Customer Effort Score: A Key Metric for Your Digital Customers
Prioritizing metrics that matter most to your brand should not only be based on company culture and operational style, but also on today’s digital customers. As consumers change how they live, work, and purchase, brands’ customer service metrics need to adjust accordingly.
Customer Effort Score
Customer Effort Score (CES) is a critical metric, and has been increasingly growing in popularity as a core KPI. Today’s digital consumers want it all – fast, accurate and simple service. CES ultimately evaluates the effort it took a customer to have their issue resolved, showing brands how well they are doing what they are supposed to be doing, which is solving the problem at hand.
Customer Effort Score is also directly tied to Customer Satisfaction (CSAT). Customers who require minimal effort to solve their problems have a positive experience and become more loyal customers.
It takes more effort for brands to gain a new customer than to retain an existing one, so ensuring that your customers are satisfied and resolving their problems effectively is a way to avoid customer churn and improve loyalty.
There are many ways to improve CES, such as digital integration across your CRM, limiting or eliminating call transfers, and improving average response times for channels such as email and chat. However, one of the most important ways to improve CES is through self-serve offerings.
Self-Serve for Improved CES
Sometimes the best customer service interaction is the one you don’t even have because your customer is self-serving. Empowering your customers to self-serve is not the “lazy” way out, it’s simply what customers are looking for. In fact, Harvard Business Review reports that across industries, 81% of all customers attempt to take care of issues themselves before reaching out to a customer service associate for help.
The digital customers of today are after convenience and speed. They want answers and solutions at their fingertips with minimal effort or time spent to get there. The convenience of self-serve can come in many forms, such as FAQ pages on company websites, YouTube tutorials, or knowledge bases containing information, videos, and more.
It’s important to keep in mind that self-serve is only effective in lowering the customer’s effort if the self-service tools are easy to locate, easy to use, and are relevant to what the customer is trying to solve or achieve. Considerations such as mobile optimization and knowledge base search functions are key in helping customers solve problems with minimal effort.
How do you know what type of information you should offer to your customers through self-serve? Let the data show you. Self-serve is not meant to eliminate all customer interactions, it’s simply a way to deflect easier questions so that your customer service associates can take care of the more complex cases, enabling customers to tackle the FAQ-type questions on their own.
By leveraging data from customer service interactions, you can determine what questions are most frequently asked, understand the pain points of your customers, and determine how to effectively give answers through videos, written descriptions, or infographics to help them self-serve. Reviewing customer feedback through surveys or social listening is another way to understand what actions you can take to improve and simplify the customer experience.
When you leverage data insights to identify your customers’ primary challenges, you can proactively provide resources that help solve these challenges for future customers, making the solution as effortless as possible.
Simplify the Customer Experience
In today’s environment of digital transformation, companies are empowering customers with better troubleshooting, transparency, and access to simple support channels. These factors all have a direct impact on the Customer Effort Score, ensuring customer issues are resolved quickly and easily.