How To Make Life Easy For Your Customer

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Business coaches often talk about what is called the “Net Promoter Score”. This metric measures the willingness of a customer to promote your company’s product or service to others. A high NPS effectively means that customers sufficiently realize the value in your product or service to recommend to others. But a high NPS could be due to various reasons – it’s probable that the reason your product is being recommended despite your bad customer service because there is no good alternative. In such a scenario, your business could enjoy a high NPS only as long as a capable competitor walks into your industry.

So how do you measure actual customer loyalty? One metric that you can trust in this regard is the “Customer Effort Score”. In a broad sense, CES measures the response to the following question to the customer, “how much effort did you have to put forth in order to handle your request?”. The CES thus effectively encapsulates all the things that makes life hard for your customer. As a result, even if you have a world class product or service, the experience can sometimes be so painful to the customer that they may pick an alternative at the first given opportunity.

So how do you make life easy to the customer? Here are a few tips:

Move Bureaucracy Online : In a lot of industries, there are bureaucratic procedures to be followed like signing contract papers, submitting identification papers, etc. While most customers who are not tech-savvy would prefer to visit you personally to get these processes done, it is always important that you provide an online alternative so that customers who wish to do it from the comfort of their home can do so. For example, if you are a staffing agency, you can have an online portal for students to submit their resume, make use of a digital signature service for staffing companies to sign contracts with candidates and use SMS/Email notification systems for new alerts. This way, it is a breeze for candidates to apply to new jobs and get notifications for their applications. The result – an attractive CES.

Offer Callback For Customer Service : Nothing irritates a customer more than having to wait an hour on the phone to reach customer care. Always provide an option for callback on the customer service helpline. However, make sure that when you do this, you always have a dedicated team to call the customer back within an hour of the request.

Automate Systems To Reduce Lead Time : This is especially true with B2B companies where an interested prospect has to jump through various hoops in order to actually become a customer. This is how a typical transaction happens : the prospect tracks down the phone number or website of the business and sends an enquiry. The businesses often respond after a day or two requesting details such as the prospect’s business name, their requirements, etc. Once the details are provided, the business requests a good time to schedule a phone call. As a result, the prospect spends close to a fortnight just getting a quote from the company. A better solution is to automate the process seamlessly so that the prospect can receive their quote in less than a day. This puts you far ahead of competition and ensures better conversion rates. There are of course downsides to it – and one main issue is that this requires businesses to increase pricing transparency (which B2B businesses are beware of). But if you look past this factor, it greatly enhances your CES.

What other strategies does your company use to make life easier for the customer? Share it in the comments below.

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