Reducing Customer Efforts Is The Key to Loyal Customers

–By Shrishti Giri–

Customer delight, brilliant CX, customer interest, all these words have been in the limelight since the organizations recognized the importance of enhancing the customer experience. To exceed customers’ expectations, companies work on various campaigns, implement sales and discounts, work hard to deliver excellent service, and do many more things. Yet, they get very few loyal customers. Why is this so? Let’s take the example of visiting a doctor, we all have been to one. Just ponder over the process- when you fall sick, you go to a doctor, tell him/her your problem, s/he gives you the medicines to heal that problem/sickness, and you return happily. How would you feel if the doctor focused more on treating you well by serving you with a glass of water, greeting you nicely, behaving well, and making all nice gestures but not providing the medicines? Of course, you will think of heading to another doctor. 

The same is the scenario with every industry; customers first want a solution to their problem with reduced efforts, followed by service quality, behaviour, treatment and the like. A study by Harvard shows that twenty per cent of satisfied customers are more likely to leave the company, while 28% of dissatisfied customers are likely to stay. The study did not see any relation between satisfaction and loyalty. For companies from the service sector, customers are loyal when they get the right solution to their problems without any extra effort. 

Ease Drives Loyalty

No one wants to reach out to long queues when contacting call centre support for solutions or purchasing something from any offline store. What will make the customers feel satisfied is fewer obstacles, fewer levels in the entire call, and less wait time listening to that monotonous tone and repetition of their problem.

Measuring customer effort is one phenomenal way to understand what customers go through when dealing with any service or purchase. Take the example of Amazon, to reduce their customers’ efforts, the Amazon app provides a beautiful feature wherein if the customer is facing any issue while purchasing or setting up the account, they just have to click on the option ‘Phone’, and they will immediately receive a call from the support centre. Here the customers do not have to wait for the representative, but the support reaches out to them with just a single click! 

Calling can be easy and more time-saving if the customers are directly routed to the right person instead of making them navigate from one level to the other.

Anticipate and be Proactive 

Besides helping the customers with issue resolution, anticipating the issues to avoid the same problem with others adds to the beauty of reducing customer efforts. For instance, if a few customers have repeatedly called for instructions on using the same product, then the CSRs must be equipped and responsible for informing or designing a guide that educates the customers before their queries. This reduces customers’ efforts to call and wait. 

Feedback from the Dissatisfied Ones 

Getting in touch with already satisfied and happy customers only to get feedback is not the solution. The feedback from the dissatisfied ones can best interpret the real face of the business and the need for improvement. Tackling furious customers politely, listening to what they have to say and working on it is the major parameter to deciding customer loyalty

Therefore Comes the ‘Customer Effort Score’

Instead of asking the customers how delighted they are with any service or product, asking them how easy their experience was with the service or product is more impactful. Now, organizations have started gauging customers’ efforts on a scale of 1 to 10 to measure the ease or difficulty of interacting at the touchpoints and overall experience.

As a whole, what can assure customer loyalty is reduced customer efforts, be it the call centres, brick-and-mortar stores or any online channel. Customers are indifferent towards the touchpoints companies use, but they only care about ‘less effort’ on any channel they reach out to the brand. Switching from one representative to the other on call or chat, delay in resolution to the problem, or the number of clicks required to reach the specific representative, service or product is not their cup of tea. They need an unsophisticated, extremely simple and smooth experience with value for their money.

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