Customer Effort Score or Customer Satisfaction?


Share on LinkedIn

Source: Wizu

Introduction To Customer Effort Score

Customer Effort Score is a popular metric used to measure customer service satisfaction using one single question. The principle behind this is that companies create loyal customers by reducing customer effort. Customer Effort Score (CES) is one of the strongest indicators of customer satisfaction and loyalty in particular. It can help you uncover any weak spots in your customers experience by sending surveys after specific touchpoints or interactions with your service team.

How CES Is Measured

Customer Effort Score is measured by asking customers to rate how much they agree or disagree with one simple statement. The wording on this can vary but is usually:

“The company made it easy for me to handle my issue/request”.

Respondents will then be presented with a 1 to 5 scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree.

The CES is the average of all received ratings.

Benefits of CES

Using Customer Effort Score helps you create more actionable insight to help improve customer experience. It allows you to focus on specific areas of your customer journey to reduce effort and therefore increase customer loyalty.

Intro to Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction, or CSAT for short, is another key performance indicator that focuses on tracking how satisfied your customers are with your company’s products or services.

How CSAT Is Measured

Your companies CSAT is measures through asking a question through a feedback survey. This usually would be along the lines of:

“How satisfied were you with the product/service?”

Respondents are then presented with a 1 to 5 scale from Very unsatisfied to Very satisfied.

The results are then averaged out to give a score which is usually expressed as a percentage. 100% being total customer satisfaction and 0% being total customer dissatisfaction. Only responses of 4 or 5 are counted as satisfied customers and are included in the calculation so the calculation is:

(number of satisfied customers/number of survey responses) x 100 = % of satisfied customers.

Benefits of CSAT

Customer Satisfaction surveys allow you to track general levels of customer satisfaction and identify overall aspects of your service that can be improved. It is very simple to measure and can help you better understand your customer sentiments and their expectations.


So which metric should you use? Well the good news is that these two metrics actually can work really well together.

Customer Satisfaction can be very useful in identifying how your customers feel about your brand and be something you are collecting from customers frequently. Your Customer Effort Score surveys should only be sent on the resolution of a conversation and so the two should not get in each other’s way.

Customer Effort Score can’t really tell you what kind of relationship a customer has with your brand in general but really helps you focus on specific touchpoints in your customer journey. This helps make your feedback more actionable and therefore you can have more of a direct impact in improving an experience.

Customer Satisfaction surveys allow you to discover more general feedback about brand which gives you a wider picture than Customer Effort Score. This could be around general brand satisfaction or a specific product review.

While CSAT gives you the better overall picture of how your customer feels, CES gives you more specific feedback on the key touch points in the customer journey. Combining both of these will allow you to see overall trends and perception of your brand while ensuring you are not allowing any pain points in the customer journey that could impact on brand loyalty.

Martin Powton
I have over 13 years' experience in digital marketing and am interested in all areas of marketing, customer experience and employee wellbeing.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here