In a recent blog, we discussed the importance of measuring customer effort score (CES) alongside other metrics to evaluate your customer service efforts. According to Forrester research, an additional $1 billion in revenues can be generated by increasing customer experience score by 10 percent. As with any data, CES information becomes valuable when it drives actionable changes and improvements to customer experience. Here are 5 strategies to help reduce customer effort and thereby gain loyalty.

Get the Picture
If you aren’t doing so already, the first step to improving your CES is to get a full understanding of your customer journey, which includes all customer touchpoints where their effort is required. Create a chart showing where interactions occur, then track customer effort scores for each one.

Be Proactive
Perhaps one of the best ways to reduce customer effort is to anticipate issues. Customer service agents can help do this by proactively answering common follow-up questions. For example, if your team fields a lot of password reset questions, and customers tend to email again asking for the link to manage their account, your customer service reps should start including that link in their initial response. These kinds of tactics can effectively lower call-back and case reopen rates, while decreasing the back-and-forth that spends precious agent time.

Improve Self-Service
The quality and effectiveness of your self-service tools can have a big impact on your CES. Today, customers are not only comfortable seeking answers for themselves, many times they prefer it to other service channels. A simple way to reduce customer effort is by providing customers with the resources they need to solve problems themselves. Review areas where customers are reporting high effort and then make improvements to corresponding self-service tools. In addition to proving information, it’s imperative to also make it easy to find, navigate and understand. One common self-service content mistake is using language and instructions that are too technical or unclear.

Ask for Feedback
While CES scores are important, it also behooves contact center managers to ask frontline, customer-facing employees for their feedback on what they see your customers struggling with. Your reps receive valuable information from customers every day, which means they should be the first people you consult when trying to improve CES. Create a simple way for internal reps to log the feedback they receive, then use this valuable information to make changes and improvements.

Reduce Employee Effort
In order to minimize customer effort and improve customer experience, you have to empower customer-facing employees to make decisions and take action. Just as the more obstacles you put in front of customers make them less likely to do business with you again, unnecessary obstacles can also make it harder for employees to provide quality service. A common example is processes that force reps to get sign-off on every decision. High employee effort = high customer effort.
By using these tactics in addition to a common-sense approach to reducing customer effort, you can help ensure your customers remain loyal to your brand to become – and remain – repeat customers. What’s more, reducing customer effort can also improve faster issue resolution, which in turn can lower your total cost of operations. To learn more about how you can effectively leverage CES metrics to make meaningful improvements in your business, contact Optimum CX today.