What do Nike, Bank of America, and Earthlink have in common?
They were all part of a research study recently conducted by the Corporate Executive Board. One of the core focus areas of the study was the link between customer service and loyalty. Although much of the study addressed the call center experience, the key findings were meaty enough for any organization to learn something.
There were 3 key findings I want to highlight:
· Exceeding customer expectations had a moderate impact on loyalty.
· Satisfaction does not predict loyalty.
· Reducing effort has the greatest impact on loyalty.
Again, this is a call center-focused survey, but the key point to glean is that the effort that the customer has to go through to work with your organization (to get their question answered, to get an issue resolved, to go through a process) has a significant impact on their loyalty.
This gets at process. This gets at looking at process from the customer’s perspective. This gets at having an organization that tries to make it easy on the customer to do business with you.
This says that in many cases, “Easy” is more important than “Wow!”
So ask yourself, how easy is it for your customers to do business with you? How easy is it for them to get a question answered, an issue resolved, or to go through a process of yours?
To impact loyalty, make it easy on the customer.
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