It is said that customer loyalty and repeat business are achieved not by delighting your customers, but by delivering an effortless experience. Indeed, some of the most successful companies in CX are those with which we hardly notice our interactions. That’s because they do exactly what we need them to do – without the hassle.
Effortless experience has been a recurring theme emerging in our discussions with some of the brightest minds in CX in the first half of 2019. As well as discussing the latest CX trends and how they manage to deliver exceptional customer experience, our guests on the Voxpro Studios podcast have shared with us examples of companies that provide what can be termed ‘effortless experience’ – an optimum level of customer service that we receive almost unconsciously, and which encourages us to return to the brand time and time again.
Here are five companies that were chosen as best-in-class by our guests so far in 2019.
How They Do It: By properly resourcing
CX expert Shep Hyken – or Chief Amazement Officer as he is known to some – highlights website GoDaddy as a brand that does world-class effortless experience. It’s a site people visit to name their idea, build a professional website, attract customers and manage their work.
“Godaddy.com is where I buy my URLs,” says Hyken. “I don’t know if I’ve ever waited more than two minutes at most for a phone call when I’ve called to get support. I don’t know how they do it. I mean they staff properly but that’s what we’re talking about with effortless experience.”
How They Do It: By knowing their customers
Adrienne Gormley, Vice President of Global Customer Experience at Dropbox, believes personalisation plays a significant role in creating an effortless experience. As well as sharing a story about how her bank of choice has embraced ‘effortless’, she points to Amazon as a leader in taking the friction out of customer experience.
“As a customer, I love looking around at companies that do things to make things frictionless and make things easy for people to use,” she explains. “I have a very simple example with a bank with which there used to be a horrid process whereby they put my credit card on hold every time I travelled. That’s because I didn’t ring them up and go through some sort of ‘press one for this, two for that’, and wait 20 minutes to tell them I was travelling – and I travel extensively. So they would just hold my credit card in some shop in San Francisco or wherever I may have been. I used to ring up and complain and this would happen regularly.
“Then they did something that totally surprised me. One time I was away and I was at a checkout and I was expecting my credit card to go on hold because I hadn’t rang them. Instead I received a text and it said, ‘Is this transaction legitimate? Text Y or N’. I texted Y and two seconds later, it worked again.
“It’s those kinds of things that we need to be really clever about. That’s where I admire companies – when they fix a customer problem or make something frictionless and easy. Apps that make recommendations. Amazon does a really job of recommending books. That’s what I like. Know me and help me!”
How They Do It: By learning about their member base
Lupe Gonzalez, VP of Customer Experience at mindfulness and meditation app Headspace, echoes Adrienne’s view that by knowing your customer, a company can make the customer experience effortless. That, Lupe believes, is a characteristic displayed by music app Spotify, which through its sophisticated algorithm makes recommendations based on your listening habits.
“I think Spotify has done a really great job at getting to know their member base,” she says. “I feel like it’s kind of creepy the way that they perfectly recommend artists and music to me in a way that I’ve never experienced before with other music applications! As far as Spotify learning their member base, I think they’ve done an amazing job. I listen to Spotify three or four times a day, whether it’s to listen to music that will help me reboot my brain as I jump into doing some reporting or if I’m listening to a podcast on my walk home, it’s been a really impressive experience.”
How They Do It: By caring for their customers
Conall Laverty, a recent addition to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List in Europe and founder of Internet of Things company Wia, says online payment processing firm Stripe and its delivery of CX is something that resonates with him and his team.
“It’s their automated, seamless experience,” he explains. “At the end of the day, that’s all the customer sees. They don’t see the massive engineering team in the office, the server rooms, they don’t see any of that. They see when they click a form, that’s as far as they go. What I learned from watching Stripe was being really, really good at customer experience.”
He continues: “Even our COO, she joined from a Silicon Valley company and she said that in the earlier days when her company was using Stripe, the founders were emailing her back within five minutes at 2am in the morning. These are the things that are super important and that’s why we’ve implemented those types of things as well. Great feedback in customer service is something that at any stage you can do kind of for free. That’s just about being aware and rapidly responding to events within the system. I think those guys [the Collison brothers] really showed how caring for small businesses and providing a really amazing developer community and experience paid off, because now they are worth over $20 billion.
How They Do It: By taking customers on a journey
By his own admission, Carl Dempsey, VP of Solution Engineering, EMEA at Salesforce, is no Jimi Hendrix. But learning and playing guitar did help him discover one company doing world-class effortless experience. He shared his story on the Voxpro Studios podcast:
“I play guitar really badly. I treated myself to a new Fender amp recently, just a little practice amp and it was a digital one so you can control it and put any sounds, all the effects on it. To do that you can press the buttons on it or there’s a Fender app that you can download from the app store. So I download that, instantly I register the amp and, for the first time ever, Fender knows where that amplifier is – it lost track of it the last time it was sold to a wholesaler somewhere. How many times have you registered a product like your dishwasher? Never! But now I have a reason to go and register it.
“Through that application, I get a notification to say, ‘by the way, we also have a tutorial app, do you want to download that?’ So I download Fender Play, it’s $4.99 a month. I say, ‘what the hell?’ So they have now monetised me twice. They sold me the amplifier and they’re now getting a services stream from me. Now, every week I’m getting an email saying, ‘Carl, you haven’t taken a lesson this week’ or ‘I see that you’ve been playing the blues so here’s another lesson that we’ve put up for you’.
“It was just so effortless. It was just beautiful. I think we’re all getting to a place where a physical analogue product is now connected and they are bringing me on this journey and I’m getting deeper into their world.”
Effortless experience will form the main topic of discussion at the Effortless Customer Experience Summit taking place in San Francisco on June 27th. Organised by Voxpro and its parent company TELUS International, the event brings together experts in the field of customer experience from major companies such as Google, Bird, Zuora, Patreon and Wix to discuss ways to reduce customer effort, how to deliver great digital CX at scale and much more besides. For further information on the event contact Emma Kenneally or Claire Kavanagh.
This blog post is part of our Effortless Experience series. Stay tuned for more content on the topic including podcasts, Q&As from speakers and an e-book.
Enjoy this post? Then you might like to check out our previous one on Five Companies That Deliver World-Class Customer Experience – And How They Do It