As a technophile I was proud to already have used Apple Pay on my iPhone to pay for last Saturday night’s takeaway.Until this watershed moment I had always paid in cash or occasionally online but using Apple Pay was a turning point because it was so easy.
My weekend experience is far from the sophisticated and complex customer service utopia that we all strive towardsbut it was a perfect example of how something easy is something you are happy to repeat.
Now that might not sound like much but when there’s a process requiring little effort that a consumer is happy to repeat, they see no reason why they need to change their brand preference or service provider. That is a consumer who is more likely to becomes a loyal advocate. If you’ve read my previous blogs you will know that loyalty and advocacy equates to incremental growth which in turn creates prosperity.
My top five ways to become easy…
- Offer your customer the channels they want the most. Then deliver a consistent customer experience on every channel. Invest in each channel as if it were the only one so you don’t force operational or technical limitations onto the customer and you avoid the trap of having a channel simply because you think you ought to rather than because you know your customers deserve it.
- Don’t make the customer move channel unless they ask to or if the nature of the contact demands it. This is as frustrating as ordering a takeaway from one restaurant only to be told that you need to go to another to pick up your order. You already have the insight locked in to your operational reporting and analysis, use it to understand customer channel preferences and how these relate to the range of customer contact scenarios. Then ensure the processes are in place to support advisers and customers, reducing effort for both.
- Equip frontline staff with a single source of knowledge. Silos of knowledge result in the customer being passed from one department to another. On that journey they will be forced to re-tell their story, regurgitate their customer number and go through security checks over and over again. We’ve all been there, it’s a waste of your time and the company’s time and it leaves you asking why things can’t be easier!
- Empower customers to self-serve when it’s convenient. This might be hard to hear but no matter how much they are engaged with your brand, how loyal they are, how high your NPS score is and how fierce an advocate they are for you; sometimes your customers don’t want to talk to you. They will love you more for not having to talk to you when they don’t want to.
- Regularly review what it is you are doing as a business to make it easy for customers. The easier something is and the better it works, the more you take it for granted, so if you become easy you need to stay easy. What works right now may soon be outmoded by new apps, new devices on the customer side and technology solutions on the operations side. Ensuring these remain aligned to take best advantage of improvements across the entire spectrum of technologies and processes that customer engagement is key to maintaining the ‘ease’ with which your customers and interact with your brand.
Photo by Steve Tolcher licensed under Creative Commons