Customer Experience is the latest topic driving businesses, especially those consumer-focussed ones who have principle interactions with customers through their contact centre. The costs of delivering the optimal customer experience must be weighed against the ultimate target of running a profitable and growing business, which can be a juggling act.
Inconvenience has its price. Asking a customer to go through too many hurdles to get the service they require increases the chances that instead of jumping these hurdles they will vote with their feet and find another provider. The real question is how much should you be invested in reducing the height of those hurdles before the cost outweighs the benefits is keeping the customer.
In order to try and weigh these two conflicting priorities a recent report by a contact centre technology organization conducted a customer effort impact survey to demonstrate “how the amount of work a customer exerts to obtain service affects business priorities of revenue and market growth, brand loyalty and operational margins.”
The survey suggests that high effort experiences have a bigger impact on whether a customer will turn away from a company than moderate or low effort experiences do to mitigate this. And generaly poor a customer service experience often leads to additional costs when problems have to be addressed.
Eighty two percent of respondents to the survey said they would be likely to stop spending money with a business as a result of a high effort experience, and almost 50 percent said they were extremely likely to do so.
Contrary to this, over 75 percent of respondents said they would likely continue spending money as a result of an exceptional customer experience and 63 percent said they would be extremely likely to continue.
The results, the report said, reinforce the value of providing a means for customers to meet their needs through a holistic, low-effort, personalised interaction. “Companies need to define efficiency from the customer’s point of view, simplify the effort required and optimise each interaction for an engaged, long-term relationship that multiplies customer lifetime value.”
The survey also asked respondents’ views on what constitutes a good and bad customer experience. High effort interactions were a big no. Sixty four percent of respondents rated the need to repeatedly contact a company to resolve an issue as high effort. Sixty two percent said that that inability to reach a human to get an answer to complete a transaction created a high effort and 59 and 56 percent respectively rated as high effort interacting with company representatives who lacked knowledge of product/service and lack of follow-up by company representatives to provide an answer or complete a transaction.
Of course the lifetime value of a customer varies between different businesses, but a good experience will contribute significantly to the long-term revenue and market growth that are consistently among the top company priorities, the survey concluded.
Customer experience at PSS
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