Saturday, November 21, 2015

Go out of your way to make sure customers don’t have to go out of theirs

Customer service doesn’t have to be a complicated notion. Simply ask yourself, does your company make things easier or harder for the people around you? 

Harvard recently released a study that interviewed seventy thousand people who had interacted over the phone with customer service representatives. What’s interesting is, their research found that delighting customers didn’t build loyalty, reducing their effort did. 

It was the companies who lowered the amount of work customers had to do to get their problem solved that scored the highest. Not the ones who exceeded customer expectations. Not the ones invested massive time and effort and cost trying to create unforgettable service moments. And not the companies who engaged in costly giveaways and other superficial marketing tactics. 

But the ones who made the process easy. The ones who removed obstacles. The ones who didn’t have endless corporate policies for saying no. The ones who didn’t transfer calls to three other departments. 

In short, the ones who delivered a low effort experience. 

I recently traveled on an international flight that lasted around seventeen hours. As expected, the experience was cramped and tiring and discombobulating. And yet, the airline went out of their way to make sure I didn’t have to go out of mine. Every interaction with the flight crew was designed to lower my effort. One attendant even joked, feel free to outsource all of your thinking to me. Ahhhh. I felt a wave of relaxation washing over me. 

And so, next time you decide to ramp up your organization’s service experience, don’t worry about wowing every customer every time. Just lower their overall effort. Stop putting people to work. 

Does your company make things easier or harder for the people around you?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
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