As each of us goes about our day-to-day lives, we play the role of “customer” on several occasions. We do not usually consider these interactions much after we experience them, as long as they have satisfied their initial purpose. The encounters we remember, however, are usually those where friction was created; when our customer experience is somehow hindered. Interactions that took too much time, hassle, or complication are those we usually associate with a negative customer service experience. Curating a standard of exceptional customer relations in your business means eliminating any unnecessary friction during every service interaction. One of the most critical parts of the customer journey is creating an easy and fast path to take customers from the first to the last stage of the trip. Investing in quality customer care builds a strong brand that your customers can depend on.
What Is a Frictionless Customer Experience?
Today’s customer journeys are complex. Touchpoints are tremendously growing across digital, in-person, and voice channels. A frictionless customer experience is simply about connecting these touchpoints to create a seamless and convenient experience and remove any impedes in a customer journey. Frictions can be found in any journey inside your company, including the customer service, marketing, and sales department.
To effectively work toward a standard of exceptional customer experience, businesses need to analyze each step of common customer journey scenarios to identify areas where disruptions may hinder an interaction. Paying attention to where friction interrupts transactions, listening to customers' feedback, and making necessary improvements based on their concerns will allow the relationship between a business and its customers to thrive.
Within most customer processes, friction is common surrounding a few basic themes:
Time: The amount of time a customer has to spend resolving a customer service issue, completing a translation, or waiting for assistance
Efficiency: How easily a business can recognize and respond to common issues, without having to transfer a customer from one agent to another to resolve a problem
Personalization: Actively listening and responding to customer feedback by implementing solutions that are tailored to their experience
Research shows that customers are more likely to remember and share about bad customer service experiences than good ones, making consistency the most critical element in building a brand recognized for outstanding customer care. If a customer is met with a frictionless experience every time, they will associate the business with positive interactions and are more likely to recommend the same services to others. On the contrary, just one single negative customer service interaction is enough for roughly 60% of customers to stop doing business with a company altogether. These realities make the elimination of friction in every business transition essential.
Why “Frictionless” is the New Standard in Every Industry Today
More than ever, a frictionless customer experience is not just appreciated by customers but expected all the time. In a society that relies more each day on services such as Uber, DoorDash, Amazon, and others designed to offer increased convenience for users, consumers have become accustomed to accommodation and ease. Businesses must implement what it takes to match the convenience offered by newer services to satisfy the new standard of a frictionless customer experience. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are faced with additional demands for quick adaptability with their service processes. The pandemic has highlighted and expedited the use of some of the most important service tools businesses offer today.
Contactless and Self-Service Options: Giving customers options that allow them to tailor their experience in a way that makes them feel comfortable has been a major way businesses have been able to offer heightened customer service. Though this has always been a way to give customers autonomy in making their transactions more efficient, COVID-19 has heightened the importance of contactless and self-service options. These options also allow businesses to adapt to rapidly-changing healthcare guidelines while still offering service to their customers. Increased utilization of these services not only during the pandemic but an already increasingly automated society will keep these options a lasting expectation.
Digital and Online Tools: The transition to online options have been dramatic throughout COVID-19 as limited options for in-person visits. However, the pandemic was the primary catalyst that caused businesses to utilize digital technologies and can be expected to remain an essential part of customer journeys in the future.
Personalization in Customer Experience: When operating amid a worldwide pandemic or during a time of normalcy, maintaining excellent service standards that are curated to the customer experience is essential to maintaining customer loyalty. Interactions personalized to each customer are easier to achieve more than ever before, as elements of more service processes continue to become automated and increasingly data-driven.
Frictionless is the future, and businesses are leveraging analytics and redeveloping existing service standards each day to make every interaction increasingly seamless. There are common key areas industries find success in to eliminate friction.
Utilizing Automation to Achieve Efficiency: Keeping in mind that time spent during a customer service interaction is a central theme surrounding friction, automation can be one of the greatest assets a business can utilize in decreasing unnecessary time spent on various service processes.
Equipping Employees With Tools for Success: By leveraging the data available to businesses because of automated processes, a personalized customer experience can be curated by each employee to build a positive relationship with each customer. By recognizing each individual’s needs and concerns, a rapport and sense of loyalty can be established with customers.
Offering Diverse and Customized Experience: Research has suggested that businesses are more likely to be top performers if they can offer an omnichannel service experience, a way for companies to further personalize and offer autonomy to their customers. Establishing a customer support system with a combination of self-service website tools, chatbots, and live agents is a great way to allow customers to receive assistance and answers in ways they see most fit.
To start delivering a frictionless customer experience, it is highly advisable to map out every stage of the process customers have to take to purchase a product or receive a service. When seeing the complete process at once, it is easier to identify where it fails, or customers fail to complete their journey frictionlessly. Nowadays, the audience values communication and exceptional experience as much as the product itself, thus creating a trust bond that promotes loyalty.
The critical element to achieving a frictionless experience is investing in a customer feedback management platform that can collect data from every point of interaction to assess weak spots in the customer journey. Press’nXPress solution helps organizations monitor customer experience across all touchpoints, either digital, in-person, or call center and in-the-moment of service.
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