The Effortless Experience

Really good book on customer service and the customer’s experience. I read it on the recommendation of some folks in Support Driven and am very glad I did. Notes I highlighted are below.

what we find is that there is virtually no difference at all between the loyalty of those customers whose expectations are exceeded and those whose expectations are simply met

what we find is that customers are in fact quite happy to simply get what was promised them.

according to our research, any customer service interaction is four times more likely to drive disloyalty than to drive loyalty

we pick companies because of their products, but we often leave them because of their service failures.

the role of customer service is to mitigate disloyalty by reducing customer effort.

The more controllable drivers of channel switching (47 percent in B2C settings and 37 percent in B2B) can be categorized into three groups: The customer couldn’t find the information they needed. The customer found the information, but it was unclear. The customer was simply using the web site to find the phone number to call the company.

Customers are best served by being directed to the lowest-effort channel and options to resolve their issue, even if that channel would not have been their first choice

our advice is that it’s far better to incentivize self-service usage than to overtly discourage live service usage.

It’s simply unfair to ask customers if their issue is fully resolved. After all, how would they even know?

they forward-resolve only the immediate adjacent issues.

The company only forward-resolves the highest-probability adjacent issues.

Don’t forward-resolve complex issues on the phone.

Companies that actually reinforce their metric through their service ethic, their culture, and their performance management have 4.9 percent better resolution performance regardless of their metric

This company tracks a remarkably simple metric: repeat calls from any customer within a seven-day period.

how the customer feels about the interaction matters about twice as much as what they actually have to do during the interaction

there is compelling evidence that if the goal is effort reduction, just getting reps to be nicer to people doesn’t have much of an impact

Just because there’s nothing you can do, doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do.

The key to making an alternative suggestion work for a customer is to avoid immediately sharing what is not available.

Don’t encourage reps to try to explain their way out of a high-effort situation.

In a great number of cases, the service the customer is requesting and their actual issue may be very different.

Resilient Able to handle high-pressure situations without becoming burned out Takes responsibility for own actions Responds well to constructive criticism by managers Able to concentrate on tasks over extended periods of time Again, these five skills clustered statistically with each other, and broke apart from all the other factors.

the key that unlocks CQ potential: The environment. It’s not the training, it’s not the people. It’s the work environment those people are subjected to on a daily basis that enables higher rep performance, a lower-effort customer experience, and ultimately loyalty benefits for the company.

the achievement of consistently excellent service could never—by definition—be accomplished by treating all customers the same. Because all customers are not the same.

Available Talk Percentage: ATP = (talk time + idle time) / (shift length − (lunch break + other breaks))

ATP is essentially, then, a measure of how efficient a rep is with all the other work they do that isn’t talking to customers—things like after-call work, follow-up, and other administrative duties.

If supporting one’s peers is considered an extra burden or a hassle at any level, it is very unlikely to occur with any regularity.

for areas where the skills may seem more art than science—for example, using language to reduce the perception of customer effort (i.e., experience engineering)—overemphasis on training will actually stunt your team’s performance.

Coaching is focused on improving future performance, using past examples to illustrate the point. It’s an ongoing dialogue between a rep and their supervisor, that’s mutually owned by both parties.

in order to get new behaviors to take hold, old behaviors have to be retired. Teams must be told what they’re no longer doing.