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What does an Effortless Experience Look Like?

By September 9, 2021May 25th, 2023All, Development3 min read

Published on September 9, 2021|Reading Time: 3 mins

While a straightforward concept in theory, it is often more difficult to imagine what an effortless experience looks like in practice. Let us imagine the future of public services.

We have all experienced an effortful experience. Whether it was being constantly transferred between call center agents, enduring impersonal, robotic service, or just not knowing how to obtain the information we need. Examples are abundant in our personal experiences. However, now that we know what effortlessness does not look like, let us re-imagine the future of customer experience and use this knowledge to picture how an effortless experience can be created.

Streamlined Service Channels

The first step towards effortless service transformation has been referred to by Matthew Dixon as ‘boosting the stickiness of self-service channels’. This means making it straightforward for customers to resolve their issues on their own through intuitive and easy to use services which provide clear information and guidance. Such an approach reduces reliance on customer support services, circumventing the need to call multiple times to resolve an issue. It eliminates the need of having to go through repeated transfers whilst having to constantly provide the same information.

A more advanced approach to resolving customer queries is the ‘next issue avoidance’ strategy, where possible customer pain points are preemptively anticipated and communicated to the customer before a problem arises. Representatives proactively highlight potential issues before they happen and suggest solutions for these possible problems. Issues are handled with informed foresight – a more sophisticated form of first time resolution. In this way, issues do not have to be resolved because they don’t occur in the first place.

The next step in crafting an effortless experience involves managing customer perceptions.

Emotions act as frames through which we interpret the world, so using techniques such as strategic anchoring, positive language, the alternative positioning strategy and taking the side of the customer all help in bringing about a favourable perception of a service. According to research conducted by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), the interpretation side, which is the softer, more subjective element of customer effort that is based on human emotions and reactions, makes up 65.4% of the total impact on customer effort (almost double that of the more objective exertion side). The use of effective experience engineering therefore ensures experiences ‘feel’ effortless alongside ‘being’ effortless.

Finally, delivering a truly effortless experience is a holistic effort which should consider both customers and service employees alike.

Rather than buying into the traditional stopwatch and checklist culture, it is more effective to empower employees with greater control and autonomy over their work practices, alongside an incentive system that rewards the quality delivery of streamlined services. In this way, staff remain consistently motivated towards achieving the effortless vision, whilst also maintaining service standards.

The Takeaway on Effortlessness

The concept of effortlessness represents an understated missing puzzle piece in the customer experience landscape. While predominant focus has often been placed on the extravagance of ‘wowing’ customers, effortlessness is a comparatively humble, yet effectively richer strategy to put into practice. The reason is simple. Customers are not looking for a lavish experience as much as they would like a simple, uncomplicated service to achieve their goal.

Effortlessness is a more attainable, replicable, and affordable opportunity waiting to be utilised – applying it is now up to us.

Reference List
1 Dixon, Matthew, et al. The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground. Portfolio Penguin, 2013.

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