You know the value of good customer service. You’re well aware that customer loyalty is crucial to the success of your business. But do you know the main reasons for customer loyalty? Conventional wisdom says that if you “delight your customers” by going above and beyond, you will retain them. But in their instantly viral article, “Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers,” published on the Harvard Business Review, Matthew Dixon and his CEB team showed that exceeding customer expectations only results in a tiny margin of increased customer loyalty.
If going beyond their expectations and delighting customers doesn’t result in customer loyalty, then what does? Giving them an effortless customer support experience.
Effortless Customer Support Experience
Due to the results of their research into customer loyalty, Matthew Dixon and CEB created a new way to measure customer satisfaction. Instead of using customer surveys, they developed the Customer Effort Score. It measures how much trouble customers have to face in their interactions with a company. They learned that any amount of effort customers have to make when dealing with a company lowers their feelings of loyalty. They would rather not have to interact with you at all. But if they do, they want the customer support experience to be as easy and quick as possible.
Think about what you expect as a customer. How do you feel when you check a company’s website for information and can’t find it? Or if you call for troubleshooting and have to navigate a labyrinthine automated voice menu and then need to dig our your account number? These are exactly the kind of effortful moments that drive business away.
In the Harvard Business Review study customers reported the following frustrations:
- Channel Switching. They tweeted at a business and were told to call a phone number. Or they called and were told to fill out a form on a website.
- Repeating Themselves. Customers finally reached a live person, told him or her about their issue at length and were passed down the line where they had to tell the story all over again.
- Need for Multiple Contacts. The number one reason given for customer frustration was the need to call more than once to resolve a problem.
Benefits of Reducing Customer Effort
If you reduce the hassles your business puts customers through, they will reward you with much loyalty to your company and/or products. Reduce friction for your customers at every point of contact, from marketing to customer service. So if your customer surveys are telling you that your clients are “satisfied” but you’re losing business, it’s time to take a look at how much effort you’re putting people through. They might be “satisfied” with your company or enjoy your products, but take their business elsewhere due to the difficulty they encounter when contacting your company. Give them a better customer support experience and keep them around.