5 Ways to Reduce Customer Effort!

Every industry, be it automobiles, real estate or anything, has a benchmark or industry standard which they use to compare and compete on.

Customer service is a benchmark your customers can compare to that of Virgin Atlantic even though they don’t have slightest of business overlap.

This is why customer service is important. For customers, it means you can easily compare experiences given by any business. For businesses, it means you have to always strive to beat your competitors’ standard of support – one way or another.

Reducing customer effort can be your competitive advantage

Customers don’t want to put in extraneous effort in when they contact you for help. Essentially, the effort required on their part should be zero. Your customer expects that you have all the information to hand when they come to you with a question.

As one of Kayako’s Customer Support Advocates, I deal with this day in, day out, and I see the difference it makes in resolving issues for our customers. Through trials and tribulations of day-to-day support, I’ve found a few ways to reduce customer effort and boost satisfaction.

Research

I work on a project where I have to work with customers who want to move from our old product to the new one. I have two options:

  • Send them an email without much research and ask if they are looking to move to the new product and they provide me all the details and based on that I go ahead with it.They might not say that why didn’t I look up this information already but they would definitely feel or realise it. I would get the details from them but this also lead to high customer effort.
  • Second option is that I make use of the complete customer journey shown to me on their case and use all that information because there are times when these customers have already moved to the new product on their own and never had to ask Support about it.This is one of the ways where you raise the customer service bar and you make it easy for the customer because you have already done your research before contacting them. Your conversation tone would change from questioning to that of confirmation. The customer would appreciate it and it can go a long way in building a relationship with them.

This is just one example of how you can reduce customer effort by making steps to research the customer before.

Proactiveness

Offering proactive support can never be compromised if you are really working on reducing customer effort. At Kayako, we follow this practice wherein if support gets any monitoring alert we make sure we inform the customer even before the customer comes to Support about it.

This means even our engineering team is always equally involved in making sure that we deliver the best of customer experience to our customers. As soon as they notice something impacting a particular customer’s account, they request Support to email and update the customer. No doubt the issue occurred and has to be fixed but the customer never had to come to us which brings the customer effort score down, making proactiveness a very important aspect to consider.

Measure Customer Effort

Every once in a while you are bound to run into a situation where one of your customers will have to end up putting in some extra effort to reach you or explain things to you…. after all, we don’t live in a fairytale world where everything is perfect! Being in Support you have to be ready for such situations.

To make sure that it only happens once and you can fix it before it happens again you need to measure it.

You can easily measure Customer Effort Score using the CES integration from Nicereply.

You can easily integrate it with your Kayako and pull/add all the information to the customer journey. This can help you measure what kind of requests, in general, end with higher CES score…. and then you can work on diagnosing how that can be improved as part of your service. You can use data to answer the some of the questions below:

  • Is it because we’re not asking the right questions?
  • Is it something we need to change something in the product itself?
  • Do we need more knowledge sharing on this topic with customers?

As the saying goes “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it!”

Read about: Introduction to Customer Effort Score

 

Self Service

You need to make sure that your self service content is top-notch. Google has made everyone adopt self service as their first choice because people want all the information to be available easily – and they want to find it when they search for it.

A good self-service strategy can not only help reduce the load on your support team, but can also keep the customer effort score low. Your customer can easily check something and fix it on themselves without having to wait on an agent to get back to with a reply. No agent needed, but problem fixed.

Learn how to keep the Customer Effort Score low by identifying friction points

Automation

With Kayako (and some other customer service software) you can set up automations to reduce customer effort. It can be as simple as automating the status of an order delivery at each step or notifying the teams involved in approving an employee’s new hardware request….. because customers can be both internal and external and customer effort matters equally for both.

Take Away

These are a few ways to reduce customer effort. It’s easy to talk or theorize the way to reduce customer effort, but it’s more important to implement them and bring them into daily practice. This can only happen when you put yourself in your customer’s shoes when handling each request. Think about how you can make it easy for the customer and focus on finding a resolution on your first reply.

Read about: How to implement Customer Effort Score

It’s not just the customer who is impacted with high effort, it means you and your team are losing productivity which can put towards achieving and finishing other tasks.

You can sign up for Kayako’s free trial here to check how Kayako’s amazing customer journey feature can help both you and your customers 🙂


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Sandeep Kaur Sandeep Kaur

Senior Customer Advocate @HackerRank. When I’m not day dreaming or binging, I’m working on writing something about customer service or reading a (Auto) biography. When at work, I keep thinking of streamlining processes and connecting dots between things to simplify them.

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