3 Easy Language Hacks That Will Transform Your Loyalty Metrics - mattersight - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
Brands tend to be literal about the concept of effort. They see it as a function of customers having to DO things: take too many steps, press too many buttons or switch channels too many times in order to get a problem solved. So they focus their time and resources on streamlining these aspects of the customer experience.
For customers, effort is much less tangible. While people may not like having to exert themselves during the course of a service interaction, they dislike being made to feel bad in the process even more. A lot more.
CEB found that while exertion has a 34.6% impact on a customer’s opinion of a company, a customer’s feeling about their experience accounts for 65.4% of their evaluation. Put another way, from a customer’s point of view, effort is 1/3 “do” and 2/3 “feel.”
It isn’t always possible to give a customer what she wants. If you use the right words, that’s OK.
Getting that ratio right is critical, as CEB’s research showed that 96% of high-effort experiences — i.e., experiences that leave a customer feeling badly — drive disloyalty. Contrast that with low-effort experiences, only 9% of which cause a customer to become disloyal, then couple it with their discovery that re-engineering service experiences from high- to low-effort reduces costs by 37%, and the argument that effortlessness pays becomes pretty compelling.
CEB’s emissary of effortlessness, The Effortless Experience author Matt Dixon, blew into the Windy City recently for the last of our Call to Loyalty Road Shows. This series of small regional breakfast sessions were designed to bring the some of the key messages of our first-ever Call to Loyalty to people who weren’t able to make the main event last November. And just like its Phoenix, Dallas and Atlanta counterparts, the Chicago show was a huge hit with the CX and call center pros in attendance.
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In a presentation packed with compelling ideas for alleviating customer effort in order to elevate customer loyalty, one that really stuck out for me was about language.
The fact that, as Matt put it, “words matter – a lot” is a truth we see play out every day here at Mattersight. One of the reasons why our Routing solution delivers such phenomenal results is that it pairs customers and agents who naturally, automatically speak each other’s language.
When that happens, customers feel good. And good feelings lead to loyalty.
Matt highlighted three simple yet extremely effective language techniques that leading companies proactively employ to engineer a more effortless, loyalty-driving experience for their customers. The best part? They’re strategies that any organization can implement quickly and see results from fast.
1) Be an advocate, not an adversary
Advocacy means putting yourself on the side of the customer and actively supporting their objectives. It’s the difference between talking to an angry hotel guest across a desk versus coming out from behind it to have the conversation … or telling a customer with a defective product, “You’ll need to take that into one of our service centers” versus saying, “Before you take this into one of our service centers, let me see if there’s anything I can do on my end get it taken care of for you and save you the trip.”
Advocacy shows a customer that he isn’t alone in trying to get his problem solved, that he and the agent (and by extension, the company) share the same goal and are in it together. And it goes a long way towards reducing perceived effort. CEB found that advocacy drove a 77% reduction in customer effort.
2) Flip the script on negativity
At Walt Disney World, no cast member will ever tell you what time the park closes. They will, however, tell you how long the park stays open. It’s a prime example of positive language, and as subtle as the difference may seem, the impact on effort is profound. Letting people know what they can do, or when something will happen, leaves them with an impression of abundance rather than scarcity – possibilities, rather than limitations.
For customers, that translates into effortlessness. According to CEB, positive language decreases customer effort by 73%
3) Offer choices to amplify benefits
A $45 ribeye may seem ridiculous if it’s the only steak on the menu. Put it next to a $55 and $65 option, and it becomes much more appealing. Such is the power of anchoring – which CEB defines as “positioning a given outcome as more positive and desirable by comparing it to another less desirable one.”
Matt shared the example of a cable company that offers customers two service call alternatives: an all-day window the following day, or a two-hour window the following week. Blocking out a full day to wait for a cable tech to come is no fun, but it sounds pretty good when the more convenient alternative means waiting a week for your next binge-watch — and it feels even better when the choice is yours to make. CEB saw anchoring decrease effort by 55%.
No matter how customer-centric a company is, it isn’t always possible to give a customer what they want. That’s OK. If you can use the right words to communicate bad news, your customer won’t punish you for it. In fact, they’ll reward you with the best gift of all: their loyalty.
Image Copyright: Kiselev Andrey Valerevich
Publish Date: June 30, 2016 5:00 AM
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