In today’s multi-channel environment, it is increasingly important to assess the customer effort put into every interaction. Customers expect the same level of service and familiarity regardless of the channel used. When they need to leverage multiple touch points to have a question or issue resolved, this usually leads to lower satisfaction and higher churn rates.
A good measure of customer effort is how many times a year the average customer calls the contact center for any reason – as we’ve said before, the best call is the one never made. However, most companies don’t include this measurement when evaluating customer effort, instead opting for traditional metrics such as call transfers, number of attempts to resolve an issue, or call handle time.
We can also learn a lot about customer effort through direct feedback. Customers frequently mention in surveys that they might not have needed to call if they could have resolved their issue using another touch point such as an app, website or product literature. They desire a “friction-less” customer experience, where their needs can be resolved independently – or through a predictive manner, without needing to reach out to a service agent at all.
Some examples of this are when an airline proactively offers its customers a credit after mechanical delays; when a telecom provider grants early upgrades on handsets; or when a credit card company grants a one-time late payment without penalty.
Just this week, I was contacted by my mobile service provider to review my account. They found additional savings for me and modified my plan with no service charge. This increased my feeling of loyalty, and I am now less likely to change carriers even if another appears to be cheaper.
Forward thinking companies will mine and analyze customer feedback seeking ways to reduce customer effort across channels, proactively identify needs and call drivers, and take necessary action to create the mutually desired friction-less customer experience.