What are some best practices for CES surveys?

When a customer is forced to apply excessive effort to resolve their issue, or find the information they need, they’re far less likely to be loyal to your brand. CES serves as a key metric for surfacing these customer pain points as soon as they occur.

Whether deployed in a knowledge base to track self-service support, or sent directly after a support interaction, CES provides you with actionable insight to support the most effortless customer experience possible. In this section, we’ll discuss a few best practices for setting up a highly effective CES program.

Follow the traditional CES scale

Customer Effort Score features a scale that ranges from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). CES is calculated by identifying the percentage of total respondents that provided a 4 or 5, which is considered the “Agree” range.

Since the calculation is contingent on the above scale, avoid any question or intro message phrasing that might cause the methodology to be confusing and invalid. For example, notice how the below question doesn’t map accurately to the “Strongly agree” vs “Strongly disagree” scale:

How hard was it to find the information you needed with Delighted?

A similar statement, but more accurately reflects the CES scale, would be:

Delighted made it easy for me to find the information I needed

Be sure to cross-check your question with the CES scale to make sure it maps correctly and avoids any potential for confusion.

Keep your question simple and CES-specific

Effortlessness is a recurring and underlying theme with CES. Making your survey overly complex and hard-to-understand would run counter to the CES methodology. Keep it simple. Consider these two CES examples:

Delighted made it easy for me to locate the shopping cart due to their new in-app guide

As compared to:

Delighted made it easy to locate the shopping cart

The more variables you throw into the equation, the more likely the survey will be: 1) Less applicable to specific customer subsets, and 2) More difficult to understand, resulting in more customer effort.

Keep your question short and succinct. No need to be overly specific with the customer. As the survey does include an open-ended text response field after a score is selected, the customer will proactively tell you about what made their experience easy or difficult.

Time your survey correctly

CES is a time-sensitive survey. If you ask about the customer experience in the moment, or shortly thereafter, the customer will be able to provide you with real-time, contextualized feedback. The benefit with the rapid nature of CES is that you can quickly move to decrease a specific customer’s effort immediately, as well as apply rapid systemic changes to decrease overall customer effort moving forward.

Try to trigger CES surveys to be dispatched immediately after an interaction, during a Web visit, or as close to the transaction/interaction event as possible.

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