3 min - Mar 01, 2023

Is It Easy for Customers To Work With You? Measure Customer Effort Score to Find Out.

by Lauren Thibodeau

Is the customer experience your company delivers a bowl of lumpy batter or a delightfully thin French crêpe filled with goodness? 🤷

How do you even know?

You measure Customer Effort Score (CES) at key points in the customer journey.

Why measure it?

Because Customer Effort Score (CES) was shown to be the best predictor of increased spending and repurchasing in a 3-year study of 75,000 B2B and B2C customers across industry verticals and geos by the Corporate Executive Board, now part of Gartner.

What is it?

CES is a 1 question, multiple-choice survey-based metric. It is a lesser-known cousin of Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT).

When should I measure it?

This is a transactional metric you ask right after key interactions or transactions in the customer journey, for example after customer onboarding and after a customer service / trouble ticket interaction.

How should I measure it?

Make the 1 question CES survey timely – as soon after the interaction as possible, and use a survey tool that integrates seamlessly into your SaaS platform, so customers can answer in the flow of work. Give respondents the chance to share why they scored your company the way they did. This lets you find common themes and prioritize friction points to remove based on customer data.

Sample question:

1a) Based on your recent onboarding experience with <Company>, please share how easy it was to start using the product.  

Extremely easy
Very easy
Somewhat easy
Not very easy
Not at all easy
I’d rather not say

1b) We’d love to hear why (optional).

Are you using the Customer Effort Score metric today?


If this article made you hungry for French crêpes, here’s a recipe from Allrecipes.com. 🥞


1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
½ cup milk
½ cup water
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted


1.     Whisk flour and eggs together in a large mixing bowl; gradually add in milk and water, stirring to combine. Add salt and melted butter; beat until smooth.

2.     Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crêpe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.

3.     Cook until the top of the crêpe is no longer wet and the bottom has turned light brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Run a spatula around the edge of the skillet to loosen the crêpe; flip and cook until the other side has turned light brown, about 1 minute more. Serve hot.

For more info, check out these resources:

1. Customer Effort Score Definition on Klipfolio’s MetricHQ.

2. Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers in Harvard Business Review.

About SaaSCan

SaaSCan for Scaleups helps scaling North American SaaS companies increase revenue and improve the customer & employee experience through scaling Customer Success, and Customer Journey Mapping.

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