One of the themes driving innovation in customer experience is effort reduction—making things as simple and easy for customers as possible. One element of reducing effort is convenience design.
Digital experiences aren’t always more convenient. A colleague recently moved with his family into a new home. He rented a large truck to help, and sent me this note:
I was thinking about our conversation on digital and convenience. Just last week I picked up a large truck required for our move. The store had significantly reduced their in-person hours, giving people the ‘convenient option’ of checking themselves out digitally. First of all, it’s not really an option when you require it. Secondly, if you force this path, it better be done well. In this case it was not. The mobile app we were told to download failed miserably, not even showing our order. The web interface was hardly better, forcing us to jump through hoop after hoop. The result was wasted time and great feelings of frustration for myself and my family.
It’s usually pretty obvious when organizations change an experience to reduce cost rather than improve the journey. This truck rental company is an example. When you think about effort reduction, digital transformation should play an important role. Consider which parts of the journey might be enhanced if they could be done on a mobile device or similar self-service alternative. Don’t cut out other service options simply because an enhanced self-service alternative is introduced. Give your customers choice in how they interact. Then use the powerful tools and processes that are part of your CX initiative to gauge how things are going and where changes are needed.
Poor processes create costs and hassles that are passed on to customers. In The LEAN Turnaround, author Art Byrne makes a simple plea: “Reduce waste to maximize customer value.” He’s right. When you run an efficient and effective organization, your customers win.
Excerpt from Leading the Customer Experience: How to Chart a Course and Deliver Outstanding Results by Brad Cleveland.