Understanding Customer Effort - Sitel - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
Simply put, Customer Effort is the amount of perceived work (or effort) a customer must exert to receive the desired service and resolution. This can include the actual time from start to finish, and the number of times the customer is transferred. This effort isn’t simply an annoyance to the customer, it’s a driver of disloyalty. Some of the top factors that increase Customer Effort include:
- Multiple contacts: Customers want a “one-and-done” interaction with technical support or customer care. If they need to reach out to you again, Customer Effort rises.
- Channel issues: Customers that interact via self-service many times don’t want to be moved to the phone. Those that call your center often prefer voice-based service, so don’t reply with an email. Any time you force a customer to switch channels, they experience increased Customer Effort.
- Repeating information: Phone-based interactions typically begin with customers providing information to an IVR – and they don’t expect to be asked again by a machine or a person. If asked more than once, Customer Effort rises and loyalty fades.
- Lack of tonality and understanding: Customers expect to be taken seriously. Consequently, the tonality of agents, their choice of language as well as the emotional and technical understanding of customer needs has to be adequate.
Looking at these points, one quickly finds out that customer incentives, for example, such as unsolicited additional offers as compensation for delays, etc., do not meet customer needs, because they are looking for a quick and easy solution and not for a compensation for long waiting times. The CES measures how quickly customer problems are solved. A low Customer Effort score shows that customers had to undertake little effort to achieve a solution to their problem. Overall this follows the well-known architectural motto of “less is more”.
While this realization is increasingly met with interest in Europe, various examples of US providers exist, proving the positive effects of the CES approach, especially in the field of e-commerce. This also includes the trading company, Sears, founded in 1886, represented in Germany with the brand Land’s End. The use of new ways of measuring and achieving customer satisfaction has been achieved here by a comprehensive analysis of the relationship history of customers. It was found, amongst others, that 73% of customers looking for a phone contact had previously made a fruitless attempt at solving the problem via the website. This was a clear indication of problems with the architecture of the website, which clients obviously did not understand how they could simply help themselves. As a result, they had to use an additional communications channel as an aid. By naming the specific weaknesses, the website was adjusted, reducing the burden on customers and therefore recovering customer satisfaction.
Author: Irene Nehrkorn-Kayn, responsible for Sitel’s Marketing & PR in Germany, Eastern Europe and the Netherlands since 2013. She holds an MBA from the University of Wales, UK, and brings many years of experience, inter alia, in the sectors of international trade services, financial services, technology and capital goods, advertising and media in various management roles to Sitel.
Publish Date: August 18, 2015 5:00 AM
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