What is Frictionless Customer Experience?
Offering a frictionless customer experience means easy, painless, and hassle-free interactions between your customers and your products, services, or employees. So how will we reach that level of customer experience? Most companies today deploy Voice of Customer programs and measure customer experiences every day by sending surveys to their customers. Yet, most of these programs do not produce the desired results in customer experience, and often the feedback of customers is not turned into actions.
Challenges of Offering Frictionless Customer Experience
- First, the collected experience data is not comprehensive. Brands heavily rely on surveys, but customers share feedback in voice, text, social media, digital footprints, and more. Brands need to process and make sense of various types of experience data and metrics to understand the bottlenecks in the journeys.
- Second, very often collected insights stay in silos and are not shared with teams and frontline employees in real time
- Finally, process and governance in the organizations for turning feedback into action are typically not well defined or not fully operational.
Improving customer experience is not a simple task and getting results takes time. So how can companies act on the demand for frictionless customer experience? On our Smart customer experience webinar, Don Peppers, CX leader, explained the concept of frictionless experience and shared perspectives on implementation. Here are some highlights of his presentation.
Customer experience must be easy, painless, impose no burden on the customer and should not require effort from the customer.
Reducing Customer Friction
Primarily you must ask some questions to guide your company in reducing customer friction:
- Does your product require set-up or preparation from the customer, or does it work perfectly “right out of the box?”
- Can customers find answers to their questions in your digital channels on their own?
- How many times do customers have to “start over” by re-explaining their issue when they switch from one channel to another?
In fact, for 99% of companies selling 99% of the products, the very best possible customer experience is NO experience at all! The best possible experience is that their need or problem simply goes away. It disappears, with no action at all on their part. THAT would be an ideal “customer experience”.
Because unless your name is “Disney” or “Ritz Carlton” or maybe you operate a fine restaurant, your customer isn’t coming to you in order to enjoy the “experience” of buying and using your product – they just want their problem solved or their need met.
So your job is to deliver a truly frictionless customer experience, and this kind of experience requires four things: It must be reliable, valuable, relevant, and trustable.
Frictionless Customer Experience Examples
Let’s take an example from Amazon: Jeff Bezos shared in a shareholder letter that they do not want customers to have to call in and if they do call in they are focused on fixing the problem on the very first call. They measure something called the NRR, the negative resolution rate, after each inbound call from a customer. In a different case, if the technology can identify the issue, Jeff Bezos asks why do they even have to wait for the customer to call and why not send out the refund automatically. That is still something they do today.
So, removing friction from the customer journey makes the customer experience better for the customer and more efficient for the business.
Three Fundamental Tasks to Reduce Customer Friction
There are three tasks any retailer has to balance in order to be able to take these initiatives:
Aligning your metrics and responsibilities. This means you have to be measuring the right thing and you have to align your operations with customer issues, not just product category issues.
Deploying the right capabilities: you have to have the data systems to capture the data and the communication systems to put the data where it needs to be
Encouraging employees on customer experience mindset which is to improve the customer experience. You also have to equip them with the data and the accountability.
Our objective at Alterna CX is to provide the data and tools to CX professionals to simplify customer experience management in 4 steps:
- Design meaningful experiences: By providing CX professionals full control over CX measurement and research design anytime at any channel effortlessly.
- Listen smart: Surveys, social media, complaints, and other text data. Alterna CX analyzes various experience data using AI and helps the brand make sense of it in a single platform.
- Act in real time: Frontline employees in stores and call center should be aware of insights in real time so that they can act and fix things. Alterna CX can simplify this by providing automated root-cause analysis of text feedback and deliver role-based actions to the front line on mobile phones.
- Monitor and Improve: Both frontline and the CX managers need to track the results after actions are taken. Alterna CX provides role-based dashboards for different levels in an organization – the store manager tracks her performance – whereas CX manager can track all of the stores and journeys
- Reducing friction from the experience is a strategic task it can make us happier and it can also improve service efficiencies
- Tracking customer experience quality meets both objective and object metrics are vital to diagnose those frictions here we talked about making sense of both transactional surveys such as Net Promoter Score and also leveraging text analytics and other predictive data which could produce those smart insights and early warning signals
- Real-time actions and front line involvements are key to getting results so that companies can proactively manage experience and get results in shorter time frames
If you would like to learn more on frictionless customer experience listen to our on-demand webinar to understand how it is applied in real life.