Customer Effort Score; part of your customer experience toolkit?


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Customer Effort Score (CES) looks at customer experience from four perspectives of cognitive (thinking effort), emotional (emotional effort and distress), physical and time (taken versus expectations). The more effort a customer has to make in each of these areas, the more likely they won’t bother according to researchers from The Corporate Executive Board. They say boldly; “Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers; Delighting customers doesn’t build loyalty. Reducing customers’ effort does”. The main premise of CES is to focus on getting the basics sorted before worrying about delighting customers in other ways.

Professor Moira Clark, Head of Marketing and Reputation, Henley Business School (pictured below) held a lively session on the subject at our Customer Horizons event in London recently. Many but not all members had heard of it but none had used in in earnest. Certainly, the ‘delighting’ point is one we all have to take seriously, because it is costly to do, and it will prove useless if you have messed up on the basics such as enquiry handling, ordering, taking payment, product quality, basic service, logistics, invoicing and perceived value for money. Our Schema® research shows that in almost two thirds of large organisations, one of these fundamental basics of customer service and management are broken – so this must be the place to start. I am sure it will be helpful to use ‘CES lens’ to examine customer experience, it will certainly spark some thoughts. Other methods of customer experience measurement look at the function (e.g. price, accessibility, packaging, availability) and emotion (feelings, fun, cared for) of experience.

Has anyone used CES in their businesses successfully?

Customer Horizons

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Neil Woodcock
Neil is Chairman and CEO of The Customer Framework Ltd. and visiting Professor at Henley Business School. An honours graduate, he worked in B2B sales & marketing with Mobil Oil, B2C marketing with Unilever and consultancy services with Andersen Consulting & McKinsey. Neil has written 5 books on customer management, is on the editorial board of leading journals and is an Honorary Fellow of the IDM.


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