By Josh Peacock In Best Practices, KPIs, Metrics | April 2023

5 ways to boost your Customer Effort Score (CES)

Studies have found that your Customer Effort Score, and providing your customer with an effortless experience, is a strong predictor of future purchasing behavior and leads to greater customer loyalty.

What is Customer Effort Score (CES)

Your Customer Effort Score (CES) is measured by asking your customers a single survey question on how easy they find it to interact with your product, find the information they need or to get a customer support issue resolved. It is one of your most important business metrics and is a leading indicator of customer loyalty and customer retention. Monitoring your CES, and developing initiatives to improve CES, is one of the keys to successfully growing your business.

Why your CES matters

Measuring CES allows you to gain insight directly from your customers on how effortless they find your customer experience. It is an important metric to monitor as studies have found that providing your customers with an effortless experience is a strong predictor of future purchasing behavior and it leads to greater customer loyalty. Loyal customers, those who enjoy an easy and convenient experience, are less likely to churn. They make repeat purchases from your business and are more likely to become an advocate for your product and your company. They have a high lifetime value, deliver strong unit economics and, ultimately, help drive you towards building a sustainable business. Simply, they are better for business.

Customer effort more reliably predicts your customer loyalty

A Gartner study reports that customer effort predicts customer loyalty 40% more accurately than customer satisfaction. With Gartner also reporting that 96% of customers who have high-effort experiences are characterized as disloyal, while only 9% of those with low-effort experiences are characterized as disloyal.

CES helps predict the likelihood of future purchases

A Harvard Business Review study also found that CES provides a stronger indication of your customers purchasing behavior than NPS and CSAT. It reports that 94% of customers with low-effort interactions indicated they would repurchase with 88% of those same customers indicating they would also increase their spending.

Customer effort is a strong indicator of customer sentiment

Customer effort is also a strong indicator of customer sentiment and provides useful insight into how likely your customers are to refer you to others. Hubspot reported that 81% of customers with high-effort experiences indicated they would speak about the company negatively. If your company is easy to do business with, your customers are more likely to advocate you to others.

How to improve your CES

With customer effort being such a key leading indicator on some of your most crucial business metrics, collecting CES feedback and measuring your performance is only one part of the story. It is important that you also use the information gathered to uncover meaningful insight and use that insight to remove friction from our overall experience, and improve your CES.

Below are 5 important focus areas that will help you reduce customer effort and boost your CES.

1. Prioritize self-service support

The emphasis on providing support solutions for customers to self-serve and resolve their own issues has been growing for many years. In the past, companies often viewed self-service support from a cost reduction perspective and a way to streamline support operations. However, this perspective has shifted dramatically with customers increasingly using self-service as the first point of contact with your support organization and, oftentimes, your company.

And the reason for this is simple: it’s what they want. Customers overwhelmingly prefer self-service support options, with Harvard Business Review reporting 81% of customers, across all industries, attempt to resolve issues themselves before reaching out to your customer support team.

The most common options companies offer their customers for self-service support include the help center, FAQ pages, community forums and, more recently, AI-powered chat and messaging designed to provide immediate responses to common questions.

As the emphasis on self-service support has increased, the core component of your self-service offerings has remained consistent. Your help center remains the cornerstone of self-service support with a study conducted by Forrester indicating it is the preferred self-service channel for customers. But simply offering your customers a help center is not enough. To help improve your CES, and overall customer experience, it is imperative that your help documentation is easily accessible, up-to-date and easily digestible.

Your help documentation should be easily accessible

Ensuring your help documentation is easily accessible is a crucial part of building a good Help Center. If your customers are unable to find your help center, or specific help articles within your help center, they will be unable to use the content to help answer their questions. No matter how well constructed your help documentation is.

Having sophisticated and efficient search functionality in your help center can be the difference between your customers finding the answers they need easily, or those answers being hidden among hundreds of help articles. It can be the difference between your customers having an effortless experience and serving themselves, or an experience which is high-effort and increases the risk of churn.

