These days, whether conducted by email or phone, customer satisfaction surveys allow companies to better understand their customers and how to make various improvements in their business.

Meantime, a customer effort score is a metric used by customers to evaluate the ease of getting their question answered, as well as the amount of time it takes to resolve their issue. Rather than focusing on “wowing” customers, companies are instead focusing on improving customer satisfaction and the overall brand experience.

A CES quantifies the effort a customer has to exert during a transaction because simply measuring customer satisfaction just isn’t enough. Here are five tips to improve your customer effort score.

What is a Good CES?

Earning a high customer effort score means customers will come back to buy a good or service from you again and again due to tactics you have employed to gain their trust and loyalty. Indeed, these customers know they can count on you to provide excellent customer service. So, how do you know if you have a good CES?

Your CES can be obtained by asking a customer the following question: “How much effort did you have to put in while making a purchase?” Typically, the answer ranges on a scale from 1 to 7 (sometimes 1 to 5), with 1 indicating a low-level effort and 7 indicating a high-level effort.

To find out how you stack up, just grab the average of all scores to determine a mark out of 7. The higher the score, the more effort was put in. Now, if your company has a score of less than 5, consider re-examining your customer experience and find ways to minimize any issues your customers may be experiencing when interacting with your business. Then, think about improving other metrics to improve your CES over time.

What Can a CES Tell You About a Business?

Your CES can tell you how easy it is to complete a transaction or resolve an issue with customer service. Moreover, it tells you how much value a company places on customer satisfaction. A poor customer effort score can negatively impact a company, sending its customers fleeing to the competition.

Once a customer has a negative experience with your company, it can be hard to get them to trust you again. Not to mention the terrible word of mouth it generates for your business. That’s why it’s important to take customer satisfaction seriously.

How to Improve Your CES?

1. Assess Your Current Processes

The first step in understanding your CES is to know how well your current processes are doing in terms of gauging customer satisfaction. In essence, to determine your score, study your customer interaction data and determine if there are any issues that need resolving. Think about whether they make sense and what kind of results they’re getting you.

2. Streamline Your Support Channels

Streamlining your customer support can help you tremendously in providing high-quality customer service. If all your contact support is integrated into one place, it makes it easier for your reps to provide top-notch service.

By using a cloud contact center, you can also easily streamline your customer support channels, such as phone, email, chat, social media, and SMS/text, to make any type of improvements. From there, you’ll be able to see every transaction and interaction between the customer and your company.

3. Make It Easy

When customers come to you to make a purchase, they expect a smooth, easy transaction that doesn’t take up too much of their time. If you make them wait too long, or it becomes too inconvenient, they may just cut you off and never return to your business to make a purchase again.

That’s why it’s crucial to think about your customers’ overall brand experience each time they interact with your company. Ultimately, it’s all about finding ways to make it easier for them to make a purchase and resolve an issue.

4. Ask the Right Questions

The survey you provide to customers after each interaction should ask the right questions so you can determine the satisfaction levels of your customers during the transaction or interaction and how easy it was to get what they needed. Asking vague or “yes or no” questions may not garner the right results.

Instead, ask clear, open-ended questions that allow customers to provide detailed answers about their most recent interaction with your company. Ask questions like, “How easy was it for you to get your issue resolved?” and “How can we improve your future experience?”

5. Monitor Your CES

You can monitor your CES by collecting information from your customers about their experiences with your products and/or services. Continuously monitoring your CES can help you better understand where to make improvements and where you’re performing well. Consider using real-time tracking for trend analysis and tracking other measures of customer expectations, such as metrics like NPS and CSAT. Be sure these reports are readily available to management.

Start Assessing Where You Can Make Improvements

A good CES can lead to higher overall customer satisfaction rates, improved customer loyalty, and more efficient support documentation. With the above in mind, start making any number of changes to improve your customer effort score. And because metrics can change in an instant, be sure to continuously monitor your customer satisfaction rating so you can make any necessary improvements over time.