effort on their side, this does not guarantee that they will continue to utilize your company’s services.

What Is Customer Effort Score (CES)?

Established in 2010 by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB International, now Intel) after research revealed that “effort” is a significant driver of customer loyalty, the Customer Effort Score measures how much effort customers put out. In fact, according to a study published in The Smooth Experience, “96 percent of consumers who have an outstanding service encounter become more disloyal, compared to only 9 percent of customers that have a low-effort service experience.”

Customer satisfaction is not measured by the Customer Experience Score (CES); therefore, it cannot be used to determine a customer’s long-term commitment to your business. When customers provide feedback, the Customer Effort Score is calculated instead of the customer satisfaction rate to determine how easy it was to connect with the company.

Best Practices For CES Surveys 

Limit Negative Communication

An unpleasant customer service experience comes at a great financial cost. Not only will you lose an existing customer, but you may also receive negative feedback from other customers all across the internet. CES surveys reveal concerns early on, allowing for more proactive reputation management to take place.

Your Feedback Request Should Be Made At The Time

The CES is mostly a post-transactional survey, and as a result, it is extremely actionable information. It is possible to take quick action after receiving feedback at the time of an event if you ask for it at the time of the event. The customer experience score (CES) for your business will be determined by the exact interaction received. You will immediately know the customer experience you need to focus on and what you must do to make it simpler for future customers to acquire what they need.

Analyze and Make Use of the Input to Effect Real Change

The aim is for all customers to rate your customer service as a 1, indicating that it is very low-effort and simple. Whenever they choose a number greater than one, they inform you that something is wrong at a certain stage in the customer journey. It is then your responsibility to determine what is causing your consumers to exert additional effort and to implement the required modifications. While this may seem like a simple point, a great number of firms will seek input but will never take the required measures to put the information they get into action, thereby negating the goal of asking for feedback in the first place, as previously stated.

Enhance the User’s Experience

If making an online purchase proves problematic, clients are well-positioned to do a fresh web search and make their purchase from a rival instead of the original vendor. CES surveys may be used to guarantee that clients do not fall through the holes in your user-interface design.

Pros And Cons Of Customer Effort Score (CES)


  • It is more accurate in predicting customer loyalty and repeat purchases than other variables, and it is less unpredictable than other metrics. Although the Customer Experience Survey (CES) is not a precise measure of customer happiness, you may take implications from the ease with which customers can engage to their overall contentment.
  • Since this scoring methodology applies to all client-facing operations, it becomes relatively simple to implement corrective measures throughout your firm.
  • When it comes to predicting client behavior and satisfaction, it is a very reliable strategy.


  • This scoring methodology is exclusive to service in particular and does not apply to your entire company.
  • This survey simply provides findings indicating whether or not consumers find it difficult to utilize a service.
  • The specific nature of the difficulty or the reason for the difficulty of a procedure cannot be determined.
  • The influence of things such as your cost, your competition, or the quality of your goods is not considered.


Measuring effort at every touchpoint improves a company’s ability to forecast customer loyalty, as loyalty is derived from the countless encounters a consumer has with a brand over the course of their lifetime. The majority of customers that regularly expend little effort across all touchpoints tend to stay loyal.

CES has great value in this regard, as you can see. It enables you to have a deeper understanding of the influence of a given encounter on your customers’ overall happiness and loyalty. When you can deal with individual problems as they happen, you increase your chanCES of providing the precise experience your consumers are searching for, which will increase customer loyalty and enhance your reputation and hence increase your bottom-line profits.

In this post, we’ve covered all you need to know about the CES survey and its best practices to help you achieve better results, boost engagement, and improve your survey participation rates.

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