A customer effort score (CES) is a service metric that measures how much effort customers put in to interact with your business. These interactions can be something like how much effort it takes to use your product or service or how easy it was for them to have a problem solved by your service reps.

A customer would put in a lot of effort if they have to search through pages of knowledge base articles to find the one they need and put in minimal effort if they call a service rep and get their refund processed immediately.

Customer effort score (CES) is best used: 

  1. Immediately after an interaction that led to a purchase or subscription.
  2. Immediately after an interaction with your customer service team or a service-related experience.
  3. To supplement product teams' UI and UX testing.

There are two ways to present your CES surveys, either with a Likert scale question or with emoticon surveys

Likert scale 

A Likert Scale is a five to seven-point scale of numbers that align with relevant phrases like “extremely difficult” or “extremely easy.” Lower numbers are associated with very easy/low effort, and higher numbers are associated with more effort.

Emoticon Ratings

Emoticon ratings are not as popular as Likert Scales, but they are helpful markers for customers as they can associate effort level with smiley faces or sad faces.