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CEI is the new NPS


You’re likely very familiar with the NPS score – Net Promoter Score. This tool asks one simple question: “How likely is it that you would recommend us to friends or family?”Using a 0-10 scale rating, with 0 being “not at all likely” and 10 being “extremely likely” businesses use it as a gauge of customer satisfaction – after all, if customers are rating this question as a 10, it’s likely they had a good enough experience to want to recommend to others.


The newest tool that is emerging no longer focuses on the NPS rating. Instead, we’re seeing the focus shift to CEI – Customer Effort Index.


Simply put, customers are asked to rate the effort that was put into their interaction with your company on a similar scale as the NPS rating; however, with CEI, businesses want to see a lower rating, meaning that the effort was minimal.


How can you ensure your customers do not have to go through significant effort to do business with you?


1. Ensure your telephone system is simple, gets customers where they need to go quickly, and don’t ask customers to repeatedly enter information, such as a customer number, every time they are taken to the next step of the interaction.


2. For online purchases, make sure all costs related to the purchase, including shipping and tax, are spelled out early in the process. Waiting until the last step of the process can frustrate customers and lead to abandoned carts. Make sure your website allows for easy navigation so there is not a lot of effort put into finding what customers are looking for.


3. Is your return process simple? Ensuring that customers are not spending a lot of time in line, or filling out multiple forms to make a simple return can go a long way in customer satisfaction.


4. Are your registers well staffed? Long lines at the point of purchase can frustrate any customer – make it easy for them to complete the transaction. Some POS systems seem to have customers confirm information more than once, or answer feedback questions. Some even ask if you’d like to make a donation to a specific charity. This is the final step in their interaction with your business; make it simple and efficient.


There are many other ways to decrease customer effort, and taking the time to look at your operational procedures and reviewing interactions from the customer’s point of view will help you learn what takes the most effort. From there, you can find ways to make it easier on your customer base.