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Customer Effort more important than Customer Expectations

Customer Effort more important than Customer Expectations

Customer Effort more important than Exceeding Customer Expectations

We catch up with Matt Dixon, Group Leader, Financial Services and Customer Contact Practices at CEB at the last Customer Contact Expo who shared a few of his thoughts on the importance of creating an effortless customer journey rather than on exceeding customer expectations.

CEB recently conducted an extensive research with over 100 thousand participants which focused on understanding if exceeding a customer’s expectations would increase their customer loyalty. 

Though conventional wisdom would have us believe that loyalty is indeed created by exceeding expectations, CEB’s new study shows that customers whose expectations are exceeded are just marginally more loyal than those whose expectations are met.

The study suggests that organisations should focus on creating an effortless customer journey rather than exceeding expectations. So what is an ‘effortless customer journey’? Simply put, these are customer journeys that avoid any unnecessary steps or points of contact, making the whole interaction process with a company extremely easy. Organisations that are capable of creating a low-effort service experience, helping their customers solve problems quickly and easily, are the most successful organisation at building customer loyalty.  

CEB’s research indicates that effort is the best transactional loyalty metric for customer service organisations, serving as an excellent leading indicator of customer intent to repurchase and increase spends, as well as actual word of mouth.

From product problems to slow internal systems, there are a number of things that cause customers to expend effort. Often, drivers of effort can be hard to identify, making them difficult to address and remove. To prevent unnecessary customer contacts and reduce customer effort, it's important to first and foremost understand why customers reach out. 

Customer service constitutes a big part of the overall customer effort and should be carefully reviewed so as to identify issues and priorities in creating an effortless experience. In order to do so, companies need to start communicating with their customers. Learn directly from their customers where and why there may be areas of high effort within each channel of contact. 

According to CEB’s research 65% of customer effort comes from the customer’s interpretation of how the customer service representative made them feel, so it’s vital that your service reps have the skills necessary to deliver a positive, high-quality service.

For more information on ‘The Effortless Experience’ you can visit CEB’s website here.