Organizations that know the value of simplicity strive to streamline processes and eliminate rocks on the service-experience road. Furthermore, those who understand the importance of effortless service know that achieving it is an ongoing group effort. From the boardroom to the service window, everyone from top to bottom diligently works to eradicate needless steps, complexities, or jargon that may confuse customers and obstruct their path to their goals.
Examples of the payoffs
“I dread going there. The parking lot is impossible to navigate, you fill out what seems like 8,000 forms before you see anyone, and often the staff is confused by the complexity of the processes they follow. I’m glad I only have to go there once or twice a year.”
‘Who designed this convoluted process? A monkey could have done a better job.”
Streamlined processes: Simplifying processes, procedures, and workflows eliminates unnecessary complexities, making customer interactions more efficient and effortless.
Clear communication: Using straightforward language ensures that product information, instructions, and policies are easily understood, creating a faster customer experience.
Intuitive navigation: Creating intuitive interfaces helps customers quickly find what they need without clicking on the wrong link, going to an incorrect location, or calling the wrong number.
Reduced cognitive load: Organizing information and choices in a clear and logical manner helps customers make confident decisions, reducing the likelihood of buyer’s remorse, returns, or calls to the help desk.
Efficient problem resolution: Providing simple and accessible channels for customer support enables quicker problem resolution.
User engagement: Presenting information or products in a simplified way makes customers want to use a service provider.
But we’re different
“My business is complicated! We’re not running a hamburger stand or a retail store. Our product is highly technical,” you may protest.
In addition to the easy-to-find improvement opportunities, most teams can find more if they start asking questions:
• Is our product or service easy to understand?
• Is our website or physical location easy to navigate?
• Can customers easily find the information they need?
• Are our pricing and billing practices transparent and easy to understand?
• Can customers quickly contact us when they need to?
• Is our customer service process straightforward and efficient?
• Are we using plain language in our communications or relying too much on jargon?
• Are our processes designed with the customer’s convenience in mind?
• Are we offering simple, efficient solutions to customer problems?
• Can customers easily purchase our products or services?
• Do customers have to go through unnecessary steps or complexities to achieve their objectives?
• What feedback are we getting from customers about the ease of their experience?
The frontline is a gold mine
Once you start looking, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of work involved to make things easy. Take a breath, and then take another. Just as most processes don’t become convoluted overnight, it takes time to go in the other direction.
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If you open your eyes, many problems are obvious. Here are a few of the usual suspects:
• Complex checkout process
• Complicated return policy
• Inefficient customer relationship management (CRM) systems
• Excessive use of industry jargon
• Multiple contact attempts
Every day, countless service providers make choices that unnecessarily complicate service interactions. At best, those decisions make the customer experience less enjoyable. At worst, unneeded complexity opens the door to complaints, bad reviews, and competitors.
Simple and streamlined = good
Routine complaints: For every customer who voices dissatisfaction, three or four others will say nothing. Organizations that treat service seriously see complaints as canaries in the coal mine, and they encourage service representatives to track concerns and bring them forward.
Multiple contact attempts: If customers need to contact the organization multiple times for the same issue or related issues, there’s a problem and an opportunity to simplify the resolution process. Frontline representatives are almost always the first to recognize boomerang interactions.
Poorly defined policies: Confused and confounded customers are the result of poorly defined policies. Representatives who must manage them know when guidelines or rules are ill-defined.
Lack of training and tools: Frontline providers are also acutely aware when they don’t know the answer, can’t get a system to cooperate, or must implement a workaround.
Achieving simplicity doesn’t always feel simple
Other places to explore