Finding Quick Wins to Decrease Customer Effort

Customer Effort Score is a measurement of how much effort a customer has to put forth to do business with a company. Studies have shown that customers who rate their interactions with a company as high effort are most likely to churn, regardless of how satisfied they are. The Maya Angelou quote comes to mind: “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” When crafting your customer experience, it’s important to note that customers will remember what you said or did, but how you made them feel is a widely underestimated component of their experience.

Measuring Impacts of your Customer Effort Score

The quickest way to learn from your customers is to simply ask them, “How much effort did you personally have to put forth to handle your request?” The answers to this question measures the customer experience more accurately than any other statistic. It tells you how much of your customer’s most valuable asset – time – you’re asking them to trade for a resolution to their issue. Once you understand how easy or difficult your customer interactions are, you can introduce changes to make these interactions easier. 

Many of the ways you’re already measuring your customer experience are key indicators of where your customers encounter difficulty. For example:

  • Are you tracking effectiveness within your knowledgebase? Are most customers who use your support content able to find answers on their own? If your support content isn’t deflecting calls, it simply isn’t effective content.
  • What is your First Contact Resolution rate? Many call centers already use this statistic to measure the effectiveness of their agents, but FCR trends can also indicate a breakdown in the customer experience. If policy drives CSRs to tell their customers to call back later, that’s a major dissatisfier that can be remedied by strategic changes.

Using Support Content to Reduce Customer Effort

Once you’ve identified some root causes of customer effort breakdowns, one way to address them is with your support content. Here’s an example
of what this discovery process looks like:

  • What questions drive calls to Customer Service?
  • Is there support content that provides these answers?
  • If there is, but customers still require support, where is the missing piece?
  • Are they not able to locate a satisfactory answer, or is the one they encounter unclear?

The Broader Solution: Customer Journey Mapping

Customer journey mapping is an exercise that gives you visibility into the customer experience from start to finish, so you can anticipate and eliminate areas of intense customer effort and maximize customer satisfaction. My colleague, Melissa Burch, along with David Kay of DBKay & Associates, have presented on this topic in a recent webinar,  Journey Mapping 101: Reduce Customer Effort and Improve Customer Experience. The recording provides you with everything you need to start mapping your customer journey, including strategies on reducing customer effort.