Keep your help documentation up-to-date and easily digestible

Including product screenshots in your help articles is another crucial step in providing an enhanced self-service experience for your customers. The product imagery in your help articles is the most immediate way your customers identify what an article is trying to help them resolve. If your product screenshots are fully up-to-date, your customer will easily be able to see that they are in the right place to answer their question. It builds their trust.

Conversely, if the product screenshots are different from what your customers are seeing live in your product, it will erode their trust. There is an increased likelihood your customers will bounce from the help article and not self-serve even though the answer is right there on the page. And, even worse, you will have increased the likelihood of your customers churning by creating a high-effort experience.

Not only do product screenshots immediately convey to your customers what a help article is about, they also make your content more interesting and engaging. Your content only has a few seconds to make an impression on your customers, and these product visuals make a big difference. Product screenshots allow you to break your content into more understandable steps, and allow your customers to digest the content in a more simplified way. They increase how engaged your customers are with your help articles and increase the likelihood they will find the answer they need.

Keep in mind, search engines like Google and Bing also display your help center and your help articles. Using product screenshots in your help articles, and including image titles and alt text on your images, is a great way to maximize the SEO performance of your help content.

2. Make customer support easily accessible across multiple channels

Another important way to reduce customer effort when helping your customers find the answers they need is to make your support organization easily accessible and to provide support options that meet your customers at multiple touchpoints in the customer journey.

Make it easy for customers to find, and access, any of your support channels. This first step in seeking support can often be the most frustrating. If your customers need to search for an email address or a support channel to contact you, this will quickly add friction to your overall customer experience and lower CES. Common ways to make sure all your support channels are easy for your customers to find include; creating a “Contact Us” page with links to your different support channels so customers can easily select their preferred channel, feature Support prominently on your homepage, and use support tools and chatbots to meet your customer where they are in their customer journey.

In addition to making your support organization easily accessible, it is also important to ensure you are offering your customers multiple support channels so they are able to find the answers to their questions in the way that is most comfortable for them. And, when you have them there, avoid switching from one channel to another to resolve their issue. Make sure your team has the tools to help your customers on the channel they contacted you through.

3. Focus on First Contact Resolution (FCR)

First Contact Resolution (FCR) is a key customer support metric that reflects the number of customer questions which are resolved during the first customer support interaction and that do not require a follow up interaction (e.g. during the first chat session or email exchange). When your customers encounter a problem that requires interaction with your support organization they want the issue resolved as quickly and effortlessly as possible. Resolving your customers' issues in their first interaction with your support organization will reduce customer effort and improve your CES. Not only that, it will also reduce the amount of time your agents spend working on the same issue and, ultimately, help reduce costs.

4. Reduce wait times

Customers want to resolve their issues as quickly as possible and with the least amount of disruption possible. When your customers have to wait to receive an answer, or there is a delay in addressing their issues, it negatively impacts your overall customer experience and requires more effort for your customers to find the answers they need. Therefore, focusing on reducing response time, or wait times, is another way to improve your CES.

5. Give your agents the tools they need

Giving your agents the tools they need to help them provide your customers with the support they need, as quickly and as effortlessly as possible, will improve your CES and improve customer retention. If your agents do not have the right tools to serve your customers there is a risk your customer response times will increase, you could fail to meet your customers where they want to interact with your customer support team, or it could lead to your providing a subpar self-service experience for your customers. All scenarios which could negatively impact your overall customer experience and increase the likelihood of customers churning so it is vitally important you arm your agents with the tools they need to best serve your customers.

For example, having up-to-date help documentation in your help center is one of the most crucial parts of providing your customers with quality self-service support. Keeping your help articles updated through manual help center audits, or relying on internal communication channels for other teams to inform you of product updates, is time consuming and prone to error. LaunchBrightly’s automated product screenshot process means you’ll never have to stress about missing another product update. You’ll automatically be alerted when a product change is made, and the product screenshots in your help articles automatically updated so the images in your help center will always be up-to-date. Improving your CES and, ultimately, your overall customer loyalty and customer retention.


Measuring your Customer Effort Score, and collecting information from your customers, is not enough to ensure you are providing your customers with the best possible customer experience. It is crucial to the overall success of your business that you use this information to proactively improve areas of the customer journey and address your customers issues as quickly and effortlessly as possible.