Credit unions have many tools in their arsenal for measuring member experience. One such tool is the customer effort score (CES) survey. If your credit union intends to use your CES survey, you’ll need to know how to calculate your CES score.
So, strap in, put on your math goggles, and get ready to blast off to CES calculation land!
Sorry. That was a weird way of saying, “here comes the rest of the article.”
What Is the Customer Effort Score?
Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, we’ll quickly run through what a CES is. The CES is a type of survey that measures how much effort various customer interactions require. Whether it be applying for a new credit card, opening an account online, refinancing an automobile loan, or just interacting with a teller, CES surveys make sure that credit union members don’t have to try too hard to get their banking needs met.
Businesses that require less effort of their customers tend to see much higher customer loyalty. So, for credit unions who care as much about retaining members as they do about acquiring them, measuring customer effort is important.
How to Measure Customer Effort
The easiest way to measure customer effort is currently with the CES survey. The CES survey simply prompts, “how easy did we make it to do…” or “how easy was it to…”
After all, if you want to know how easy something is for someone, then all you need to do is ask!
Respondents usually answer on a 7-point scale that ranges from “not at all easy” up to “extremely easy.” The verbiage may change, as may the number of points on the scale, but the idea remains the same.
And, while that’s a pretty easy scale to understand, it doesn’t provide the most convenient metric. So, all answers correspond to numbers. The higher the number, the more convenient or easy something was.
How to Calculate Your Customer Effort Score
Calculating your CES is easy. All you have to do is add up the total numbers from all your CES responses and divide it by the number of respondents.
Let’s use a couple examples. In each example, assume that the survey is measuring how easy it was for a customer to apply for a credit card.
Example one: you get two responses, a 1 (correlating to “not at all easy”) and a 4 (or “average”). Simply find the average number by dividing the response values with the total number of responses.
In this example, you get (1 + 4) / 2 = 2.5.
Example two: you get ten responses: 2, 3, 4, 7, 7, 6, 5, 7, 3, 4.
In this example, you get (2 + 3 + 4 + 7 + 7 + 6 + 5 + 7 + 3 + 4) / 10 = 4.8
The higher the number, the less effort the customer expended, and the easier the interaction was. Higher numbers are better in all but a select few circumstances (which we won’t cover today). In the first example, customers may have felt that the application process was too difficult or lengthy. In the second example, customers may have felt that the application process was relatively painless and straightforward.
How to Use Your Customer Effort Score
CES surveys are common, but not yet completely standardized the same way that NPS surveys are. Consequently, it’s not as easy to use CES surveys for external benchmarking purposes.
Your credit union’s best bet is to use CES scores to measure specific things over time. They may be particularly useful in conversion projects to see if changes to a process or system make things easier for your members.
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