Creating a great customer experience? Easy does it!

Posted by Mike McMaster

May 19, 2014


mikes-blogMost businesses instinctively understand the appeal of NPS; who wouldn’t want more customers actively telling the world how great you are? After all, these Ravers are the pay-off for delivering a great customer experience. Professor Phillip Kotler says that Ravers “will do your marketing for you”.

But where it starts to unravel is at the point of trying to work out how to get more Ravers. NPS is a great measure, but it doesn’t actually tell you anything about what you need to do.

Worse – businesses sometimes try to jump straight from “meeting needs” to “please tell the world how great I am” without any steps in between...and fail.

Forrester model this for us:


There is more to the business-customer relationship than just delivering what I want. You (the business) need to make it EASY for me (the customer) to do business with you. It is simply amazing just how many businesses seem to try and make it HARDER rather than easier. You’d think that they were doing us a favour by taking our money off us.

I went bed shopping a little while ago. Not the most exciting way to spend a Saturday afternoon, but I was amazed at just how fantastically difficult it was to buy a bed...

  • In a large specialist bed retailer
  • When I had already found the bed I wanted and could point at it
  • With a credit card ready in hand to buy it on the spot

After over an hour of frustration, and after talking with 3 sales “assistants”...I left empty handed, drove 30 miles to the nearest Ikea, and bought a (more expensive) bed in under 15 minutes.

Some companies base pretty much their whole existence around the business of making it easy. Look at Amazon – their one click purchase system is so easy even my cat can use it (she walked across the iPad and stepped on the button. Fortunately, the Christmas Candles were actually quite nice!).

Or Virgin Active, who made it so easy to cancel my gym membership in just one friendly call (when I’d been expecting a battle) that I’m now thinking about joining a new gym... Virgin Active is top of my list.

Professor Moira Clark of Henley Business School identifies four main drivers of customer effort: physical, emotional, cognitive and time. We looked at the impact of these drivers on the customer experience for two call centre clients:

  • Example 1: A UK water utility – where the Physical driver was the lowest impact (approx 10%) and Emotion was the highest (46%)
  • Example 2: An international logistics company: Where an easy emotional experience with a friendly, helpful and understanding call centre agent had a bigger impact on customer experience than the agent’s knowledge/skill/expertise.

Being able to meet the needs is at the bottom of the pyramid. It is a hygiene factor (if you can’t do even the basics then you are not even in the game), but the bigger impact is found higher up – by making it easy.

Have a read of our white paper to find out how you can not only meet your customers' expectations, but exceed them:

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Henley/BT CES paper

Journal of Digital and Social Media Marketing[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Topics: Customer Experience, Customer Experience Management

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