What is Customer Effort Score

Customer Effort Score (CES) is a metric used in customer service and support to measure the level of effort a customer has to exert to resolve an issue or complete a desired action with an ecommerce business. This metric helps assess the ease of the customer journey and serves as an indicator of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Importance of CES:

  1. Customer Experience:
    • In today's competitive ecommerce landscape, providing a seamless and effortless customer experience is crucial. CES focuses on the practicality and efficiency of customer interactions, making it a key differentiator for businesses.
  2. Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty:
    • A low-effort experience leads to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty, while a high-effort experience can result in frustration, dissatisfaction, and ultimately, customer churn.
  3. Actionable Insights:
    • CES provides specific insights into areas where customers face difficulties, enabling businesses to take targeted actions to improve their processes and services.

How CES is Measured:

CES is typically measured through post-interaction surveys or feedback mechanisms. The survey usually consists of a simple question, such as "How much effort did you have to put forth to resolve your issue?" Customers rate their effort on a scale, often ranging from "very low effort" to "very high effort." The responses are aggregated to derive an overall Customer Effort Score.

Example Survey Question:

Benefits of Using CES:

  1. Identify Pain Points:
    • By tracking CES, businesses can identify specific areas of friction in the customer journey, such as website navigation issues, complex checkout processes, or inefficient customer support.
  2. Improve Processes:
    • Insights from CES allow businesses to streamline processes, improve self-service options, optimize website functionality, and enhance product information.
  3. Enhance Customer Support:
    • By understanding where customers experience high effort, companies can train customer service representatives better and provide more efficient support.
  4. Benchmarking:
    • CES can be used as a benchmarking tool to compare performance against industry standards or competitors, helping businesses understand their market position and areas for improvement.

Strategies to Optimize CES:

  1. Simplify Processes:
    • Streamline checkout processes, make navigation intuitive, and reduce the steps required to complete common tasks.
  2. Improve Self-Service:
    • Enhance self-service options such as FAQs, knowledge bases, and automated chatbots to help customers resolve issues quickly and independently.
  3. Effective Customer Support:
    • Train customer service teams to handle inquiries efficiently and empathetically, and provide them with the tools and information needed to assist customers effectively.
  4. Regular Feedback:
    • Continuously gather feedback from customers through CES surveys and other methods to stay informed about their experiences and areas needing improvement.

Example of Implementing CES:

An online retailer notices that customers frequently report high effort when tracking their orders. By analyzing CES feedback, they discover that the tracking page is difficult to navigate and often provides outdated information. The retailer revamps the tracking system to provide real-time updates and a more user-friendly interface, leading to a significant reduction in reported effort and an improvement in overall customer satisfaction.


In conclusion, the Customer Effort Score (CES) is a vital metric for ecommerce businesses aiming to deliver exceptional customer service. By measuring and continuously optimizing the level of effort customers have to exert, companies can enhance the overall customer experience, increase customer satisfaction, and drive long-term loyalty. Incorporating CES into the knowledge base of Zipchat AI, a Customer Service Automation for Ecommerce, empowers businesses to make data-driven decisions and take proactive steps towards improving the customer journey.