New businesses are starting up all the time and customers have all the power when it comes to choosing which brands to go with. If you want your business to be successful in the long run, you need to make sure you understand what your customers want and make sure they’re satisfied. A business should have customers as its main focus.
Many businesses fight fiercely for customer loyalty. It makes good business sense to keep customers because it costs less to keep them happy than it does to get new customers.
Customer satisfaction is essential to keeping your current customers and retaining new ones. If you have unhappy customers, they are more likely to leave and this will have a negative effect on your brand.
The goal of every business should be to not only satisfy customers, but to make the customer experience low-effort. This is the highest indicator of customer loyalty.
What is Customer Effort
The level of effort necessary for customers to be successful with your product or service is known as customer effort.
Customers expel effort at each touchpoint they have with a business, including:
- Account creation
- Product search
- Service interactions
- Support resources, such as FAQ pages or knowledge base
The easier a journey is, the more likely customers are to be satisfied. If the customer has to contact support and go through a complex process where they have to explain their story to different agents each time, this will decrease their satisfaction levels.
How to Reduce Customer Effort
The experience you create for your customers needs to be improved to reduce customer effort and increase satisfaction, as shown by your Customer Effort Score. The seven tips below suggest how to do it.
1. Create intuitive user journeys.
After analyzing your user journeys and support data, you may be able to identify areas where customers tend to get stuck. If you are getting a lot of requests for assistance with tracking delivery, you could consider changing your support materials so customers have an easier time understanding how to track.
A high abandonment rate suggests that the checkout is difficult or non-transparent.
When you realize there is a problem, you are already halfway to fixing it. Update the user journey to make it smoother and more intuitive.
For instance, to optimize your checkout process and reduce effort, consider these improvements:
- Offer guest checkout. It may be tempting to harvest all those emails, but allowing customers to checkout without an account may bring better revenues at the end of the day.
- Make a one-page checkout journey. When the customer can see all their details at once — from the cart content to the delivery address — it is easier to verify that all information is correct.
- Allow free returns, if possible. For customers, especially first-time customers, a cumbersome return process can be too much effort.
It is beneficial to learn about your customers’ preferences and interests so that you can connect with them on a more personal level. Doing so strengthens the relationship between you and the customer.
How anticipating customer needs help to improve customer satisfaction?
- Customers feel valued, listened and cared about their wants and feel assured that the same will not be repeated in the future.
- Understanding customer behavior and emotions help to provide a higher level of intuitive support.
- Having knowledge of the concept helps you build your products & services to match customer needs and interests.
2. Provide instant response with live chat.
Customers are likely to leave your site if their questions or concerns are not addressed quickly. The most common customer service frustrations are waiting for sales or support assistance and being put on hold for a long time.
Customer satisfaction is increased when response time is shortened. The majority of consumers say that having their issues resolved quickly is the most important factor in having a great customer service experience.
How does live chat help businesses increase customer satisfaction?
- Personalized triggers – Your agents can figure out that the customers are having some queries and assist them before they make any support request with personalized triggers.
- Route chats automatically – You can automatically route your chat request to the right agent or department for an expert solution and reduce the wait time.
- Start a proactive conversation – Live chat allows you to initiate a proactive conversation with customers and help them throughout their journey.
Make everything as easy for the customer as possible. Your contact details, FAQs, and knowledge base should be easy to find and use. Your chat widget should be easy to find and use. The level of customer effort is determined by how simple it is.
You will want to have a streamlined customer support process so that your customers can easily get in touch with the right agent. If you can, try to screen all inquiries in advance to figure out who the best person is to talk to. Customers generally don’t like having to explain their story multiple times, so this can help save them some frustration.
3. Leverage self-service resources.
Customers are more likely to be satisfied when they can find answers to their questions without speaking to a service representative. In fact, 67% of customers said they prefer self-service. It’s always much quicker and easier than contacting support. One way to reduce how much effort customers have to put in to solving their own problems is by providing self-service resources like a knowledge base, FAQ page, or set of tutorials.
To make self-service resources work, follow some basic guidelines:
- Make them easily visible and accessible
- Fill them with clear and informative content
- Update them regularly based on both your product development and customer requests
See, for example, how YouTube does it. The video platform has a page where all the self-service resources are organized and easy to find. If you have a problem that you can’t solve using the FAQs or the help of the YouTube community, you can contact the Help Center.
Self-service support can help to reduce the customer service gap. self-service is now the preferred method for 40% of consumers.
User forums, videos, tutorials, and a comprehensive knowledge base are the most common ways to deploy self service portals. The purpose of self service portals is to improve team productivity. You can help customers by providing a hub of information that they can use to educate themselves and get help on their own terms and at their own pace.
