My concept of creating a convenient experience is an end-to-end experience, including every point of interaction with any aspect of the company—interactions with employees, product, website, packaging… everything. How easy are you to do business with? What extra effort do you put your customers through? What friction can you eliminate?
Answering these questions will help you create a better customer experience. Looking for ways to improve the experience, save your customers time and be more convenient is part of what will make your customers want to come back. Getting feedback to validate your decisions is crucial. Using survey tools like NPS (Net Promoter Score), CSAT (Customer Satisfaction), etc. you get results that will help you determine the overall customer’s feeling about their experience. You can get ask questions that will give you specific feedback about various part of the journey.
In addition to getting feedback on the experience, it may also be important to get feedback on the effort it takes for the customer to do business with you, especially in the customer support area. How easy do you make it for a customer to connect to a support agent to resolve a problem or get a question answered? That can be a big indicator of the likelihood of your customer returning to do business with you.
Consider Clarabridge, a company that helps its clients gain insights and feedback from customers. They created the Clarabridge Effort Score, which empowers businesses to evaluate the level of effort expressed in every sentence of customer feedback and interaction channels. This can help business hone in on areas of their CX they may need to change. CEO Mark Bishof says, “The amount of effort your customers experience to do business with your company is an incredibly hard metric to analyze, yet it has a profound impact on the bottom line. Simply put, the more effort required from your customer, the more likely they are to abandon you for a competitor.”
According to Bishof, effort is a leading indicator of customer loyalty. A Gartner study about customer effort reveals that customers are four times more likely to become disloyal to a brand after a difficult customer service experience. To the contrary, if a customer has an easy or low-effort experience with a brand, they are 94% more likely to repurchase.
Look closely at the areas that cause high effort in addition to analyzing the overall customer experience. In the customer support world, this is repeat contacts, being transferred to multiple agents, having to repeat information again and again, and having to “jump through hoops” to have questions answered or problems resolved.
The ability to identify areas of high effort can help pinpoint problems and uncover solutions that will eliminate effort and create a better experience. McKinsey’s research shows that brands that elevate the customer journey increase revenues by as much as 10-15%, while simultaneously lowering the cost to serve by up to 20%.
Furthermore, focusing on measuring and reducing customer effort leads to tangible ROI. Going from a high to low effort experience, according to the Gartner study, reduces costs by 37%. The likelihood that the customer will spend more with a brand increases by 88% with low effort experiences. And consider the opposite result from a high-effort experience. Customer disloyalty skyrockets to 96%. In addition, the likelihood of negative word of mouth is an astounding – and scary – at 81%.
Companies know the value of customer feedback and data. Looking at the many ways a customer can connect with a company – human-to-human calls, emails, social media channels, chats and more – it’s important to understand the customer’s story. What do they experience? How hard is it to get the answers they want? What amount of effort do they put forth to do business with a company? The answer to those questions (and similar questions) are where the insights lie to bolster the overall customer experience, an experience that keeps customers coming back.
This article first appeared in www.forbes.com
Guest Author: Shep Hyken is the Chief Amazement Officer at Shepard Presentations. As a customer service and experience expert, he helps organizations create amazing customer and employee experiences. His books have appeared on bestseller lists including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and others. In 2008 the National Speakers Association inducted him into their Hall-of-Fame for lifetime achievement in the professional speaking industry.