May 18, 2023


Min Read


Amitayu Basu

The Metric Marvels: CES, NPS, and the Emotional Rollercoaster of Customer Experience

customer effort score

Net promoter score

Have you ever tried to order a simple espresso at a coffee shop only to be met with a barrage of questions about add-ons, upgrades, and loyalty cards? You might be thinking, "All I wanted was a quick caffeine fix!" That, my friend, is a case of low Customer Effort Score (CES).

CES, much like its friendly neighborhood metric, the Net Promoter Score (NPS), is one of the many tools in the customer experience (CX) toolkit. These metrics are like super-sleuth detectives piecing together the puzzle of customer emotions. But, with so many different measures, you might find yourself in a 'Sherlock Holmes meets Indiana Jones' adventure, sifting through the data maze and pondering, "Which one should I use where?"

To make this easier (and more fun), let's dive into the world of customer metrics using some real-life scenarios, case studies, and references from highly reputable sources. Grab your magnifying glass, and let's go!

CES: The Low-Effort Espresso Enigma

Our first detective on the case is CES, a metric that measures the ease of customer interaction with a company. Imagine you're a coffee shop owner, and one day you decide to implement a new, “innovative” ordering system. However, your regulars start grumbling, muttering things like "Why is getting an espresso harder than deciphering the Da Vinci Code?"

Welcome to the realm of CES! According to Harvard Business Review, "Delighting customers doesn’t build loyalty; reducing their effort—the work they must do to get their problem solved—does." So, by simplifying your ordering process, you'd improve your CES and keep your caffeine-craving patrons happy.

NPS: The Loyalty Litmus Test

Next up is NPS, a metric that gauges customer loyalty. Back to our coffee shop analogy, let's say you noticed that your customers enjoy your coffee but never bring their friends. You think, "My coffee is great! It could give an energy drink a run for its money. Why isn't anyone recommending us?"

That’s where NPS comes into play. It’s the litmus test for whether your customers would recommend you to others. As per Bain & Company, businesses that achieved long-term profitable growth had NPS scores twice as high as their competitors. So, it might be time to introduce a referral program or start a community event to boost your NPS!

CES vs. NPS: The Symbiotic Superheroes

CES and NPS are like Batman and Robin, each one powerful on its own, but when combined, they provide a comprehensive view of the customer journey. Our coffee shop could have the simplest ordering process (high CES), but if the coffee tastes like dirty dishwater, nobody will recommend it (low NPS).

According to Forrester, there's a symbiotic relationship between these two metrics. Improving the customer effort score generally leads to an increase in the net promoter score. So, if you want to keep your customers coming back, and singing your praises to their friends, you need to focus on both!

The Emotional Rollercoaster: CES & NPS Don’t Tell The Whole Story

Despite their superhero status, CES and NPS have their Kryptonite. They don’t capture the whole spectrum of customer emotions. For instance, imagine you go to a theme park. You had a smooth entry (high CES), and you’d recommend it to friends (high NPS). But, does that mean you enjoyed the terrifying, vertigo-inducing roller coaster? Not necessarily.

In a study by the Journal of Service Research, it was found that emotional responses to service experiences significantly influence customer loyalty, even when the service experience was effortless. So, for a complete picture, it's essential to understand the emotional journey of your customer.

The Case of the 'Meh' Coffee Shop

Consider the case of a fictitious coffee shop, 'The Meh Mocha'. The shop had a high CES; customers found it easy to order and get their coffee. The NPS was also high because the shop was conveniently located, and people recommended it for its convenience. But the sales were not growing. On delving deeper, they found that their coffee was, well, 'meh'. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. People came for the convenience, not for the love of their coffee.

The shop decided to revamp their coffee menu, sourced better quality beans, and provided barista training. Soon, customers started raving about the coffee, not just the convenience. The result? Higher sales and more genuine recommendations. The takeaway? Emotions matter.

Navigating the Metric Maze: A Balanced Approach

So, how do you navigate this metric maze? By using a balanced approach. CES and NPS are excellent starting points, but don't forget to take into account the emotional experience of your customers. Tools like sentiment analysis, and conversational surveys can provide more nuanced insights.

As per an article by McKinsey, "An effective customer experience program should measure and monitor customer emotions to ensure that the entire customer journey is addressed." So, listen to your customers, understand their pain points, and strive to create positive emotional experiences.

Concluding the Adventure

So, there you have it, folks! The world of customer metrics is filled with adventurous enigmas and mysterious correlations, but when used correctly, they can help you unlock the treasure chest of customer loyalty and business growth.

As we've seen, CES and NPS are both superheroes of the customer experience world. They can help you understand how easy it is for customers to interact with your business and whether they'd recommend you to others. But remember, don't ignore the emotional rollercoaster of your customers' journey. After all, we're all human (or so we like to believe)!

Whether you're running a coffee shop, a tech startup, or a multinational corporation, remember to keep it simple, keep them loyal, and most importantly, keep them happy. Because at the end of the day, a happy customer is a returning customer, and there's no metric more important than that.


1. Dixon, M., Freeman, K., & Toman, N. (2010). Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers. Harvard Business Review.

2. Reichheld, F. (2003). The One Number You Need to Grow. Harvard Business Review.

3. Forrester. (2012). The Relationship Between Customer Effort And Loyalty.

4. Liljander, V., & Mattsson, J. (2002). Impact of customer preconsumption mood on the evaluation of employee behavior in service encounters. Journal of Service Research.

5. Rawson, A., Duncan, E., & Jones, C. (2013). The Truth About Customer Experience. McKinsey.

Stay in the loop with the latest updates and insider insights. Join our community and subscribe to our newsletter today.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Create “wow!”    experience for your customers

With AI, Numr CXM gauges your customers' emotions and actions, providing you with actionable insights to elevate sales and customer retention