What are some ways that self service can be used to improve customer satisfaction?
- These options allow the customer the ability to actively seek out the specific information they need without having to wait on hold forever.
- Self service equals happier customers as it provides options to solve the problem faster and easier.
- You can provide pro tips to customers to get the best value out of products, learn about product upgrades, and receive upgrades or newer versions.
- Customers can share feedback about products & services giving you a chance to improve them.
- Self service is available round the clock. Customers do not have to wait for the support team to get the solution.
4. Use automation.
If customer service processes are automated, it will take less effort for customers. One benefit of using a chatbot as the first line of customer support is that it can help forward requests to the qualified agents who can provide expert assistance. Another benefit is that it can ease the load on the support team.
A ticketing system that allows customers to create tickets whenever they have issues can reduce customer effort and increase the resolution rate. A system like this would automatically send tickets to the right department or expert, and keep the customer updated on any changes in status.
Also, consider using an effective CRM system. Customer data can be synchronized between departments to allow for better service. This means that customers are finding it easier to be successful and are more satisfied as a result.
5. Optimize for mobility.
Most businesses are now targeting mobile users as their main audience. By 2022, mobile devices are expected to generate 57% of the global internet traffic.
This trend of preferred mobile use is steadily growing. People love using mobile apps for everything because it saves them time and allows them to get things done while they are on the go. You can check your email, shop for clothes, and make payments all while you’re doing something else.
By making your resources mobile-friendly, you will earn your customers’ appreciation and satisfaction. The mobile experience is easy and quick, which reduces the amount of effort required.
6. Go omnichannel.
A good customer experience includes being able to communicate with the business over the preferred channel or switch between channels seamlessly. An omnichannel approach gives customer service agents access to a history of a customer’s previous interactions so that the customer’s data is always available. The customer’s history is easily accessible to service agents, who don’t need to ask the customer to repeat any information.
An omnichannel setup reduces the time needed to resolve customer issues and increases their satisfaction by making it easier for customers to contact customer service through multiple channels. Integrating multiple communication channels and connecting them via a CRM system is necessary for successful implementation, as well as choosing the right email client. A good idea may be to join all your email and social media accounts in a single client for easier monitoring and management.
In the end, all these investments will give a large return. An omnichannel system can give your customers a great experience, resulting in loyal customers and more sales.
In other words, provide customer support however your customers want it, whether that’s over the phone, through email, or on social media. Omni channel support helps businesses to connect with their customers across all channels seamlessly. This helps to break down any barriers between channels, so businesses can provide a better overall experience for their customers.
Omni channel communication allows you to provide consistent support to customers across all touchpoints, delivering a unified brand experience that enhances your brand credibility.
How to increase customer loyalty by delivering omni channel support:
- Streamline all the conversations and manage them under a single platform.
- Connect with the customers in real time and reduce the average response time.
- Improve customer satisfaction with a high first contact resolution (FCR) rate.
- It helps to gain valuable insights about the customer profiles analyzing their journey.
- Businesses can build trust and credibility through consistent experience across all channels.
7. Resolve issues on first contact.
When customers only need to reach out to the company once, it obviously reduces the effort required. Additionally, when customers can reach a resolution with only one call or chat, they are more likely to be satisfied and remain loyal to the brand. FCR is important because it is the measure of how quickly and efficiently a support team can identify and correct customer problems on the first contact. It is a key performance indicator (KPI) of a support team’s effectiveness.
There are many factors contributing to increasing the FCR rate:
- Connecting the customer to the right SME from the very beginning
- Giving the agents enough authority to resolve customer issues independently
- Providing the support agents with complete customer data
- Empowering the support agents with effective tools
You can also improve your FCR by training your support team to be proactive in their communications with customers and trying to predict future issues. If the customer wants to change their billing address during a support chat, the agent might suggest updating the delivery instructions as well to keep all the data in sync. This can save the customer from having to chat again and, as a result, reduce their effort.
As customers’ expectations increase, so does the desire to improve customer satisfaction. If you want to be able to offer personalized experiences, you should invest in modern customer satisfaction strategies like artificial intelligence, visual tools, and an omnichannel approach.
In nutshell, delivering a better experience:
- Increases customer satisfaction and keeps your customers coming back. In simpler terms, more loyal customers are worth the investment.
- A higher customer satisfaction rate can be directly linked with increasing topline revenue of businesses.
- Customer loyalty is not only determined by the quality of your product or service, but also by how easy it is to use. Customers who have positive experiences with a company are more likely to remain loyal customers and tell others about their good experiences.
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