What is Customer Effort?
Customer Effort is a transactional survey metric originally based on the question:
How much effort did you have to put forth to get what you needed today?
Most surveys today use a newer version of this question:
How easy was it to get what you needed today?
This "ease" version of the Customer Effort question is preferred because it's less confusing when the survey asks the customer to answer on a numeric scale; with the "effort" version some customers would get confused by the fact that a higher number meant more effort, and therefore a worse experience.
The Customer Effort score is usually calculated as the percentage of customers who gave the top (i.e. easiest, or least effort) one or two responses. It gives an indication of how smoothly customer transactions are being handled. Normally the Customer Effort question is followed with an open-ended question asking the customer to describe any problems they had with the transaction, and additional questions asking about more specific elements of the customer experience.
Customer Effort has the advantage of being tied to a specific customer experience, and as such it tends to give data that's highly relevant to the operational side of an organization. For more on this, please see How Do I Choose the Best Survey Metric?