Make Minimalism the Standard of Excellence


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Too many companies make customer service a headache. The pleasant nature of having a small conversation and coming to a swift and happy conclusion is all-but-gone, replaced by rigid policies and inflexible business principles.

Take a step back, clear away the clutter and make things both easy and simple for yourself, your team, and your customers to enhance customer experience.

Everything comes with a thick instruction manual these days, and when something goes wrong, the process is complicated in order to fix it – even your smart phone has more complex technology in it than all the hardware and programming in the first moon lander!

Things are complex enough in life today, with very little simplicity. Do you have any idea how servers work? How about Bluetooth connections between phones, computers, game consoles and televisions?

Remove the Chaos of Complexity

If someone has a problem, they want a fix for it in the shortest time and in the fewest steps as possible. This doesn’t mean cutting out key steps; cutting corners will result in long-term losses, as it relies on customers being too stupid to notice that you’re delivering less than your best. What it means is to “trim the fat”.

People say this all the time, but most of the time it’s just a particular form of lip service. Trimming the fat involves throwing out the unnecessary steps, cutting out the middleman and focusing upon delivering a fantastic customer service experience that isn’t dictated by concerns of overhead and rigid policy.

Don’t Be a Machine

Machines are complex, but a human being can choose to be simple. This isn’t about how complex you are in a physical sense (as our biology is very sophisticated), but in an emotional sense.

The emotions of your customers drive them, and so once they feel that you’re making them jump through a hoop they’re far more likely to associate dealing with your business as a headache. You need to minimize “points of contact”. What does this mean? It means that the customer needs to be required to take minimal action in order to get their problem solved.

When you hear your friends and associates talk about a pleasant customer service experience, what do they usually say?

  • “The customer service agents got back to me right away’
  • “It was so easy”
  • “The customer service people were really nice”
  • “I just told them about my problem and they took care of the rest”
  • “They really went out of their way for me”

What’s the recurring trend that forms a pleasant customer experience? Kindness, understanding, and rapid alleviation of the customer’s problem. I remember a time that I went to an auto shop in need of an oil change and simple fuel filter replacement. The customer service agent there wanted me to tell him what oil type and fuel filter I needed. I explained that I really had no idea and wasn’t car savvy. So what did he do? He told me that I needed to go find out for him!

This is poor customer service, and it instantly adds an extra step for me – the customer – in order to get what I want. Can you be kind to customers, understanding of their concerns and problems? Can you position your business as being the answer to their issues, a convenient, easy, one-stop solution? Can you make the entire ordeal SIMPLE for both your workforce and your customers? If so, your business is in a position to last the years to come. If not, then you know what you need to do.

Cut the crap – simplify.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Flavio Martins
Flavio Martins is the VP of Operations and Customer Support at DigiCert, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise authentication services and high-assurance SSL certificates trusted by thousands of government, education, and Fortune 500 organizations. Flavio is an award-winning customer service blogger, customer service fanatic, and on a mission to show that organizations can use customer experience as a competitive advantage win customer loyalty. Blog: Win the Customer!


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