Every business is competing to dazzle customers and offer them an experience that’s a cut above the rest. But why not just start by offering customers a hassle-free experience ?
THE CUSTOMER EFFORT SCORE: A NEW METRIC
That’s the idea behind a new metric that’s creating a buzz in the customer relationship world. It’s the customer effort score (CES), a rival to the net promoter score (NPS). We believe that these two indicators can be combined to create a superb customer experience.
Simply put, just like the NPS, the CES measures the amount of effort that your customers had to put into doing business with your company. While the CES is particularly useful for customer service, it can be applied to any area where your business comes into contact with customers. The idea is simple: the easier it is to make purchases, contact customer service, and resolve issues, the more satisfied and loyal customers will be.
Basically, you need to minimise any effort that customers must put in, whether that be in terms of time, searching for information, negative emotions (e.g. due to bad service, a lack of assistance, being ignored), the number of people to whom they have to talk to resolve a problem, shop access, having to change contact method or pay fees to talk with customer service, and even having to pay shipping and return fees.
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A CORRELATION BETWEEN NPS & CES
Customers that have to put in a lot of effort to make a purchase will not recommend that company. Not only are customers satisfied and loyal to businesses that make things easy, but they will even recommend those businesses to people they know. Indeed, the relationship between effort and recommendation has been proven through a number of studies demonstrating a strong correlation between the NPS and the CES. It has been confirmed that customers who have to make a lot of effort will advise against the company.
You should note that we’re talking about the transactional NPS here, and not the customer relationship NPS. The CES is a transactional metric that should be measured immediately after each interaction at all points of contact with customers to get a holistic view of your company. Including CES questions in your NPS survey helps expose weak spots in the customer experience so that they can be eliminated. When you decrease the amount of effort required from customers, an increase in NPS will soon follow.
The CES is two times more effective than the NPS for predicting customer loyalty. You may have been impressed with the power of the NPS and how easy it was to implement to build customer loyalty, but the CES promises to be two times more powerful according to its creators. The CES will help you build customer loyalty without spending lots of money trying to amaze them; it starts with improving your customer service.
Can the CES replace the NPS ? We say no. These two metrics measure two different phenomena: customer effort, and the degree to which customers would recommend your business. However, they both have the same purpose: customer loyalty. The CES and NPS are two tools that you can combine to achieve results like you’ve never seen before and triple the likelihood of increasing customer loyalty.