Don’t let rapid growth make your customers work harder to do business with you — the key to boosting business is reducing customer effort.
As your company gets into its disruptive stride — moving fast and breaking things — there’s a danger of alienating customers. Scaling quickly may negatively impact customer journeys and lead to an inconsistent customer experience (CX). According to Temkin Group, only 13% of customers who experience poor CX will do business again with the same company.
However, if you remain focused on effort — how much effort it takes for a customer to do business with you — and commit to keeping it to a minimum, they’ll stay with you.
Reduce effort to increase loyalty
No company, no matter how well established or well financed, can guarantee a perfect CX all the time. Even Amazon struggled when its sites unexpectedly went down during Prime Day. However, the episode didn’t damage its business or brand because CX is as much about the effort a customer needs to exert when things go wrong as when they’re going to plan.
It’s no coincidence that the less energy a customer must use to resolve an issue, then the more that customer will feel satisfied and the more they’ll recommend you to their peers.
Focusing on eradicating effort results in higher customer loyalty and future spend, but only if every aspect of the customer journey — pre- and post-purchase — is as easy as possible.
Keep self-service up to date
As you improve products and services, make sure the changes don’t destroy your website. It has to remain easy to navigate and don’t forget that any time you update your offerings, your self-service content needs updating.
Self-service is a key ingredient of customer relations. Our research shows that most consumers want to figure out problems themselves if they can. The key is to balance technology when it’s convenient, and a person when it’s not. Unless it’s a serious moment of truth, the majority of people will only phone your contact center as a last resort.
As your customer base grows, you can take self-service up a level by exploiting an online community. When organized properly, they’re customer-driven forums that evangelize your brand’s positive aspects, provide constant feedback for improving your products and services, and offer valuable and authentic self-help content for your customers created by your customers.
Online communities also have the added benefit of being a perfect tool for identifying your brand’s biggest ambassadors — the people you should be engaging with to help promote your company in a way and in a language that resonates honesty with existing and potential customers.
Keep information flowing across channels
When Nuance conducted a poll of U.S. attitudes to customer service, 75% of respondents said self-service is the most convenient way for them to resolve an issue. This is why it’s crucial to put frequently asked questions or frequently searched for content front and center — and to keep it constantly updated.
And if you have a community, make sure it’s clearly visible too. This keeps your customers happy and keeps them off the phone — good news for your contact center.
Having a complete view of the customer will also increase contact center efficiencies and cut customer effort. If your customers can’t move between channels free of the need to repeat themselves or to reenter information, you’re asking them to do a lot of work just to connect with you.
Keep an eye on your Customer Effort Score
The Customer Effort Score (CES) has become the best metric for measuring how customers really feel about your brand. Net Promoter Scores (NPS) are important for gaining insight into customer loyalty after individual transactions and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) surveys offer great insight into how well your agents are performing. But by combining the data from all three metrics, you get the clearest possible picture.
Organizations with a high CES have a lower cost to serve, a lower churn rate and have a customer base that’s more likely to advocate and to increase their average spending. In other words, there’s a real ROI on CES.
Disrupt the competition, not your customers
Focusing on customer effort is just one of the five steps you can take now to continue your disruptive journey. To learn more, read our ebook “Disrupt the competition, not your customers” — and learn why a laser focus on CX is the ultimate disruptor.