Customer Effort Score (CES)

Customer Effort Score (CES)

Customer Effort Score measures the ease of use for the users. Typically this is narrowed down to a single work process, e.g. handling sales invoices, doing payroll etc. Experience of effortlessness is the most trusted indicator for customer loyalty according to Gartner.

Continuously measuring CES for different processes in your product gives you a good idea where your users are having the most challenges. You can then divide your resources better according to your results. On a scale between 1-7, you should aim for over 5 in all your CES measurements.

In a nutshell




– Project lead
– UX expert
– Tech person
– Product owner(s)


– Post-its
– Pens
– Whiteboard, whiteboard paper or wall


Understand. Before you dive in, gather your A-team and get to know the Customer Effort Score.

Get Buy-ins and sync with stakeholders and run a CES training session (1h).

Settle on set-up. Work with your PO’s to decide what you want to measure and how to do it right.

Decide which processes to measure (survey points) by running a workshop for PO’s (2h). Start with core processes (easy/important).

Design the survey rules, e.g. Amount of responses per day needed vs. user base sufficiency.

Plan the details with PO’s by running individual workshops with each PO (1h each). There you should settle on survey questions, triggers and additional information. Focus on whole processes, fresh experiences and non-interrupted flows. Be consistent.

Test it! Before the full scale release you want to make sure everything works like intended. Catch mistakes by doing a heuristic UX review.

Test everything in production, e.g. Do you get answers correctly? Does additional information go through? Are there any technical issues? Do you get enough responses? Make changes and iterate on findings.


Launch. Big moment! Make it visible and known, remember to celebrate. Decide on launch date.

Provide internal stakeholders with information about what CES is and why you are using it and what the survey rules are. Share the survey data and how to utilize it.

If tests are green, launch – don’t forget to celebrate!


Follow up. Just measuring and collecting data is worthless unless you follow up. Make sure it gets used!

Keep PO’s up to date and make sure they have access to the data. Educate everyone on how to use the data

Showcase results to PO’s, stakeholders, steering groups (wait at least 2 week (ideally 30 days) for results to be concrete). Show the “full flow” of utilizing results.

Handover the process (creating new survey points, utilizing data and following up on comments) to PO’s.

Be proud of what you achieved!


Focus on getting the easy and important things done first and learn while doing!

  • Small agile and decisive groups are better than big and slow groups
  • Have PO’s on board from the start
  • Start early, don’t rush to production
  • TEST, test, test!
  • Don’t spam or harass your users
  • Measure processes, not features
  • Start with important and easy processes
  • Aim for at least 3 measured processes from the start (so you can compare)
  • Provide support and materials for PO’s to start utilizing the results in their teams
  • Do a clear hand-off of responsibilities

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