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Low customer effort vs customer delight - which wins loyalty?

Bill and Statement presentment channel preference

But what if there were an even more important factor influencing customer loyalty? Could ‘making it easy’ for your customer have a fundamental impact? BT’s Nicola Millard thinks so. In her blog on customer loyalty she points out that the level of ‘customer effort’ may be a much better indicator of customer loyalty than ‘customer satisfaction’.

So pack away your net promoter scores and satisfaction surveys and immerse yourself in measuring the customer effort in dealing with your organisation.

Design a paperless journey that requires low customer effort

Having reread the original study published in 2010 in the Harvard Business Review I started thinking about the ease (or rather difficulty) of going paperless with large organisations.

People care about the environment. They are embracing the digital age and they just don’t want to go postal anymore. Ask any audience and the majority will agree that electronic billing, secure document delivery and eInvoicing are all good things. In fact, anything that reduces paper is good. But traditionally the effort to register or sign-up for these programs has prevented the mass adoption of what seems to be a ‘no brainer’. Traditional eBilling is not a “low effort” process.

A big part of Striata’s service is assisting companies in designing a journey that enables paper turnoff with low customer effort. As Millard points out, ‘low customer effort’ is synonymous with ‘increased customer loyalty’ purely because making it easy to do business with you is more likely to keep customers than “customer delight” programs on their own.

Emails are easy

Customers should not have to do anything to go paperless these days. Economically active people (aka great customers) all have email and most will be reading, executing and archiving emails multiple times a day. It follows that sending your documents via email (as a secure attachment) is a VERY low effort way of encouraging customers to switch from paper to electronic communications. No registration hoops to jump through, no effort required by the customers.

In fact, an Info Trends survey discovered that when moving to paperless processes, people want email three times more than websites (both biller portals and consolidators).

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