Customer effort – the silent measure of satisfied and loyal customers

Customer satisfaction is not a buzzword, the more satisfied your customers are with your service the more likely they are to be loyal to you. Conversely dissatisfied customers often are more likely to pass on that unsatisfactory service comment to friends and colleagues. Not measuring it, is simply asking your customers to try alternatives who do care. But are you focusing on the right areas to improve satisfaction?

There are lots of ways to measure customer satisfaction delivering different results and perceptions, some examples would be:

– NPS – Net Promoter Score is a great gauge of how your customers perceive your service and whether they would recommend you in the future. A higher a score indicates you are delivering a good service. Although a great measure, it is often over used today, and not always an accurate measure, we have all had those conversations with the requester “it’s ok to give me a 9 or a 10 if you think we have delivered a good service”
– Churn – this is probably one of the easiest measures, the more churn the more likely your customers are dissatisfied, reducing your churn rate by focusing on experience, service and the reasons why people are leaving will help you to focus on what you need to do to increase loyalty and satisfaction.
– CAC – Customer Acquisition Cost is another interesting measure looking at the cost of marketing and sales activities in a given period vs the number of newly acquired customers. If the value is high, it may be an indicator that the loyalty and satisfaction levels are lower than where they need to be.
– CSAT – Customer satisfaction score is all about asking about a particular interaction with you as an organisation. Depending on when you ask this question in the experience could drive a very different score. For example the sales process might be great but the follow on support could be bad, if you only asked during support it would give a very different picture to if you asked up front. The focus here is asking all of the time, after all interactions.

All of the above focus on delivering exceptional service or delighting the customer through the experience, but I think there is another which is potentially more powerful a measure.

The measure I am referring to is Customer Effort. In today’s world we are all time poor, we want great customer service but we want it efficiently, a business that provides the right end outcome but takes to long to do it, we might rate high on CSAT but overall we might not feel satisfied or loyal to the brand.

Customer Effort is all about making the customer’s life easier. Thus reducing the customer effort to do business with you makes the life easier for the customer and improves the impression of the brand and overall customer experience. Conversely, reducing the effort to do business can also result in reduced costs, reduced churn and overall more loyal customers.

Ask yourself a question “Do you focus on CSAT, the last interaction, ensuring you exceed expectation?” If so you may be missing the overall goal and missing the expectation of the customer that looks at the holistic overall experience with you. Looking at the key reason most customers leave a brand, it is not because of the product, it is more often or not, because it fails to deliver on customer service.

So why not focus on asking the question “Did we make it easy to do business with us today?“, because if you focus on easy to do business with you start to focus on removing obstacles, helping a customer to get to the solution quicker, reducing the number of interactions or channels that they engage with to deliver the product or service they are after.

So re-framing the message to your front line employees from “delighting the customer” or “exceeding their expectations”, to focusing on “make it easy” gives them a much more solid foundation to work off, it’s less confusing, it’s easy to comprehend and relate to. It will often leave to change that results in increased productivity and reduced waste.

In summary, start focusing on making it easy for a customer to do business with you and less on delighting them, you just might find that customer more loyal and satisfied on the service or product that you are selling. Successful businesses look at ways to measure this at every experience point, to understand the pain points and to make improvements. The HappyOrNot Smiley Touch enables you to ask this question to all of your customers, buying or not and to further understand the pain points with the experience so that you can make instant improvements and turn your dissatisfied customers into loyal satisfied customers.

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