The digital revolution is here! It changed the way we see the world today and it is quickly reshaping customer experience.
During the 1990’s the percentage of people using the internet was very low, barely reaching 0.05%, but as time passed, digital technologies continued to grow. Fintech companies have certainly brought technological disruptions which are the norm lately, take for example 2011 when Bitcoin became the first widely accepted fully digital currency. Following this milestone, the percentage of customers using their smatphones while shopping increased to a whopping 90%!
Thanks to companies such as Amazon and Apple, customers now expect every organization to deliver services faster, with a seamless user experience. In order to meet these high customer expectations, other companies must accelerate the process, while the level of effort is supposed to decrease.
Today, measuring Customer Effort is mandatory for companies that want to maximize their customer engagement and loyalty strategies. Research conducted by Harvard has shown that there are significant and measurable gains when an organization chooses to make transactions, interactions and the overall journey easier for its customers. The most important takeaway is that by reducing effort, companies make the experience less painful.
But what do customers perceive as effort? From an objective standpoint, there are four essential components of it:
• physical effort (how many actions or repeated actions respondents must initiate before their problem with the service/product provider is solved);
• time effort (the time that customers spend on average to solve an issue with their service/product provider);
• cognitive effort (the amount of mental energy required to process a certain piece of information, for example, an user manual).
• emotional impact of overall effort (the result of a cumulative and subjective interpretation of events/situations)
When customers must expend more effort than they expect, they become disgruntled and leave. Statistics show that 64% will look to buy from a competing brand, 59% will not recommend the brand to others, and 49% will stop using the product. On the other hand, if companies make it easy for them, 94% of customers stat they would buy the product again, 88% would spend more money, and 74% would recommend the brand to others.
Our most recent study, conducted in India looked at customer effort in four different industries (Retail, Insurance, Banking and Telecom), and has shown that all sectors are perceived as generating a higher than expected level of effort.
Contrary to popular opinion that digital channels have the potential to ease customer effort, our results show that this is not a universal truth, but it depends on the context and also on the customer segment.
Response time, follow-ups and clarity matter significantly when it comes to money, health, security and peace of mind, customers being less forgiving with service providers. Customer care interaction was also perceived as generating the highest level of effort, with time as the main culprit.
Regarding the Banking sector, digital channels contribute to lesser effort than the physical channels, this difference being not as noticeable in other industries. Notably, Retail creates the least effort in comparison to the other industries surveyed, but the physical stores are generally high in time and cognitive effort.
Are you ready for your digital transformation?
In order to improve the customer experience in this digital world, our Effort Assessment Tool is exactly what you need. It is a unique, first of its kind platform that allows organizations to monitor and measure the exact nature and level of effort expended by customers during a specific interaction with the organization. The integration of neuroscience techniques, allows EAS® to also provide the emotions customers associate with the brand, processes and touchpoints as a result of the Effort they experience.
Keep an eye on our blog! We will get back soon with interesting results from our newly study conducted in four European countries, that will give you a unique overview on the best ways to improve your customers’ journey.