Collecting Goal Completion Rates and Customer Effort Scores in online ordering funnels


Every ecommerce manager would agree that selling products and services online without monitoring customer experience metrics is the same as driving with your eyes closed. These are metrics such as Net Promoter Score (NPS), Goal Completion Rate (GCR) and Customer Effort Score (CES), all of which are heavily relied upon to determine both the success of their website and the success of their customers. In a previous blog post, we touched on NPS, a key metric designed to track customer loyalty. And now we will focus on the other two, GCR and CES and how collecting these scores can be leveraged to optimise online ordering funnels.


What is GCR and why is it valuable?

Goal Completion Rate (GCR) measures the number of visitors who have completed a specific goal on your website or mobile app. This metric is used by many digital marketers in two different ways. The first, and probably most familiar way is to measure conversions based on predefined goals (e.g. the end of the funnel), often using click behaviour. This is often done using tools such as Google Analytics.

However, GCR can also be measured using customer feedback. Using this method, your visitors provide you with feedback regarding whether or not they’ve achieved their goal on your website. For example, perhaps the goal of your visitor was not to make an actual purchase (yet) but rather to do an initial pricing investigation for a product. What’s interesting with this method is that when a customer fails in reaching his/her goal on your website, you can ask them to leave their contact information behind, in which case they become a lead. With this information you are essentially given the opportunity to rectify the situation and help the customer convert.


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Reporting GCR

GCR is an important KPI for monitoring your online sales efforts. For absolute goal completion, or in terms of visitors reaching the final step in the funnel, this can be reported by measuring the percentage of conversions.

Alternatively, when you request GCR in your feedback forms, you can simply ask your visitors, “Did you achieve your goal?” including a list of answer options, “Yes”, “Partly”, “No”.

Mopinion: The power of GCR and CES in online ordering funnels - GCR - No
Image: Mopinion Feedback Analytics Software

The data can be reported as a single percentage over a period of time (for example, the GCR for week 35 was 25% – meaning 25% of your visitors said “Yes I’ve reached my goal”). It can also be calculated in a trend to show how it evolves over time (days, weeks, months) and lastly, you need to know the distribution (percentages of Yes, Partly, No) in total or progressing over time. Additionally, it can be combined with visitor goals to see how successful your visitors are in each area. These goals can be gauged by asking your customers “What was the reason for your visit?” including different answer options such as pricing, contact information, to make a purchase, etc as well as an open option in case their reason is not listed. With this information you can determine, for example, that the GCR was 10% in terms of pricing and 15% in terms of purchasing.

Mopinion: The power of GCR and CES in online ordering funnels - GCR per week
Image: Mopinion Feedback Analytics Software

What is CES and why is it valuable?

Alternatively, the Customer Effort Score (CES) measures how much effort it costs your customers to reach their goal. This is a very important metric in that often high effort results in lower customer loyalty. In short, if your customers are forced to expend more effort trying to achieve their goal than they expected, they’re much more likely to leave your website. However, thanks to CES, which is considered a highly actionable metric, you can much more easily pinpoint weaknesses in your funnels. In a feedback form, you can ask for the CES with the following question: “How much effort did it take you to achieve your goal?” whereby the visitor must select a rating on a five point scale from “very much effort” to “very little effort”.

You can ask your visitors for the CES in a couple different ways. One way is to ask them at the end of a funnel. At this point it is clear that your customer was successful in making a purchase. But what you still don’t know is how easy or difficult the process actually was, which is why this is a good time to gauge how much effort they put into getting to where they are…

Mopinion: The power of GCR and CES in online ordering funnels - CES
Image: Mopinion Feedback Analytics Software

Alternatively, CES can be combined with GCR in a feedback form. For example, if your visitor fills in that they’ve achieved their goal (meaning they’ve selected “Yes” in the feedback form), you can follow up by asking how much effort it took them to achieve their goal.

Mopinion: The power of GCR and CES in online ordering funnels - GCR - Yes
Image: Mopinion Feedback Analytics Software

Reporting CES

By using CES as an online sales KPI, you will gain insight into how easy it is for your customers to order online. Similar to GCR, CES can also be reported as a single percentage over a period of time. For example, the CES for the month of September is 47%. This represents the percentage of customers who put little effort to very little effort into achieving their goal during the month of September. This method is known as a top-2 box, so essentially the two highest ratings (“little effort” and “very little effort”) are combined to provide one percentage. It can also be calculated in a trend to show how it evolves over time (days, weeks, months). Lastly, we can show the distribution ((very) little effort, neutral, (very) much effort) in total or progressing over time.

Mopinion: The power of GCR and CES in online ordering funnels - CES per month
Image: Mopinion Feedback Analytics Software

Enrich these metrics with further explanation

As you can see these two metrics can give you a lot of insight into your online ordering funnels. They enable you to see both how successful your customers are in reaching their online goals as well as how much effort it took them to do so. But don’t stop there! Combining metrics such as GCR and CES with a deeper explanation can provide a lot of insight into your online funnels. That is to say that by linking your scores to open comments, you will be able to better understand the reasoning behind why your visitors are not ordering.

For example, a customer provides feedback stating they did not achieve their goal in purchasing a product from your website. This feedback makes it clear that the customer was not successful, which is certainly useful information, however it still lacks the “why” factor. By adding follow-up questions to the feedback form, you can give your visitors the opportunity to explain (using a drop down with a list of categories, e.g. pricing) what their goal was as well as provide reasoning for not achieving their goal (e.g. information was unclear, technical bug, etc).

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