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Methodology & Vision

Methodology & Vision

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The Need-to-Know

The CEI offers a fresh, data-driven way to experience world-leading brands as their customers do. Built to be an intuitive, informative and interactive platform, the free-to-access CEI website combines the best of ‘self-service’ data with expert commentary and analysis. The CEI enables a comparison of effort not only within a sector, but also across sectors, to enable users to identify and learn from the leaders in low customer effort – in as much or as little detail as they want.

Why the CEI?

The Customer Effort Index (CEI) platform was born from the conviction that well-known and useful measures of Customer Care like Net Promoter Score (NPS), TrustPilot, CSAT, and Gartner’s customer effort score (CES) left important issues obscured for people wanting to understand Customer. Rather than just the ‘What’ (and how fast?) about interaction and resolution, what if we could garner value judgements from the customer on the How? There was a gap in the brand toolkit for a more rounded approach to Customer Effort, one that included both the transactional and emotional impacts of engaging with the brand – from the customer viewpoint. Did the customer feel understood and valued by the brand? Did they feel they were in the hands of knowledgeable and expert brand representatives? Did the style of communication work for them?   

Sponsored by Conversational AI leaders ContactEngine, and tapping into the market research expertise of Delineate the Customer Effort Index (CEI) platform is designed to bridge that gap.

How’s it done?

The core survey data is designed and run by always-on consumer insight specialists Delineate, for ContactEngine. Based on data from c18,000 respondents each wave, consumers are asked to select which brands they’ve interacted with and the channel their interaction took place on, before answering a series of questions about the quality of their experience.  The foundation metric is the Effort Score awarded to the brand by the customer for performance against 4 key pillars:

(1) Knowledge & Expertise

(2) Style of Communication

(3) Speed Solving the Problem

(4) Valuing the Customer

Cultural and industry differences are weighted, resulting in an Overall Effort Score (using the scores for the 4 pillars) that can be used as a benchmark across different sectors and geographies.

Both the Overall Effort scale and the four pillars are measured on five-point scales that range between one and five. There is no data at the extremes; data ‘resides’ in the 3.5 to 4.75 range. To allow better discrimination between brands and to futureproof the rescaling, the scale is truncated so that it ranges between three and five. A new Minimum and Maximum is set – 0 to 100 – and the score(s) recomputed from the original truncated scale (three to five) to create the final, new range. For example, an original score of four would equal a score of 50 on the new scale.

The CEI is calculated using a self-referential scale that is recomputed every wave based on what the minimum and maximum values are. This enables us to see how each brand is performing compared to others within the data set.

How the CEI NPS is calculated

Identify the % of promoters for each brand (scores on nine and 10)

Identify the % of detractors for each brand (scores six and below)

NPS for each brand is calculated by subtracting the % of detractors from the % of promoters. This means that the NPS can range between -100 and +100, with an NPS score under 0 indicating that there is room for improvement.

ContactEngine sponsors the Customer Effort Index

ContactEngine believes that a great customer experience is an effortless one, where life is made as easy as possible for the customer. ContactEngine commissioned the Customer Effort Index to measure how real people perceive the effort it takes to be a customer of some of the leading brands in the world. By enabling a comparison of effort not only within an industry, but across industries, we can identify and learn from the brands who lead on making it easy for their customers to do business with them.