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Getting Customer Experience (CX) right is tricky, and since it’s so impactful, businesses must get it right! Thankfully there are several techniques to measure different aspects of CX, with CES surveys being an extremely effective one. 

According to Gartner, the effort customers put in while interacting with a brand impacts directly on their loyalty. 96% of customers with high effort scores for service interaction are more disloyal. 

In this blog, we will discuss how the level of effort drives customer loyalty. We will see how you can get the most out of CES surveys and create a low-effort experience for customers. 

What are CES surveys?

The primary objective behind determining a Customer Effort Score (CES) is to query the customer or user about how much effort they had to exert in a specific interaction with the company. These can be at any touchpoint a customer has with the company, right from purchase to customer support. 

CES questions are usually phrased in a manner like: “Overall how easy was it to purchase from Company A” or “How easy would you say it was to get your issue resolved?”

Based on your requirements, you choose from several metrics to measure respondent answers to CES surveys, e.g the Likert scale (ranging from “strongly agree”- “strongly disagree”), to 5 or 10 point scales or even emoticons. 

However, this versatility in scoring means there isn’t a universal benchmark for a good CES. Regardless, you can assume that a higher CES score is better.


Additional read: What is customer effort score & how to leverage it?

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Frost & Sullivan conducted 100k surveys across 300 industries annually with Voxco.

Getting the most out of CES surveys ces survey

Why CES surveys are important?

CES surveys are excellent at predicting brand loyalty and customer repurchase habits. While they are not an exact measurement of customer behavior or satisfaction, they can provide a lot of data for researchers to get insights into multiple aspects of customer experience.

These surveys can be easily applied to almost any client-facing process. It empowers organizations to be able to quickly find the root of the respondent’s issues and rectify them.

Customers want to resolve their problems quickly and conveniently. Higher efforts can result from multiple channels, needing to repeat information to different agents, repeated interactions, generic services, or late solutions. CES survey questions help you dive deeper into the cause of friction in customer experience so you can resolve them before it causes a bigger problem. 

Reducing customer effort scores can help you deliver high-quality interactions and exceed expectations. Asking CES questions to customers after key interactions can help you improve your NPS score, promote positive word-of-mouth, increase repeat business, lower costs,  and boost customer retention. 

1. Increase positive word-of-mouth: 

Frustrated customers are likely to tell others about their negative experiences to give them a heads-up of what to expect from your company. This will cost you negative word-of-mouth. Gathering insights using CES surveys will help you understand the root cause of the negative customer feedback. 

2. Increase repeat business:

Customers with lower effort scores are more likely to repurchase or return to a business than those with higher-score. Customer effort score surveys can help you identify pain points, making it easier for you to address these pain points. 

If a customer has to make less effort to complete a transaction, they are likely to come back for future purchases. 

3. Lower customer service costs:

Lower customer effort means fewer interactions. According to Gartner it means a 40% decrease in repeat calls, a 50% dresses in escalations, and a 54% decrease in channel switching. CES questions can help you identify the areas of high effort in the service interaction. You can use the insights to address the areas of improvement and proactively offer services that reduce the number of repeat calls or escalations. 

4. Boost customer retention:

When your service agent takes a proactive approach to resolving customers’ issues and offers a consistent and seamless service, it can positively influence customer satisfaction. An increase in satisfaction can lead to increased loyalty and customer retention. 


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How do you get the most out of CES surveys?

While the customer effort score questions can be used at almost any touchpoint in the customer journey, it’s particularly well suited to getting insights from customer support or measuring the overall experience a customer has with your brand. 

A CES survey example is the post-purchase experience survey. Leverage a CES survey tool to trigger a survey immediately after purchase in an e-commerce platform and uncover issues at what is a critical juncture for such a platform. More importantly, these would result in contextual answers which are fresh in the customer’s mind.

However, it’s important to not spam customers with requests to answer surveys. Experiment with subtle and in-your-face invites to gauge which approach suits your target audience better. 

Here are two key moments of CES surveying your customers.

01. After an interaction with customer service:

Send a CES questionnaire immediately after a customer’s interaction with a customer service agent. This allows you to gauge the interaction in real-time and understand how efficient the service team/agent was. 

It is best to send CES surveys to customers who have contacted your service team to resolve an issue. This will help you uncover how much effort it took on the customer’s part to get the solution they needed.

Use robust online survey tools that enable you to send surveys via email or SMS to gather and analyze data quickly.

02. After a customer completes a transaction such as a purchase or subscription:

Send a CES questionnaire to customers after they have completed a transaction such as making a purchase or subscription. This way, you can understand in real-time how much effort it took to make the purchase. 

Since they have just completed the action, the memory is still fresh in their mind. Sending a survey at this point in time allows customers to share their honest opinion. 

While there is no fixed interval to send CES surveys, it’s important to send surveys following a crucial interaction. Using a CES survey app, send a survey immediately after an interaction to ensure that the recollection is accurate and you gather reliable feedback. 

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As mentioned earlier, CES surveys are excellent for understanding the effectiveness of your customer support. Good customer support goes a long way in reducing churn and is a cornerstone in building brand loyalty.

Finding out where your customer support is lacking and relaying the insights to your support team in an actionable manner will tangibly improve your overall customer experience. With an effective customer support team in place, you won’t need to worry about losing customers should there be an issue related to their purchase.  

Measuring CES results is dependent on the type of question you used in the survey. You can use resources like Voxco’s CES survey tool and CES calculator for quick results or manually calculate results.

However, you’ve got to be careful with your survey length – the last thing an irate customer would be in the mood for is a lengthy survey about why their customer support wasn’t up to the mark!

Create Omnichannel Surveys with Voxco

Voxco is trusted by Top 50 Market Research firms, Global Brands & Universities in 40 countries. Voxco offers full omnichannel capability including CATI, Predictive Dialler, Online surveys, offline CAPI, and Panel Management. Check out Voxco Offerings below: 

Voxco Online

Create engaging omnichannel online surveys with advanced skip patterns, multi-media files, automatic device detection and more. 

Read more about Voxco Online Survey Software

Voxco Analytics

Create one click summaries, visual dashboards, uncover key trends and easily share  the report with teams. 

Read more about Voxco Survey Analytics 

Voxco CATI

Maximize CATI ROI with advanced features, hosting options, seamless telephony integration, and flexible pricing. 

Read more on Voxco CATI survey software

Voxco IVR

Voxco IVR can be used as a standalone, self completion survey option or in combination with other data collection modes.

Read more about Voxco IVR Survey Software 

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