In fact, Simplicity was one of 4 “global expectations” found in a recent Korn Ferry/Miller Heiman Group study including answers from 5500 respondents across the world. Where simplicity, in this case, means that “customers dislike complex processes and generally want to be spared the details of internal activities and issues.” However, the study also found that customers do want to be informed about the “high-level” steps that are taken to address their needs. I.e. to provide the essential information, focusing on what the customer wants/needs, can be a good way to make the customer experience simpler. Which may be particularly important to consider today, when the digitalization has brought an abundance of information and information overload is a real risk.
This may sound easy to do in theory, but in practice it can be a bit more complicated. This, as you need to properly understand what the customer wants before you can provide the information they’re after. Where a few of Miller Heiman Group’s best practices for customer-facing employees become especially important, namely:
- Becoming informed: To gather the necessary information via a variety of questions, or actively seeking out the right information that cannot be gathered from the customer.
- Listening: To pay attention to what is said verbally and nonverbally.
- Communicating simply and clearly: To communicate what you’ve uncovered, and what the customer actually wants to know, swiftly and in terms easily understood.
With this kind of practice in place, it can become easier to really provide the information the customer needs and wants – simplifying the customer experience in the process.
How to simplify the experience digitally?
We do, however, see that this become a bit more difficult if the communication with the customer occurs virtually above all. When video calls may be key to grasp the nonverbal cues, and sales enablement tools that give you the opportunity to swiftly provide information can play a vital role. The importance of which we think becomes especially apparent if we also consider the remaining “global expectations” found by Miller Heiman Group. Expectations including:
- Respect: I.e. that customers want attention that is both individual and caring. Where video, for example, can give the customer a face to connect to the voice, as well as a more emphathetic experience.
- Responsibility: That what is said is followed, for example that delivery occurs as it has been decided. Where accountability and having a clear and transparent process for what is supposed to be done when will make a difference. Something that could, for example, be facilitated via shared, digital to-do lists, setting clear calender bookings etc.
- Solutions: Where it is expected that customer’s issues are addressed to the full extent possible. Where a common location where issues can be raised and followed.up on in a clear manner may provide a competetive advantage.
Creating a simple customer experience is a large task, and something that is not merely done via the above. Nevertheless, we do believe that the tips and findings we’ve gone through can serve as a good foundation to make that experience reality. Especially for the instances when you are directly communicating with the customer, and maybe even more so in the time we live in. When most things are growing more complex, including the customer journey or purchasing process.
Source: Korn Ferry, Why Your Customers Stay or Stray