What is a Customer Effort Score, and Why Does it Matter?

Customer Effort Score
Customer Traac

There are several key metrics that a customer service center should measure to determine customer satisfaction. For a long time, customer service strategy circulated a lot around metrics like fast reply time or resolution rate of issues. These metrics, known as operational data, are incredibly helpful and can give a glimpse into how efficiently a business handles customer calls.

However, experience data (X-data) is becoming more and more essential to determine an accurate measure of customer satisfaction. Experience data is how customer experience is measured. This can be done by sending out surveys and questionnaires, tracking reviews or star-ratings, and collecting customer effort scores.

What is a Customer Effort Score?

Customer satisfaction, or CSAT, can be measured using many different techniques. One that is fast, easy, and can gather immediate responses is a customer effort score. An article on HubSpot defines a customer effort score as a measure of a customer’s experience with a product or service using a five or seven-point scale.

If you’ve ever dealt with a customer service team online or over the phone, they may have asked you if you want to take a short survey about your experience. It takes no time at all via email or with phone prompts, as it only contains one question. It may be as simple as stating, “Customer Traac helped me to easily resolve my issue,” with a scale of one through seven ranging from disagree completely to definitely agree.

This method measures the ease of their interaction, rather than overall satisfaction. It converts that interaction into an actual number, which can then be tracked as a data point. These scores can be much more valuable and more accessible to measure than written reviews.

When is the best time to measure the customer effort score?

The customer effort score should be measured at all points of interaction between a customer and the product or service. However, the best time to measure customer effort score is immediately after a purchase or interaction with customer service.

There are two ways the customer effort score can be helpful here. First, it can measure the effectiveness of a product or service that led to the customer making a purchase. It can also measure the effectiveness of the customer service department or business development center (BDC) that aided the customer.

Gaining this timely feedback is essential to getting an accurate picture of customer loyalty and satisfaction within your business. It’s like a first impression. By asking them how they feel at that exact moment, without much thought, you can get their true gut reaction. Honing in on these touch points can help build seamless processes by pinpointing where any customer interactions are failing, and how it can be improved.

What are some examples of questions to ask when measuring customer effort score?

There are a few different ways you can word your surveys to gather your customer correspondence. You can use numbers for an easy metric, or display an option of words ranging from “agree” to “disagree.” For example:

Customer Traac made it easy for me to resolve my issue. Select your answer. (1 = Strongly Agree and 7 = Strongly Disagree)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Customer Traac made it easy for me to resolve my issue. Check your answer.

[ ] Strongly agree
[ ] Agree
[ ] Neither agree nor disagree
[ ] Disagree
[ ] Strongly Disagree

Using these scales gives customers a range of options when a situation does not denote a simple yes or no answer.

There can also be a strategy behind using the number scale and statements of agreement. The number scale may get the customer to respond more quickly, as a numerical range is easy to decipher and elicit a quicker response. But, you may get a more spontaneous response, whereas the statements require a bit more thought as they read through and determine what they feel most reflects their answer. The results of this test may favor you more since you can aid in their thought process with how you word the answers.

What are the benefits of measuring a customer effort score?

Some key benefits to measuring customer effort scores include predicting customer retention and knowing what areas of the customer experience to improve upon. It is also an easy metric to track for large numbers of customers.

Customer retention is often the number one goal of any business, especially in the dealership industry. The Customer Traac business development center can use metrics like this to improve upon interacting with customers, and the results can only benefit how a BDC like us gets better and more efficient with interacting with customers.

A low customer effort score means the customer service team is not doing everything they can to make the lives of their customers easier. As a business development center, we can confidently say that if your customer service team isn’t performing as well as you need, give us a call at 763-553-2989. We can offer solutions to improve customer satisfaction and retention for your business.