Make it easy for your customers to buy from you.
Customer Effort Score
Have you ever tried to buy something, but found the process so complicated that you just gave up?
The line at the store was too long, you had to send a copy of three different forms of identification, you had to open an account, verify your email, do a bunch of ‘games’ to prove you’re a human, and log in to your new account before you could complete your purchase — whatever it was, it was too complicated and you gave up.
We’re the instant generation, and expect things to be quick and easy. If they aren’t, we’ll happily switch to someplace else where they are.
In the world of customer service, there is a metric called CES: Customer Effort Score. CES is a measure that describes how much effort your customers have to put in in order to buy and set up your product. The higher your score, the less effort customers put it — and the more they enjoy their product.
The goal is to provide an effortless customer experience, in order to boost customer satisfaction and retention .
If you make the process of doing business with you as effortless as possible, customers are far more likely to remain loyal. Effort is actually the biggest factor in loyalty, according to Gartner, with this fun statistic: 96% of customers who experience a high-effort interaction become more disloyal compared to just 9% who have a low-effort experience.
Here are a few examples of processes with good and bad customer effort scores, just to get your brain gears moving.
There is a local library where I live, that is open from 10 to 12 every Tuesday morning. I went twice, and never went back. It was just too hard to remember to go at those hours, and if I missed it I’d have to wait another whole week until the next session.
Lesson: Be as flexible as you can with regards to opening hours. Try to be there when they want you, rather than making them fit your schedule. I mean, if you needed to buy something and there was one store with a huge selection that was closed, and another smaller one that was open, which would you go to?
When I set up a Google Analytics account for clients, I send them a manual guiding them to the right reports, helping them access the information they want themselves. To make it as simple as possible, I incorporate screenshots with arrows and exact instructions of what to click to find the report they want — as well as explanations of how to use the information they are seeing.
Tell the next step
Don’t just explain what your product is. When someone is interesting, end your description/pitch by asking ‘would you like to place your order now’, or ‘when would you like it to be ready for’. Tell them the next step!
If your offer is more complicated (such as building a website), ensure they know the process and are aware of what you’ll be asking of them. If you can create a clear vision of how it will all work, they’ll be more likely to go with you than with someone who leaves it all as a fog (I’ll let you know when I need something from you…).
When I cold-call a potential client, I make sure NOT to end with, ‘Does this sound like something you’d be interested in?’ but instead to end with ‘I’d love to book a meeting with you so I can explain more about how I can help your business grow.’
Asking for referrals
Rather than mentioning to clients, ‘If you know anyone who may be interested, please tell them about me’, you can give them a pre-written paragraph/tweet etc. to forward on.
Just wanted to let you know about some emails I’ve been receiving which you may find useful for your business. Ruti Dadash is a business consultant and sends emails about everything to do with helping freelancers and entrepreneurs develop and grow their business. I highly recommend following her!
Guide your customers through the process of anything you want them to do, making it as easy as you can for them to do business with you.
So, do your customers have to invest a lot of effort in your processes, or is it all smooth and easy?