Magazine article CRM Magazine

Customer Effort vs Customer Satisfaction: 3 Tips to Improve Every Customer Engagement

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Customer Effort vs Customer Satisfaction: 3 Tips to Improve Every Customer Engagement

Article excerpt

Everyone knows that poor customer experiences negatively impact customer loyalty, brand image and an organization's bottom line. With this in mind, businesses strive to not just meet, but exceed customer expectations.

According to Forrester Research, Inc., more than half of customer service decision-makers want to deliver customer experiences that are the best in their industry. But is a customer experience that simply meets expectations good enough? While there's certainly value in going above and beyond to serve customers, often they're seeking quick fixes to their problems. And as customers increasingly engage with brands across multiple channels, they're starting to place more value on consistent, dependable experiences.

This trend is only increasing with millennials valuing convenience and speed more than previous generations. According to a Boston Consulting Group survey they prefer speed, ease, efficiency and convenience above friendly service. Likewise, they're more likely to turn to self-help solutions before engaging with a service rep. A recent OpinionLab survey exemplifies these preferences, finding that millennials are more likely to turn to their devices and social networks for guidance rather than customer service reps.

Given these consumer preferences, striving to exceed expectations and deliver the most extravagant customer experience possible may in fact be a drain on resources and contradict what your customers are looking for. So how can organizations deliver an effortless customer service experience that meets expectations?

1. HELP CUSTOMERS HELP THEMSELVES

In the age of the smartphone and continuous online access, customers are not only extremely familiar with, but have an expectation of, being able to carry out certain transactions themselves. Why would you want to wait to speak to an agent just to find out your bank balance, where the nearest store is located or when a bill is due? Self-service portals that are efficient and easy to navigate enable customers to carry out specific transactions themselves. Not only do your customers get what they want quickly and easily, but it also frees up customer service agents so they can devote more time to handling more complex inquires.

2. SERVE CUSTOMERS WHERE THEY ARE

Some customers are more likely to pick up the phone, submit online inquires or engage on social media. …

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