Be Easy to Do Business With

In a previous blog, Lessons from a Customer, I related my experience in dealing with 106 companies while I moved from Arizona to California. My conclusion was that most companies provide inadequate customer service and make it too difficult to buy from them.

These ideas ran through my head while reading The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty.

Written by Matthew Dixon, Nick Thoman, and Rick Delisi, the book (ironically, not an effortless read), summarizes extensive research findings about customer loyalty.

Key Points

  • The best indicator of customer service loyalty comes from providing a low effort (for the customer) experience.
  • “Wow! Service” or “white glove service” in the end does not provide as much loyalty as the low effort service.
    • Companies tend to grossly underestimate the benefit of simply meeting customer expectations
    • Companies tend to grossly overestimate the loyalty returns from exceeding customer expectations
  • We pick companies because of their products, but we often leave them because of their service failures

How to Be Easy (Low Effort) to Do Business With

I combine some of the ideas from this book with some thoughts of my own:

  • Root out complexity in any customer transaction – purchasing, invoicing, payment, service, etc.
  • Provide focus and set goals on creating low effort experiences for the customer
    • Measure the quality of the experience – low effort – over merely speed and efficiency
  • Be (or have a friend be) a customer for your company to see if your company is making it as easy as possible for the customer
  • Ensure that the customer’s problem is fully solved (next issue avoidance):
    • What can I do to ensure this customer won’t need to come back or call us back?
  • Set up well-functioning self-service channels (on-line) while ensuring that the customer can talk with you over the phone if that is the customer’s preference.
  • Reduce choices and options to simplify decision making for the customer
    • One colleague of mine has successfully taken this to the extreme. In his company, each product group has three different product offerings: good, better, best
  • Simplify (and shorten) all communication and marketing materials
    • As my late father liked to say, “eschew obfuscation” (translation – keep it simple)

In the end, keeping it simple and providing a low effort way for your customers to do business with you will keep them coming back.

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About David Shedd

David has been a President - CEO - COO of an up to $350M group of manufacturing, distribution, specialty retail and services companies, having led 22 different businesses from turnarounds to start-ups to fast growth companies.
This entry was posted in Business Acumen, Perform / Execution, Sales and Marketing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Be Easy to Do Business With

  1. Justine Shaffner says:

    KISS is a great motto and I love the eschew obfuscation quote! What a concept.

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