The Effortless Experience

The Effortless Experience

It Doesn't Pay to Delight a Customer

After years of focus on the "above and beyond" service mentality, CEB’s research of tens of thousands of customers globally across multiple industries and customer types indicates there is virtually no difference at all between the loyalty of customers whose expectations are exceeded in service interactions and those whose expectations are simply met. In fact, the findings indicate customer service interactions are nearly four times more likely to lead to disloyalty than loyalty.

This is because 96 percent of customers who put forth high effort to resolve their issues are more disloyal, but only 9% of those with low effort interactions are more disloyal. Creating low effort customer interactions is the clear goal for the service organization.

Reducing effort starts by measuring and monitoring effort. In the customer service environment, Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) is a weak predictor of customer loyalty. The CEB Customer Effort Score, however, tops the charts with the highest predictive power. Rather than a complex algorithm, the Customer Effort Score is a simple question that service operations can use as a loyalty indicator in the service channel.

Why Effort Matters

Organizations that create a low-effort service experience, helping their customers solve problems quickly and easily, are most successful at building customer loyalty.   

Our research indicates effort is the best transactional loyalty metric for the customer service organization, serving as an excellent leading indicator of customer intent to repurchase and increase spend, as well as actual word of mouth.

To reduce customer effort in service interactions, leading organizations are working with CEB to change the way they frame service strategies.

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Build a Low-Effort Service Organization

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

CEB Customer Contact has recently introduced the Customer Effort Score 2.0, a customer experience metric that accounts for the ease of customer interaction and resolution during a service request.  

  • Easy for customers to answer, easy to include across VOC channels, and easy to track over time and share across the organization
  • Displays a strong connection to customer loyalty across regions, languages, and companies
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Since the concept of customer effort first entered the customer service and support lexicon almost five years ago, countless organizations worldwide have started measuring customer effort across all types of service interactions.  However, while data about customer service interactions is plentiful, executives agree it is disjointed and at best provides siloed snapshots into customer experiences.

In 2012, we introduced the Effortless Experience™ Dashboard, a comprehensive response to cut through the disparate and complex data streams companies receive daily to find the real areas of high effort across an increasingly complex and multi-channel environment.  It helps to pinpoint never before seen areas of high effort, while keeping an eye on budget.   

  • Learn directly from customers precisely where and why there are areas of high effort within each channel and how to eradicate them
  • Determine where there are avoidable (or desirable) channel switching behaviors through a map of the customer journey by channel
  • Chart progress today and over time with rich B2B, B2C and industry benchmarks
  • Guidance to prioritize and close performance gaps, with tools and best practice examples from leading service organizations around the world, as well as tools to gauge ROI of improvement efforts
  • Discuss effective strategies for implementing change, building business cases, and coordinating with business partners in a live format
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65% of effort comes from the customer’s interpretation of how the rep made them feel, so it’s vital that your service reps have the skills necessary to deliver positive, high-quality service.

To equip reps to deliver low-effort service, CEB Effortless Experience™ Capabilities Builder helps organizations build the following skill sets to be able to deal with complicated customer issues and diagnose customer problems and needs:

  • Reduce the amount of Effort—both real and perceived—that the customer has to put forth during the service interaction
  • Tailor conversations to the customer’s preferred style of communication
  • Actively own and take responsibility for customer interactions

The CEB Effortless Experience™ Coaching Capabilities Builder helps service leaders improve the customer experience and performance of their teams by developing supervisors into world-class coaches.

Companies often develop new contact channels in an ad hoc manner, failing to adequately think about the holistic customer experience across various channels. A successful multichannel approach requires an integrated strategy that carefully considers and designs additional channels while creating a path to guide customers to the best channel for their needs.

CEB helps companies identify where to shift resources to better handle multichannel contacts. Our proven best practice and live and online tools help companies understand customer preferences to help customers correctly select and remain in self-service channels.

  • Understand customers' self-service preferences
  • Actively guide customers through your online and IVR channels to help them select the right channel for their issue
  • Evaluate and assess channel portfolio—adding the channels that support business priorities and customer needs while removing channels that are poor fits