Customer experience pays. There’s no shortage of research on the impact of an improved customer experience, including improved revenue, profit, and, as a result, stock price. But how do you improve your CX? By focusing on Effectiveness, Ease, and Emotion. Improving on these three factors will ensure you are improving your customers’ outcomes, as well as your own.
Effectiveness: Job #1 is to Get the Job Done
You can’t have a great experience if customers can’t accomplish their goals in the manner they wish to. Effectiveness isn’t sexy, but it’s table stakes for customer loyalty. Unfortunately, Effectiveness initiatives are often starved to pay for more exciting projects. In their book The Effortless Experience, Dixon, Toman, and DeLisi reported on a cross-industry customer service study that reported that 58% of customers reaching a contact center first tried to resolve their problem online. As you can imagine, 59% of them were annoyed at having to make a call. Imagine cutting calls in half through an improved experience. Your first step needs to be to make sure customers can solve their goals the way they want to.
Ease: Easy Experiences Create Loyal Customers
Just accomplishing goals isn’t enough; it needs to be simple. The more you make your customers work, the worst the outcomes for everybody. Or, as we like to say, thinking is bad.
The customer effort score has gained significant mindshare since its introduction, and with good reason – because it really does matter. In their Customer Complaints X-Ray, Beyond Philosophy measured the impact of effort when customers ask for a refund. When a customer has an issue, the more effort it takes to chase their complaints resolution, customers were:
- less satisfied with the handling of the issue
- less satisfied with the outcome
- less likely to recommend the company
- less likely to continue being clients/customers or use more services
- more likely to complain in the future
This last is a bit of irony – the more work you make customers go through today, the more likely they are to cause additional work in the future! That’s a bad outcome for everybody. In fact, they found that reducing effort improved customer outcomes more than did giving them gift cards.
Emotions Trump Everything Else
Both Temkin Group and Forrester report that emotions outweigh other factors. The Temkin Group found that customers who rate their emotional outcome highly are promoters 76% of the time, whereas only 6% of those who rated it low are promoters. Similarly, 63% who rate an experience highly are willing to forgive that company for mistakes, whereas only 11% of those who rate the emotions low are.
A positive emotional outcome is the best predictor of loyalty – but you can’t win at Emotions if you lose in Effectiveness and Ease. All three are important, but each plays a different role in your customer experience.
Learn more about the Three Keys of Customer Experience at a free webinar I’m hosting along with Solvvy. Even better, you’ll also get to hear from Nicole Geosits, the Manager of Customer Happiness at Acuity Scheduling, on how she applies these three keys to create better customer outcomes.