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Customer effort score survey

Learn how to collect, analyze, and measure your Customer Effort Score (CES)

Customer satisfaction & NPS®Product researchProduct feedback

Last updated

20 Jul 2023

Reading time

4 min


Get started with this template today.

How difficult is it to use your product? How much effort do customers use to sign up?

There’s a simple way to find out this for your product or service: all you have to do is ask your visitors and customers how much effort they have to put into doing business with you. This is the Customer Effort Score (CES), and measuring it can help you make accurate predictions of future business success or failure.

After measuring the Customer Effort Score, you’ll be able to quantifiably judge the amount of effort a customer had to exert to use your product or service, find the information they needed, or get an issue resolved. This template uses questions taken from our Customer Effort Score guide—start by reading this guide first.

With this survey, you'll learn:

  • Your Customer Effort Score 

  • Suggestions to reduce the customer effort

  • Ideas to dramatically improve the customer experience

  • A benchmark that you can compare back to overtime

Make it your own:

  • Tweak each question in the template or add your own

  • Change the color scheme

  • Remove Hotjar branding (with Scale and Business plans)

  • Pick between full screen, pop-up or external link Surveys

Discover ways to improve customer satisfaction  

Measuring Customer Effort Score is vital when determining customer satisfaction and predicting behavior. Simply put, reducing the customer effort can win loyalty from you audience. Increasing the customer effort can have the opposite effect—putting off buyers and encouraging loyal customers to churn. 

Studies have shown that making life easier for customers is a faster and more effective way to win their loyalty than providing extra frills or ‘wow-worthy’ customer service—especially when you learn that the leading source of customer frustration is something as basic as having to wait for a response when a problem or issue appears. There are three core benefits you’ll get from measuring your Customer Effort Score: 

1. Customer Effort Score can predict customer behavior 

Make something easy and you’ll encourage repeat behavior. A study published in the Harvard Business Review found that a good Customer Effort Score is one of the strongest predictors of future purchase behavior: 94% of customers who reported low effort said they would likely purchase a product again.

2. Customer Effort Score can generate more referrals 

Referrals tend to be the fastest way that new products grow and gain market share. The HBR study referenced earlier found that your Customer Effort Score can strongly indicate whether or not a customer will refer your business. In fact, 81% of customers who reported a large Customer Effort Score said they would speak negatively about the company to others. 

3. Customer Effort Score predicts customer loyalty  

Compared to customer satisfaction scores and NPS scores, Customer Effort Score tends to be a better measure of how loyal customers are. One Gartner study found that 96% of customers who reported high-effort experiences also reported being disloyal, while only 9% of those with low-effort experiences did.

3 questions you’ll be able to answer

Do customers struggle to buy my product? 

Send a Customer Effort Survey directly after a customer has made a purchase on your website to get an idea of how easy or convoluted the purchasing process was for them. You might find that several customers find the process difficult—perhaps there are a few small tweaks you can make to streamline the process. 

What do people think of my customer service? 

Customer Effort Score is particularly useful for testing the effectiveness of your customer service. Customers who have frustrating or unhelpful customer service interactions are likely to take their business elsewhere. By following up directly after an interaction, you can find out if a customer experienced a difficult service phone call or chat.

Is my product easy to use? 

Send a Customer Effort Score survey after a customer has signed up for a subscription service to gauge whether they are finding your services easy to use. Measuring this score over time can give you a sense check on whether or not the improvements you make to your product are actually helping users. 

Set up the Customer Effort Score survey in seconds

Getting started with the Customer Effort Score survey is fast and easy. Start by clicking the ‘Get started with this template’ link at the top of the page. 

Once you’ve pressed that you’ll be asked to create an account and verify your email. 

After you’re verified, you’ll be taken straight to the survey template which will be ready for you to send out to customers to start collecting insights. 

However, you’ll also have the option to install the Hotjar tracking code on your site. This tracking code will allow you to host the survey live on your site rather than via an external URL. This might be useful if you want to show the Customer Effort Score survey to users on a certain page. It’ll also mean you’ll be able to access all four of the Hotjar features.

Don’t worry, installing the tracking code won’t slow your website down. And it doesn’t cost you anything (our free plans are free forever). So, to set up your full Hotjar account and install the tracking code, follow these steps.


Get started with this template today.