Effort Series (Introduction): Four big things – and one REALLY big thing – that matter to all customers


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While each industry thinks their customers are unique, some characteristics are consistent across every business. Today’s post introduces our upcoming two-part series on customer effort and why it still matters.

Why Customer Effort

Broad claims about “making things easy” for customers and delivering “effortless experiences” are taking hold. Growing numbers of customer experience (CX) practitioners are putting the concept of customer effort—how much work customers put in to understand, purchase, and use products and services—to good use across industries. So now the question begs, is customer effort really the panacea for business success? We think it is.

As part of our practice, we routinely conduct primary research to help us – and our clients – stay ahead of trends. In a recent Benchmark study, we made a sobering discovery: customer loyalty is slipping in most industries, despite companies’ significant investments in channels and customer experience.

Why? Because when companies add new channels to the mix, they not only increase their chances for success, but they also introduce more opportunities to fail. Ultimately, companies have actually added more complexity to the customer experience rather than solve for the one thing customers really want: for you to make it easy.

In our research, we measured the attributes of a customer interaction that have the highest impact on effort. Here’s what customers said:

• Don’t make me repeat myself.
• Get me the answer in my first channel of contact.
• Getting an answer takes too long – speed it up!
• Empower your agents to resolve my issue.
Make it EASY for me to do business with you.

Have you ever seen the chart below? Bet you have; you might even have one with your own data.

Effort series NPS by Effort (boxed) 0715

Although these data can be scary, we believe that all is not lost. Companies that put the concept of customer effort to good use are reaping big benefits.

What’s Next

In this two-part blog series, we’ll discuss why effort is an important part of business success and why it’s a mistake to ignore it. We’ll also share best practices learned across clients and industries for measuring and lowering customer effort.

Stay tuned for post #1 in the coming weeks.

Image source: Thinkstock

John Georgesen, Ph.D.
John Georgesen, Ph.D., is Senior Director, Analytics at Concentrix. He specializes in designing customer experience (CX) programs that drive tangible improvements. With 20 years of applied experience, John is a recognized innovator in the field of customer experience management.


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