The explosion of self-service options has had a perverse effect on the very situation they were designed to help. If a customer can’t easily solve their problem on their mobile device, they are likely to contact the call center. Frustrated with the fact that they couldn’t self-serve, that customer will enter the call feeling inconvenienced. The call will be complex and fraught with risk. The agent who handles the call will have the unenviable task of not just solving the customer’s problem, but also undoing their perception of just how much work they had to put into the process.
If customers buy from companies because of their products but ultimately leave them because of their service, then reducing the amount of effort that customers invest should be a priority for every contact center leader.
The conventional wisdom around delighting customers is wrong.
Much of the conversation around customer effort is a result of the insightful work of the Corporate Executive Board, and their bestselling book, The Effortless Experience. The premise of this book is that the conventional wisdom around delighting customers is wrong. In fact, the argument goes, when something goes wrong, the overriding customer sentiment is: help me fix it. No need to dazzle. No need to delight. Just help me get back to doing what I was doing before I had to interact with the call center.
Today’s customer is more informed and less patient than ever. Corporations ought to take note of this and meaningfully change how they interact in order to have a chance at retaining their fickle customers. High satisfaction scores do not correlate to loyalty these days. Meeting or exceeding a customer’s expectations in the call center has zero impact on loyalty. The frightening reality is that…