As a CS practitioner, are you utilizing CES as a key success metric for your CS organization?

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Javed Maqsood
Javed Maqsood Member Posts: 31 Contributor
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Are you using CES as a metric? Or other comparable metrics? I frequently get questions on CES and wondering what the field application is like for this.

Javed Maqsood
Advisor, Mentor

As a CS practitioner, are you utilizing CES as a key success metric for your CS organization?

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  • Evan Klein
    Evan Klein Member Posts: 12 Navigator
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    Several of our clients (all B2B) use CES but primarily as a KPI for technical support, as the aim is to make interactions and resolutions for support as easy as possible.

    We sometimes modify the question to use in relationship surveys to assess how easy or difficult their customers believe the company is to work with in general, but a Customer Effort Score isn't calculated as often in those instances.

  • metzgerbusiness
    metzgerbusiness Member Posts: 2 Navigator
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    I’m wondering for those that use CES what are the factors you use to calculate the score? Customer effort seems like a very subjective measurement.
  • Javed Maqsood
    Javed Maqsood Member Posts: 31 Contributor
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    Thanks @metzgerbusiness for your feedback. I have the same question. What's out there to take the subjective out of the equation?

    Javed Maqsood
    Advisor, Mentor
  • Evan Klein
    Evan Klein Member Posts: 12 Navigator
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    Asking customers how easy (or difficult) it was to handle an issue or have a problem resolved does rely heavily on the respondents perception, and therefore is somewhat subjective. But, as they say - "perception is reality." You clearly want your customers to feel like it's easy for them to resolve issues when they arise, and the score (with associated verbatim feedback) should reveal valuable insight into where friction or hurdles exist that have the potential to frustrate customers.

    As far as the actual question, scale and calculation - all are pretty straightforward (although there is some variation depending on the article you read). This article aligns with my understanding of CES over the years: https://inmoment.com/xi-terms/customer-effort-score/customer-effort-score-calculation/

    Here are two other sightly different perspectives. Bottom line, pick an approach and stick with it. Get a baseline, then trend to hopefully show improvement. Review the feedback that you receive in the open-end that follows the CES scale question and take action on the common pain-points shared.

    https://blog.hubspot.com/service/customer-effort-score

    Feel free to reach out if you'd like to discuss further.

    Evan

  • Antti
    Antti Member Posts: 4 Seeker
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    We used it after in-app onboarding. We were looking for subjective feedback and like Evan said get a baseline and start working from that.

  • Ed Powers
    Ed Powers Member Posts: 183 Expert
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    As with any metric, you should test it to see if it has any bearing on your outcomes of interest, things like retention or revenue growth. That's easily tested using statistics. Many times when I've worked with my consulting clients to build predictive models, factors like CES and NPS drop out--they aren't as significant as other factors predicting actual customer behaviors. We can often eliminate data unnecessarily being collected, saving time, money, and effort. That said, NPS and CES have their place in raising overall performance. And your results may be different, which is why you should conduct experiments and find your own answers.

  • Steve Bernstein
    Steve Bernstein Member Posts: 133 Expert
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    Love that you chimed in with this incredibly important point, @Ed Powers. You know that I've been doing "customer feedback" work for over 20 years, and I am yet to find "effort" to be a key/critical driver in B2B SaaS. I mean, yes sure, everyone wants "easy." But we've found that there's an expectation that some things just aren't easy, and that's why we all have jobs. Easy is good, but there are most frequently other compelling concerns that have higher priority.

    In other words: Practice evidence-based decision making.. NOT decision-based evidence making. Don't sink your teeth into a metric just because someone in B2C or Transactional Support environments (which is the birth of CES) tells you it works there...