The Importance of Reducing Customer Effort with Customer Service
The main goal of any Customer Experience platform is to provide a value that leads to loyal customers and brand ambassadors. While it is important to have a great product and technology that allows customers to access your brand easily, ensuring that your employees possess the service skills to reduce customer effort is vital to sustained success. There are plenty of opportunities along the customer journey where employees can provide this level of service, and those brands that are able to meet this customer need stand out amongst the crowd. By focusing your existing employee training and benefits program around reducing customer effort, your organization can position itself to improve brand perception and secure customer relationships.
The customer journey starts when a customer first has the notion they are looking to purchase a product. This initiation is the same whether you are selling tacos, automobiles, or computers, and your marketing team should have a system set up that positions your brand to be at the top of the list in your customer’s minds, whether that is through SEO, PPC or an active social media presence. Beyond reducing the effort of customers finding your brand, it is important that employees who are responsible for the first actual interaction with customers are aptly suited to answer questions, transfer them to the correct department, and consistently deal with any issue to limit channel surfing and send them along the purchasing process. One of the most common customer complaints is having to switch channels in order to complete a request, so creating a ubiquitous process to deal with customer service requests is essential. Combining employee knowledge with excellent customer service standards will ideally reduce customer effort, and encourage customers to purchase both faster and easier.
However, reducing customer effort goes beyond just trying to make a sale. Truly adopting customer effort as a centric aspect of your organization means applying these philosophies throughout the customer relationship. Whether it is a service help line, warranty process, or even a cancellation/return request, make sure that your employees make the process as easy and pleasant as possible so that there is a good taste left in the mouth of your customer to encourage a potential return to your brand. Many brands that have a poor service reputation disregard this process, making their cancellation process difficult and tarnishing the customer’s perception of the brand forever. By adjusting your employee training to focus on closing the loop and maximizing the result of every single customer interaction, your brand is better suited to foster long-term relationships and provide great service, rather than trying to make a sale or trick customers into sticking with your brand.
Customer service horror stories strike a chord in society because it is something that we all have experienced at least once. In order to avoid this CX infamy, employees must be trained to execute a consultative approach, focusing on satisfying customers and making their lives easier, regardless of where they are in the customer journey. The instances where a customer is unable to cancel a subscription or make a return easily not only impact that individual, but also everyone in both their social and real-world networks, and enough of these negative opinions can diminish your brand’s ability to acquire and retain customers.
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