Metrics that Matter: How Customer Effort Scoring can improve the ease of doing business

By Rachael Harper, Research Manager –

Utilities are unique in that they often have defined service territories and subsequently less competition. This has led many utilities to ponder the validity of using Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure customer loyalty citing the diminished power of referral when customers are aware that they do not necessarily have a choice in who their provider is.

Chartwell’s 2019 Customer Experience Industry Survey shows 38% of responding utilities use NPS to evaluate the customer experience while 92% use Customer Satisfaction (CSAT). An emerging metric for utilities’ is Customer Effort Scoring (CES) which can be also be applied to help evaluate the ease of the doing business. Currently, 33% of utilities are using this metric, an increase of seven percentage points from 2017.

When evaluating the customer experience, NPS and CSAT are important metrics utilities spend a great deal of time and resources measuring to improve their products and services.

These scores provide insight into how satisfied customers are with their utility or how likely they are to recommend them to friends and family. With the increase of channels available to interact, transact and communicate, it is more important than ever to evaluate how easy the experience is for customers.

Customer Effort Scoring can help evaluate which channels or journeys are easy for customers and which are not. Utilizing this metric provides an opportunity to gain visibility of where businesses can reduce friction and alleviate pain points to improve the ease of doing business.

In conclusion, NPS and CSAT metrics are a great way to gauge customers’ satisfaction and how likely they are to recommend your product or service to others. However, there is a growing need to understand and improve the ease of doing business which can be helped by using Customer Effort Scoring.

While all of these metrics are important to evaluate the customer experience, a comprehensive VOC program can help utilities better understand customers, their preferences, common complaints and areas of friction, all of which allow utilities to gain a holistic view of their customers and what can be done to improve the customer experience.

Customer experience metrics are a frequent topic of discussion of Chartwell’s membership-based, utilities-only Customer Experience Leadership Council. The council allows professionals to dive deeply into the issues surrounding customer experience management in order to identify and enhance the various touch points with customers, ultimately leading to improved customer satisfaction. The council dynamic promotes ongoing collaboration among members. Council members also gain access to historical and ongoing Chartwell research.

If you would like to learn more about council membership, feel free to contact Tim Herrick at

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