Friction in the Customer Experience

Friction in the Customer Experience Colin Taylor

Are You Listening to the Canaries in Your Customer Experience Coal Mine?

By: Colin Taylor

The call center or customer service department has long been call the ‘canary in the coalmine’ for its ability to provide early identification and diagnosis of problems and issues impacting the satisfaction of customers.

Despite numerous warnings most organizations don’t change, but rather convince themselves that ‘friction-less’ service is too difficult, expensive or just simply isn’t needed. We know intuitively that in the world of the customer experience all things are connected. This connectivity when viewed from the customer perspective, is vastly different than from the point of view of the organization.

Friction Produces Heat and Makes Customers Hot Under the Collar

Policies and procedures are all too often designed with the company in mind and not the customer, this creates friction. Forcing customers to repeat themselves has been cited as the number 1 frustration that customer have when dealing with brands. Yet the vast majority of multi-channel contact centers operate each channel as separate and distinct from the others. This results in siloed data an information. In operation this creates friction with the customer as the agent isn’t aware of what was entered into the IVR, or the chat or the email when the customer calls. The company may have saved money, by not integrating these channels. It could be suggested that it is customers who pay the price, but the brand pays a price as well; customers remember the difficulty the friction has caused them and that may reduce their loyalty and lifetime value.

“You Can Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later”

There is even a more basic cost to the organization and that is the cost to have agents capture duplicate information, over and over. Live agent time is expensive and should be conserved wherever possible. To waste minutes of your agents’ time, while wasting your customers’ time while frustrating the customer is a recipe for woe. On top of all of this, due to the siloed and fragmented nature of the resultant data, it is harder to make business decisions and to see trends. It is like that old Fram Oil Filter ad; “You Can Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later.”

So listen to the ‘canary’ and your customers. Invest in a fully integrated solution, remove friction from your customer interactions and begin to deliver the informed and knowledgeable Customer Experience you are striving to deliver.


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