A hassle-free and low-effort experience is often one of the core expectations that customers have when dealing with a business. They prefer brands that are intuitive, ever-ready, and accessible. Exceeding such expectations help businesses stay at the forefront of the market with a strong and loyal customer base as their driving force.
When measuring customer effort, CES has been a leading metric adopted by both startups and established businesses. But is there a better option?
What is CES?
Customer Effort Score (CES) measures the ease of doing business with your brand from the customer’s perspective. It looks at the level of effort customers have to exert to make an inquiry, purchase a product, or get an issue resolved. It’s a very helpful CX metric that helps businesses gauge the quality of their service and identify existing pain points.
The CES survey asks the customers to rate the level of effort they had to put in to engage with your brand on a numerical scale of 1-7, where,
1- Strongly disagree
2 – Disagree
3 – Somewhat disagree
4 – Undecided
5 – Somewhat agree
7 – Strongly agree
When to use CES?
If your customers have to exert a lot of effort to engage with your brand, they lose motivation and will be dissatisfied. CES helps you identify if there are such pitfalls in the customer journey that have the potential to drive customers away.
CES surveys can be used at any stage in the customer journey, although it’s popularly used for determining the ease at which customers can resolve refund and cancellation issues. A high CES score indicates that customers find the experience to be effortless. It also implies that customers are satisfied and more likely to purchase from you again.
EVI® – An Alternative to CES
Emotional Value Index (EVI®) is a CX metric that measures emotional experience. You can understand the performance of your business from the lens of customer emotions. As feelings are one of the main factors that affect purchasing behaviors, EVI® is a great tool to determine customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention levels.
The EVI® survey simply asks the respondent to denote the emoticon that best describes how they feel following the particular interaction. Also, the EVI® score can provide you insights about customer satisfaction, loyalty, and lifetime value while also helping you determine potential referral rates.
Is EVI® Better than CES?
EVI® is a better alternative to CES when it comes to versatility. It can be used to measure individual touchpoints and the entire customer experience. Also, EVI® surveys with emoticons in a circular form are more attractive and have the potential to engage the audience better.
CES, on the other hand, is more specific as it looks at only one factor affecting loyalty. It won’t provide a comprehensive idea of customer satisfaction or loyalty. Also, it can be difficult to pinpoint if the need for a high effort is due to an issue in the customer journey or an issue on the customer’s end.
EVI® x CES
Using EVI® and CES together can bring highly useful insights. While CES can be used to gather data on the customer’s effort of engagement, EVI® can validate its score and provide more context. A low effort translates to a positive emotion like happiness or joy, while a high effort is usually correlated with an emotion like anger or frustration.
However, if EVI® and CES scores don’t align with each other, the issue might not be due to the level of effort. In this case, you can also use other metrics like C-SAT and NPS to determine the cause for underperformance.
While perfection is difficult to achieve, we can focus on constant refinement to elevate the customer experience to an extent that customers find impressive and joyful. CX metrics like EVI®, CES, and NPS help brands measure and improve their service regularly and consistently to meet or exceed customer expectations.