Customer experience leaders talk a lot about the importance of providing customers with simple and easy experiences. But in the real world, some customer interactions can be quite complicated. For instance, as customers continue to increase their use of self-service tools to resolve issues they may encounter on their own, the types of customer inquiries that are hitting the contact center are becoming more complex. I had a conversation with my brother Jeff over this past weekend that got me to thinking more about these issues. Jeff owns a commercial painting business that handles jobs in Manhattan and the surrounding area for all types of businesses - restaurants, government agencies, houses of worship, etc. Like many small business owners, Jeff wears many hats and is constantly on the go.
So when Jeff does have a few hours of leisure time available, he does his best to make the most of it. One of his favorite pastimes is bicycling. He's not the type you'll see zipping around in cycling gear. He simply enjoys pedaling around his neighborhood to unwind a little bit.
As we were talking this weekend, Jeff mentioned that when he gets a flat tire on his bike or needs some other type of repair done, he brings his bike into a local bike shop. Earlier in his life, Jeff was a car mechanic and a pretty good one at that. So even though he's handy with a wrench, he doesn't want to be bothered with replacing a tire tube or making any other types of repairs. He'd rather pay someone else to do it. And his expectations are pretty straightforward: get the job done relatively quickly and easily and at a fair value to him.
I happened to have a "simple" customer experience the other day that's also relevant. The check engine light came on in our car a few hours before we were planning to take a 3 hour trip from home. We take this car to a local car wash that also provides oil changes and other services, so I brought it there to have it looked at.
When I arrived there and explained the nature of the issue to the mechanic, he stopped what he was doing and immediately diagnosed the problem which only required a minor adjustment.
What I liked about this experience is that it was a simple problem that the mechanic dealt with simply. I wasn't required to make an appointment or wait hours to have the car looked at.
The point here is that experiences that are viewed as simple by customers should also be viewed through the same lens by the companies that support them. Recognize that uncomplicated customer issues should be dealt with easily. The mechanic probably recognized this when I told him about the check engine light.
When a customer complains to his friends or in social media that a simple problem took X hours to resolve, that's going to destroy any trust that the customer may have had in the company to resolve any future issues effortlessly.