A few years back, the CEB (now Gartner) introduced the Customer Effort Score, a KPI which according to its creators outperforms both NPS (Net Promoter Score) and CSAT (Customer satisfaction) in predicting future customer behavior and loyalty. The popularity of the CES is backed up by statistical data which indicates that customers who put forth higher effort to resolve their issues are more likely to “punish” bad service and cut the company loose. Nonetheless, in the age of customer-centricity, many executives tend to overlook the fact that great customer experiences are the result of employee effort.
What is employee effort?
There are two ways to discuss the term employee effort. The first refers to the effort employees put into their work on a daily basis, at their own discretion. The second, refers to the effort it takes for employees to perform their tasks and is related to organizational factors such as processes, tools etc. that might hinder them from doing so efficiently. For the purposes of this article we are focusing on the latter.
The correlation between employee effort and customer experience
Focusing on the employee experience is the first step towards improving the customer experience. This approach is particularly important when it comes to service interactions because they affect the customers’ perception of their overall experience with your company and they have a deep impact on retention and satisfaction.
If your goal is to deliver an effortless customer experience you should take some time to answer the following questions:
- What are the employee groups involved in delivering such an experience?
- What tasks are these employees expected to perform?
- What are the workflows and processes that enable them to complete said tasks?
- How can we simplify internal workflows and processes?
- Do we have a clear understanding of how bureaucracy, administration, and policies impact employee performance?
- How can we enable employees to do their jobs better?
Evidently, it is in your best interest to design or reorganize complex internal structures in a way that makes it easy for your employees to do their job. To do that you need to be able to measure employee effort.
Introducing the Employee Effort Score
Traditional employee experience metrics such as the employee Net Promoter Score or Employee Satisfaction provide important insights in relation to engagement, advocacy or loyalty but do not necessarily measure employee effort. To deeply understand the employee experience, you might want to consider a metric such as the employee effort score, which just like the CES, which would track and measure how effectively and efficiently your employees perform their jobs.
To calculate the eES you would use a variation of the following question(s):
The company made it easy to perform my daily tasks.
The company made it easy for me to deliver the desired customer experience
This type of employee feedback will provide you with valuable insights on the efficiency of your internal operations and the degree to which they affect performance and impede your work force from focusing in providing value added service for your customers. Additionally you will be able to develop better strategies for managing the service encounter more successfully.