Reducing customer effort for your company does several things for your bottom line. That's why your customer service numbers are so important when it comes to measuring how your company handles its most vital asset. See what happens when your contacts per customer improve as you seek to make experiences better for people who need assistance from your company.
Explaining Customer Effort
High customer effort means people have to go through a lot of steps to find the information they need. For example, a customer goes to your website and can't find the answer to a question on your FAQ page. Then the customer searches for a solution from another website or an online review, and can't find the answer that way. The person calls your company but has to wait on hold after wading through several number choices in the automated phone system menu. Eliminating many of these steps creates a better customer experience and reduces frustration.
A survey from CEB shows that 56 percent of customers have to re-explain themselves to an employee over the course of contacting the company, while the same amount reports moderate to high effort to solve an issue. A whopping 96 percent of people end up becoming disloyal to a company because of issues with high customer effort. In other words, make your customer service as frustration-free as possible to keep your customers coming back for more.
What to Do
Start by determining what your customers need in the first place to reduce contacts per customer. When a customer contacts you through a chat portal, the request may say something like, "I need help with a payment." A robust customer support system shows staffers the journey this particular person took while navigating your website so you can narrow down a problem.
A snapshot of the customer's interaction may reveal the person searched for "incorrect expiration date" on your website's Help page. Rather than asking "What can I help you with regarding a payment?", in the chat suite, you can step in and say, "How can I help you with inputting your expiration date from your credit card?"
Make communication as clear as possible from the get-go. Say your company receives 1,000 emails per week and you send an average of three replies to those emails. That's 156,000 emails per year. If you can take care of an issue in two replies instead of three, you send 104,000 emails. You reduce your workload by one-third, or 52,000 emails, over the course of a year and reduce the staff time it takes to resolve issues.
The end result of less customer effort is a better financial gain for the company. As many as 32 percent of customers are likely to reward your company with another purchase when you have proactive customer service. Positive experiences as a whole can improve your key performance indicators, such as average sale, number of transactions, customer purchasing frequency and revenue, as part of the momentum you gain from serving customers the right way.
When your company knows the full context of a customer's journey before contacting your staff, you have the advantage when it comes to reducing customer effort. Study these aspects of customer service to save money and improve your bottom line before you lose loyal customers.
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