This is a new paradigm that was introduced recently for customer service. It is a metric for customer satisfaction and loyalty. It quantifies the customers feeling and the effort they put into getting their problems solved or interacting with company’s support team. Companies that have strong loyal customers do not make them struggle for assistance.

Loyalty is forged by making every interaction with the customers easy and convenient. Therefore, companies should refocus their efforts on trying to make customers happy, and redirect those efforts to decreasing customer effort when solving their issues. Hence, customer effort score can be defined as a metric that is used to measure the customer’s experienced effort.

Evolution of Customer Effort Score (CES)

Since its inception in 2010, customer effort score has undergone two stages of evolution. The first version of CES was defined by simply stating the amount of effort put forth to resolve an issue or handle a request. The scale for CES measurement ranged from 1 to 5 where 1 represents very small effort while 5 represents a huge effort.

2013 saw an upgraded version of CES. It evolved from a question that needs an answer to a mere statement, “The Company made it easy for me to handle my issue”. Also, the measurement scale indicates the customers’ level of agreement or disagreement with the above statement. The scale ranges from 1 to 7 where 1 represents “strongly disagree” and 7 represents “strongly agree”.

Pros and Cons of the CES

Since it is a new concept, CES has not undergone much scrutiny and big companies praise it without evidence to back it up.


  • CES outperforms existing methods of forecasting customers’ future spending behavior.
  • It correctly identifies which customers will defect.
  • Its application in companies is highly recommended because it is able to identify flaws in customer interactions.


  • It does not give reasons why efforts are high or low.
  • It does not consider how customers may be influenced by product prices and competition.
  • It only focuses on transactions hence it does not examine the complete customer relationship with the company.

Businesses should always consider collecting CES feedback after an interaction with a customer comes to an end. For most support teams, it represents the point when the customer gets an issue resolved and communication stops. It is paramount to follow up and obtain a confirmation from the customer to make that he/she got a solution.