Should I Have to Work to be Your Customer?

Should I have to work to be your customer? 

What level of effort do you consider as acceptable for your customers to expend before they reach their limit and become frustrated, disloyal, and decide to stop being your customer?  Results from a recent survey by the Customer Contact Council indicate that 96% of customers attribute their disloyalty to a high-effort experience with a service organization. Investment in contact center technology that reduces customer effort by enabling multi-channel service and proactive outreach is imperative.

My last blog talked about different ways to reduce customer effort, such as mitigating customer disloyalty, and proactively reaching out to customers who have had a bad experience. In this follow up post, I’d like to address which areas a company should focus on to reduce customer effort. In an article from the Tower Group, Winning in Contact Center Technology, companies identified eight effort reduction focus areas.

Effort Reduction Focus Areas 

Percent of Members that Focus in Each Area

 Focus areas for reducing customer effort

What I found interesting is that the top four areas focused on improving what a customer has to DO in an interaction (73%), vs. how an interaction makes the customer FEEL (27%).  In relation to these top four areas, below are some indicators that may help your company decide where to prioritize your attention.

General Process Improvements

·         Does it take multiple areas to resolve the customer’s issue?

·         Are there manual processes that can be automated?

·         How long does it take to resolve an issue? 

·         Are their bottlenecks in your processes?

Improving Frontline Knowledge

·         What is your first call resolution rate? 

·         Do your reps transfer the customers to other areas frequently? 

·         Do the reps put the customer on hold for long periods of time while they search for information?

Enhancing Technology

·         Can the customer service themselves?

·         Can the customer choose their interaction channel?

·         Do your reps have access to all information they need to have a holistic view of the customer and their interactions?

·         Do you have a tool for measuring customer feedback?

Encouraging Consistency in Servicing the Customer

·         Do the customers call back to verify the information they received from prior interactions?

·         Do the customers receive the same resolution to their issue, regardless of channel?


What are the areas that your company is focusing on to reduce customer effort and improve the customer’s experience?  What are the main indicators you used to determine which areas to prioritize?

Let me know your thoughts!

Janet Thalacker

Business Consulting

Janet Thalacker

Janet Thalacker

I am currently a strategic business consultant for Interactive Intelligence. My role is to review an organization’s business practices and tools, to promote the awareness of new technologies, and demonstrate how new functionality, processes, and applications could increase customer satisfaction and employee productivity. My career path includes over 20 years of experience working for a Fortune 500 insurance company. My experience includes work with automatic call distribution (ACD), self-service applications, quality monitoring, workforce management, multi-channel communications platforms, knowledge management, and contact management. I am a very passionate person, enjoy what I do, and am motivated to help others and make a difference in my work and in my personal life. I enjoy music, reading, good friends and laughter. I value my family and friends, and cherish time with them.