Customer Effort Score (CES) Vs Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Wondering if you should focus on increasing customer loyalty or decreasing the customer efforts put into the interaction with your organization? Both NPS and CES help organizations predict customer needs by measuring customer satisfaction scores (CSAT score).

To clear the air around Customer Effort Score (CES) vs. Net Promoter Score (NPS), here’s a disclaimer: They aren’t exclusive. They’re two scoring models that complement one another as they have different takes on a single entity, customer experience. So it boils down to what are one’s research goals to determine which one is the right choice.

What is the Customer Effort Score (CES)?

Upon much research, the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) found that the factor connecting customer loyalty and product service is getting issues solved efficiently in time. To achieve this, organizations should reduce the effort the customers have to put in to get their issues resolved. CES evaluates customer effort, and based on the results, the organization needs to clear the hindrances that the customers currently face. Conduct a Customer Effort Score survey and identify areas that can improve customer experience.

Customer Effort Score

What is the Net Promoter Score (NPS)?


NPS is a metric between a provider (usually an organization or an employer) and a customer to measure customer loyalty and brand shareability. The customers are classified into promoters, passives, and detractors based on the scores they provide.

Net Promoter Score NPS

Learn more: Customer Journey

Customer Effort Score vs. Net Promoter Score (CES vs. NPS):

In this battle of Customer Effort Score vs. Net Promoter Score (CES vs. NPS), a single scoring parameter can’t be used to determine an organization’s success or failure or any of its processes. Since we are discussing Customer Effort Score vs. NPS, here’s a list of advantages of CES and limitations of NPS.

Customer Effort Score (CES) Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Survey Question Overall, how easy was it for you to solve issues today? Considering your complete experience with our company, how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend or colleague?
Scale Extremely Easy/ Easy/ Neutral/ Difficult/ Extremely Difficult 0-10
Purpose of this Score An organization that depends on customer service strives to reduce or eliminate customer efforts put into certain issues by providing enough assistance that ensures customer troubles are eliminated in a brief interval of time. There is a high likelihood of customers sharing their unpleasant interactions with an organization amongst their friends and colleagues. Understand how likely are they to share positive or negative reviews about the organization with their friends and family by asking the NPS question.
Application Generally implemented to evaluate areas of enhancement for customer service. Implemented to evaluate customer experience at every customer journey point across all the communication mediums.

Advantages of Customer Effort Score (CES):

  • CES will get you valuable insights about how much does the customer enjoy interacting with your organization. If they say that they have to take too much effort to resolve their problems, it’s a signal for you to start working on your customer experience. 
  • Customer effort score offers you the opportunity to focus on getting rid of the customer’s obstacles by contacting the customers who’re critical in their feedback.
  • CES focuses on working on increasing customer satisfaction by asking them how easy or difficult it is to interact with your organization or its process. 
  • It adds value to your organization’s customer experience and service program in both the short term and the long term.

Disadvantages of Customer Effort Score (CES):

  • This scoring model is limited to service in particular and not your overall business.
  • It only gives results of whether customers find it challenging to use a service or not, why are they facing the difficulty or what are those difficulties in the first place remains unanswered.
  • The impact of factors like your cost, competitors, or product quality is not taken into consideration.

Advantages of Net Promoter Score (NPS):

  • NPS helps measure the likelihood of repeat business.
  • It allows understanding the direction for change and improvement of a brand or organization.
  • Conducting an NPS survey does not take long to implement and is cost-effective too.

Disadvantages of Net Promoter Score (NPS):

  • Lacks the capability to understand the reasons behind customer responses to the NPS question. 
  • While the NPS survey asks a customer about the likelihood of brand recommendation, you can’t conclude that customers will stay loyal to the organization. This is where CES comes in to analyze customer loyalty.

There’s no definitive answer to who wins the good Customer Effort Score vs. good Net Promoter Score debate. One thing is for sure that the two metrics are correlated. NPS is used to establish a relationship between an organization and its customers. In contrast, CES is a customer experience metric used to register customer satisfaction and experiences to predict loyalty trends. However, there’s no textbook rule that they should be used in isolation. They are generally used together tactfully to provide additional value to the customers.

Looking to deliver an exceptional customer experience with QuestionPro CX? Discover more about how to delight your customer at every touchpoint and turn them into brand advocates.