“Mr. Customer, your best bet is to go onto our website, find the return form, fill it out, and submit it. That will create a ticket and the process will get going.”
How many times have you called a help center and gotten words to this effect and felt pain?
Why is this so? Why is this painful?
It is due to effort, and effort is something we humans do not like. Our biology is such that we want things to be easy. You see, by expending less effort, we have more reserves for escaping danger, and to the intuitive system of our brains, escaping danger is critical. Less effort, more energy, higher chance of survival, it is logic. It is the way we are built.
Given this, forcing people to expend effort, especially when they are paying for your help, is painful. It goes against our natural inclination to laziness.
Using this logic, the more effort you remove, the more your price becomes justified. Work has a cost, and if you are doing it and the customer is not, you do more to validate that charge. In fact, depending on how luxurious you make it, effort removal may even allow you to charge more of a premium.
So, what can be done to reap these benefits? Here are four things.
- Be mindful of times you ask customers to do things you could do for them. Stop asking and start doing.
- Review your processes. Look for redundant steps. See if there are hoops people are going through that are unnecessary. Trim things to the bare minimum to get the job done.
- Take a field trip. Experience what customers experience. Try to return an item and see how much effort is required. Try and get help. How difficult is it? The list goes on. Constantly investigate to reduce customer effort.
- How long do customers wait for answers? If they are calling to follow up, guess what, your wait time is too long. Waiting is perceived as effort. Make quick response your team’s hallmark.
These solutions are simple, but they are a great starting point for improving your customers’ lives. And improving their lives is why your business exists—or at least it should be.
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