Due to the number of metrics needed to effectively measure contact center performance, there is always a search for a simpler, more effective means of determining customer satisfaction. First we had the basic customer satisfaction score (CSAT), then came Net Promoter Score (NPS). Next, we have the Customer Effort Score (CES). Now the question is which metric, if any, represents the pinnacle of all metrics?
Before we answer that question, let’s evaluate the basis for each score.
- CSAT – this metric is meant to provide information on how satisfied current customers are with a product or service, or a specific interaction recently completed. The typical CSAT has the customer rate an experience between very dissatisfied and very satisfied. Many companies feel that a passing grade is 70% or higher, so they do not delve into the issues of the other 30%.
- NPS – this system provides a single number that is used to measure happy customers who would most likely recommend a company. The responders are split into 3 categories: Promoters, Passive and Detractors. The idea is that this single number tells you everything you need to know about happy customers. It does not, however, give you opportunities to create happy customers from unhappy ones as they are not addressed in any way.
- CES – created by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) Customer Contact Council, this metric is based on research that showed uplift in customer loyalty came from minimizing the customer effort to get a resolution. The effort expended from attempting to resolve the issue via self-service channels and then having to contact an agent creates what is known as “channel thrashing” which increases the effort and decreases the CES. The post-transactional question “How much effort did you personally have to put forth to handle your request?” is answered with a range of 1 to 5, with 5 representing very high effort.
Which is the “Right” Metric?
Trying to condense customer satisfaction to a single metric does not provide a full picture. There is an argument to be made for metrics that determine the customer experience before a product or service is purchased. In addition, there is no one “magic metric” that can predict the future success of an organization. Choosing NPS or CES as the only metric will not provide a well-rounded picture of the customer’s experience, nor will it give you important information on the impact of agent / customer interaction.
The reality is that contact centers require a series of well thought-out metrics that measure key objectives. Every metric should be measured on a continual basis to provide important information on trends. Performing regular analysis of all the metrics will ensure you have a healthy contact center and successful customer interactions now and in the future.