How to provide an effortless customer experience

Drive repeat business and cut costs by delivering effortless customer experience

Imagine this scenario:

It’s Amazon Prime Day and you’re thrilled to have snagged the limited-edition wireless streaming stereo system you’ve had your eye on. When it arrives, you open the box and see… a whole load of parts. There’s also a 126-page user guide that raises your blood pressure every time you turn a page, but you manage to set it up… after about an hour. Unfortunately, no matter what you do, the Bluetooth functionality isn’t working. You hunt for the customer service number in the user guide to see if they can help, wait on hold for 22 minutes and then have the Tier-1 support agent walk you through a series of steps that you’ve just finished trying yourself based on the troubleshooting instructions. After 30 minutes of back-and-forth, you need to get to an appointment. On the way, you leave your new purchase at the nearest Amazon drop-off location. Limited edition or not, it’s just not worth the effort.

Now imagine this scenario:

When your brand-new stereo system arrives, you open the box and find a DVD with a visual step-by-step guide to setting it up. It’s so easy that you get it up and running in five minutes flat. However, the Bluetooth functionality isn’t working. You call the customer service number printed clearly on the DVD cover, and your IVR-directed call is picked up by Tier 1 support in less than two minutes. The agent uses remote visual assistance to view your system through your iPhone camera. He immediately diagnoses the problem and walks you through fixing the issue, using crystal-clear arrows to show you exactly what to do. Less than 20 minutes after the box arrived, you have your shoes off and are lying on your sofa as the strains of Puccini fill your home.

You’re satisfied with your purchase – not only because the product met your needs but also because the company provided you with a truly effortless customer experience.

Customer effort matters

Today’s consumers want their lives to be as easy as possible. Think Uber, Grubhub, Amazon Prime and the endless number of apps designed to let you order anything you want, direct to your door, with a click of a button. These on-demand services prove that convenient and effortless transactions are both possible and expected by customers everywhere.

Businesses hoping to compete in this modern marketplace need to adapt their customer-facing strategies to ensure every interaction is as quick and seamless as possible. McKinsey’s research shows that companies which eliminate inefficiencies along the customer journey increase revenues by as much as 10-15%, while simultaneously lowering the cost to serve by up to 20%. A Gartner study found even more dramatic results, reporting that moving from providing a high-effort customer experience to a low-effort one cuts costs by 37%, and increases the likelihood of increased purchases by an astonishing 88%.

Another reason organizations should strive to deliver experiences defined by low effort, according to Gartner, is that effort is the driver with the strongest tie to customer loyalty. In fact, 96% of customers who experience a high-effort interaction become more disloyal compared to just 9% who have an effortless customer experience.

What are high-effort customer service interactions?

By identifying inefficiencies that place unnecessary demands on the customer, businesses can make the necessary improvements to enhance processes in order to provide an effortless customer experience. Some examples of high-effort interactions include:

  • Repeat contacts – when agents achieve First Contact Resolution (FCR), it means that they properly addressed the customer’s needs the first time they contacted the enterprise, eliminating the need for the customer to follow up with a second contact to seek resolution.
  • Wasted customer time – make sure customers never have to repeat themselves or sit idle during extended wait times. Intelligent routing is also key, as nothing is worse than waiting for a supervisor and then finding yourself talking to the wrong department.
  • Shoddy self-service – call deflection to self-service ensures customers receive the answers they are seeking in the most efficient manner, while reducing the number of inbound calls routed to human agents.
  • Robotic service – no one likes to feel like they’re just a number or receive “generic” service. Asking a customer to briefly describe their issue at the start of an interaction can help gauge the nature and urgency of the problem, allowing the contact center to tailor its service appropriately.
  • Complicated instructions – customers should be able to resolve the issue as quickly and painlessly as possible, without exerting unnecessary mental effort on complicated choices.
  • Being reactive, not proactive – anticipating a problem before it becomes a crisis is the key to happier customers, lower customer effort and reduced contact center volumes.

Bottom line: companies must find ways to improve customer-facing contact center processes in order to provide an effortless customer experience.

In a newly published eBook, we take a deep dive into how businesses can provide effortless experience to their customers in order to boost loyalty. The eBook offers a wide range of tactics, tools and technologies that can streamline the customer journey, eliminate processes that waste their time or create duplicate work. It also explores a number of CX improvement tactics that don’t tell the full story, including the mistaken assumptions that customer satisfaction can be equated with loyalty and that overdelivering always leads to ROI. Also highlighted are examples of companies that are successfully delivering effortless experience to their customers and reaping the rewards for their endeavors.

Click here to download the new eBook, “How to Deliver Effortless Experience in the 21st Century,” and take the first step toward reducing your customers’ effort levels and winning their long-term loyalty.

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