Simplicity Is Key To The Best Customer Service Experience
Today’s customers are overwhelmed with information and options around every corner, and they crave self-service solutions that are straightforward, simple to use, and easy to access.
By Yossi Abraham
Simplicity is more important to customer service and CX today that it has ever been. In our fast-paced, continuously busy world customers are bombarded with information and options all day long. This information overload has created a vital need for simplicity in almost every interaction. When businesses deliver simple solutions they delight customers and unlock impressive ROI.
Delivering a simple customer service experience is easier said than done. The French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal once penned a letter to a friend at the end of which he wrote: “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” Pascal knew that conveying all the nuances of his letter in a simpler, shorter format was hard. The same goes for customer service. Identifying the most important use cases, cultivating the most streamlined, easy to understand experiences, and still delivering the same solutions without the complexity is a difficult task.
“If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.”
— Blaise Pascal
That’s why we’ve made Simplicity a central pillar at Zappix. It takes experience and knowhow to do correctly. There’s a reason even young children can use Apple devices so easily: simplicity and intuitive design are prioritized. Apple is known for not even shipping user manuals with their products. Modern businesses need to follow the lead that the trendsetters have created — consumers demand simple interactions. Most businesses can’t invest in simplicity the way Apple can, however. Like Pascal, they might lack the time, or they might lack the resources or expertise. Zappix platforms like Visual IVR deliver the CX simplicity consumers want so businesses don’t have to stretch their resources too thin keeping up with today’s customer expectations.
Research from McKinsey found three-quarters of customers want a simple customer experience and it’s clear why. Simple CX alleviates the intimidating amount of information flooding our lives through apps, the internet, and digital ads every day. Businesses are reacting quickly. As more and more companies roll out simple and easy to use customer journeys, the standards and expectations for simple CX will continue to rise.
The smartphone industry used to focus on features and functionality as it’s key selling points but even the tools at the heart of today’s information overload now emphasize style, lifestyle, and simplicity to appeal to customers. This focus on simplicity has become ingrained in our society. Studies show that the average American checks his or her phone every 12 minutes, and more than 3 hours on a smartphone per day. As we continue to use our phones more and more, straightforward, intuitive usability becomes the standard they measure every interaction with.
According to brand strategy, design, and experience firm Siegel + Gale, 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for these simpler experiences. They’ve placed premium importance on simplicity. The value for businesses doesn’t stop there. Simplicity impacts brands’ Net Promoter Score (NPS). 64% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand because it provides simpler experiences and communications.
“What is important is to understand that any user of a service, whether internal or external, wants the service to be in real-time, efficient, quick, simple to access, and, if possible, nice.”
— Françoise Mercadal-Dalasalles,
Group Head of Corporate Resources and Innovation, Société Générale
Leading brands understand the importance of simplicity. Siegel + Gale has spent the past 8 years surveying thousands of people to measure and rank the simplest businesses in the world. They’ve proved simplicity pays massive dividends for brands. Since 2009, a stock portfolio comprised of the top 10 simplest publicly-traded brands from their surveys has outperformed the major indexes by 679%.
Experts agree on the need for simplicity. Denise Lee Yohn, author and keynote business speaker says, “Customers want convenience and simplicity now more than ever. So the challenge is to use technology to create a seamless, simple customer experience.”
Building simplicity into interactions doesn’t mean abandoning complex features and capabilities. Some of the best customer service experiences involve very complicated businesses and customer queries.
Amazon operates a massive corporation catering to dozens of industries and millions of customers and yet finding the answer to questions and getting customer service issues solved is relatively simple and straightforward. For most customer service issues, Amazon customers don’t even need to speak with an agent. The leading digital brand has created hundreds of paths to self-serve customer service on its websites.
Instead of making tools and interactions simplistic, brands looking to build simplicity into their CX should focus on three key aspects as often as possible:
- communicating directly, clearly, and honestly without jargon
- making offerings convenient and easy to use so that customers save time
- providing straightforward interactions that allow customers to feel that they are obtaining clear savings and value for their money
Today’s customers are under a seemingly never-ending wave of experiences. Clarity and simplicity provide the most important value for customers: they save time and alleviate the pain of information overload. As more and more of us divide our attention across multiple platforms and channels, finding simplicity in interactions delights customers. With an entire internet of information just a tap away, today’s customers crave simplicity as a way of feeling in control again.
Simplicity provides a rock to stand on for customers exhausted by too many options bombarding their day-to-day lives. A focus on simplicity demonstrates customer-centric brand positioning and wins customer loyalty. Instead of forcing customers to work on their own and learn the intricacies and jargon of how brands operate before they can solve their problems, simple CX provides solutions that are easy to access and understand and demand as little customer effort as possible to achieve a successful resolution.
Businesses that deliver on that desire for simplicity and clarity will increase customer loyalty, improve customer satisfaction, and unlock impressive business benefits. Everytime one of us at Zappix wades through a complex, unnecessary voice IVR menu tree or repeats information over and over again every time we get forwarded to a new customer service agent we know the businesses we’re dealing with must be in the same boat as Blaise Pascal — “if they had the time they would have written a shorter letter.” If only they had a simple CX solution they could use to bring their customer service interactions to the next level.