Contacting a business should be effortless. Reaching answers should be a breeze. Why, then, do customers find contacting businesses to be so arduous? Because businesses rarely consider their Customer Effort Score.
Customer Effort Score measures how much effort your customers have to put in to reach a solution. Customer Effort Score can indicate a number of different things:
How easy it was for the customer to find access points – If your contact information is difficult to locate, and your customers can’t figure out how to reach you, your effort score will sky-rocket.
How effective your contact routing is – If customers are being routed to agents who aren’t equipped to resolve their issues, it’ll take even more effort on their part to find one who can.
How successfully you’ve implemented self-service – Customer Effort Score is a litmus test of your self-service and automation. Self-service experiences should be seamless and easily understood.
Outstanding Customer Experience (CX) begins with effective reporting. Understanding your contact center KPIs and performance metrics is the first step toward elevating your customer contact. Ready to learn more? Download Content Guru’s whitepaper: Keeping Up With the KPIs: The Contact Center KPIs Key to Outstanding CX.
What is Customer Effort Score?
Customer Effort Score is assessed via customer survey. The customer is asked, “How easy did x organization make it for you to handle your issue?” The customer then provides a score on a scale (this could be from 1 to 5, or from 1 to 10), with 1 being ‘extremely difficult’ and 10 being ‘extremely easy’.
In some earlier iterations of Customer Effort Score, this scoring system was reversed, with the phrasing of the question placing the burden of resolving issues on the customer. In this older version, a lower score was better. Today, higher is ideal.
Customer Effort Score is, in general, a strong predictor of customer retention and organizational success. More than self-reported ‘satisfaction’, making a customer’s life easier in practical ways a definable step toward improved CX.
Customer Effort Score focusses on your customer communication processes – letting you draw out actionable advice on specific customer journeys.
Through Customer Effort Score, you can separate a customer’s opinions on your business from the actual experiences of communication. You cut to the heart of your CX to identify real pain points.
And once you’ve begun to successfully measure your Customer Effort Score, you can begin working to improve it.
Boosting Customer Effort Score
Customer Effort Score focusses on the customer journey; how straightforward it is to reach your business, and how easy it is to resolve issues once contact is made. The key to boosting your Customer Effort Score is efficient experience. That is, customer contact strategies that put efficiency first to support as many customers as possible to the highest degree of quality.
Identify pain points in the customer journey – Customer Effort Score acts like an X-ray for your communications estate; peering inside to identify the breakages. Some points in the customer journey (e.g. switching between channels or agents, inputting information) are going to be spots of particular friction. Once you identify these, you can put a plan in place to address them.
Automate where possible – Customers want quick resolutions, and to that end, prefer self-service solutions. Using Intelligent Automation to guide customers through self-service options can mean bypassing queues and agents altogether, letting customers resolve their own issues with minimal effort.
Empower your agents – The less work the customer has to do, the more efficient the experience. Taking work of the customer means empowering your agents to do more. Through customer data screen-pops and a full interaction history, you can put agent and customer on the same page from the very start of the interaction, leading to a smoother, more efficient experience for both.
Customer Effort Score is one of the most powerful tools in your CX toolbox. However, on its own, it can only do so much. Building efficient experience requires a complete reporting estate.
More Customer Experience Metrics
Streamlining customer journeys is a crucial aspect of the contact center, but it’s not the only metric of success. Customer Effort Score is valuable, but fails to account for agent experience, overall satisfaction, and the quality of service provided.
Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) – The most common Customer Experience metric. This asks customers, ‘How satisfied are you with your experience’, who answer on a scale from ‘very satisfied’ to ‘very dissatisfied’. Overall, a score beyond 50 indicates that most customers are satisfied with their experience. A score above 70 is a major achievement.
Value Enhancement Score (VES) – A relatively new metric, VES asks two questions, ‘How successfully were you able to use our product/service?’, and, ‘How confident are you with your purchase?’ In answering these questions, the customer gives their opinion on both your business and the impression conveyed by your customer service.
Average Handling Time (AHT) – A classic of the contact center genre, AHT asks one of the simplest possible questions – how long do customer interactions take to resolve. This might sound basic, but in reality, it can reveal a great deal about contact center performance. Mastering the basics provides a foundation for the future.
Each of these metrics provides insight into different aspects of your Customer Experience. Ideally, your customer service should be both efficient and high quality. Reaching this standard, however, is not easy.
CX KPIs Made Easy with storm®
Customer Effort Score provides unique insight into your CX estate, letting you identify pain points and streamline customer interactions. But it’s not the only CX metric you need to be tracking. To stay ahead, you need full transparency.
Content Guru’s CX reporting solution, storm® VIEW™, provides comprehensive, real-time, and historical Customer Experience reporting. Average Handling Time, Customer Effort Score, and endless customer metrics can be brought into a single pane of glass for easy access, or converted into secure, shareable reports.
Want to learn more about key Customer Experience metrics and contact center KPIs? Download Content Guru’s whitepaper: Keeping Up With the KPIs: The Contact Center KPIs Key to Outstanding CX.