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How to Calculate Customer Effort Score 

As a customer success manager with unlimited access to industry thought leadership (thanks, internet!), you know exactly how rapidly things change and how quickly new metrics pop up on the scene. Already it probably feels as though you’re measuring a hundred different metrics that all mean different things: product usage rates, customer success scores, and more. But what about the Customer Effort Score?

What is a Customer Effort Score?

Customer Effort Scores measure how hard it is (aka how much effort a customer has to put in) for a customer to work with a vendor organization. This could be anything from receiving a response to a product question, resolving an issue, or moving a request through to close. The Customer Effort Score is a great way to understand precisely how much ‘work’ a customer puts into a vendor relationship. If this score is skewed high, your customer team should probably regroup on delivering a more hands-on customer experience to this account. 

Customer success has become an increasingly critical function for SaaS organizations over the past few years. Customer Effort Score has emerged as a way to monitor and measure loyal customers and to know exactly how well a customer success team manages customer expectations and delivers on customer requests.

How to calculate Customer Effort Score

Like NPS, a Customer Effort Score can be easily calculated with a single question to customers: On a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being ‘very easy’ and 10 being ‘very difficult,’ how easy is it to work with the company? Customers with responses on the lower end are likely happy. 

Putting this question in front of customers to answer may also require a bit of creative work. Your team can add it into a customer survey or ask during mid-year or annual review conversations. If you’re looking for a more user-focused Customer Effort Score and not just a customer contact score, a banner pop-up in your product interface is a great way to capture real-world user answers.

How to use Customer Effort Score with your other customer success metrics

Like other quantitative customer success metrics, the Customer Success Score can determine an overarching sense of customer sentiment and loyalty. A customer working overtime with a vendor just to get things done isn’t likely to stick around long, especially since this usually means they’re working with a vendor who is probably letting things slide and not being as attentive as they should be.

A Customer Success Score can be combined with other metrics to help determine your overall customer health score. This is also a very informative metric to analyze in terms of churn rates. If your customers who are churning have high Customer Effort Scores, this is a red flag that should be taken to your customer success strategy team immediately.

Want to learn more?

You can learn more about leveraging customer success metrics, including Customer Effort Score, with these additional resources from ClientSuccess:

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