High-Effort Experiences Push Customers Past the Point of Frustration

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Customer Service
Customer Service
Companies that fail to simplify the customer service experience face greater potential for churn as consumers defect to the competition in search of satisfying, valuable interactions.

In most situations, people prefer to avoid conflict. However, when it comes to customer service, the consumer doesn't always have that choice. Because many companies make customers jump through hoops in order to reach the right representative, they risk alienating the customers their brands' survival depends upon.

But, if the customer has a bad experience, the brand will ultimately suffer the negative impact of this interaction, as well. Avaya's "Customer Effort Impact Study" polled more than 2,700 U.S. adults to explore how the amount of work customers exert to obtain their desired level of service impacts business priorities such as revenue and market growth, brand loyalty, and operational costs. Their inability to serve frustrates the consumer, voiding out the value that underlies the company's primary objectives, often leading potential advocates to reconsider their relationship with the given brand entirely. Conducted in partnership with Harris Interactive, this study emphasizes the need to define brand efficiency from the customer's perspective in order to simplify the average service interaction, engage consumers, and develop long-term relationships.

The following statistics examine how inconvenience impacts the customer's brand perception, and how such poor experiences influence the company's bottom line:

  • Sixty-six percent of respondents say they are likely to stop spending money with a brand after a high-effort experience, while 37 percent are extremely likely to do so.
  • While 87 percent of respondents rank the customer service representative's knowledge of a product or service as an essential component of the ongoing customer experience, 83 percent rank friendly, engaging agents as an important element of their relationship.
  • Overall, respondents are likely to abandon brands when they need to repeatedly contact a company to resolve an issue (64 percent), are unable to reach a human for answers when completing a transaction (62 percent), encounter an agent who lacks necessary knowledge (59 percent), don't receive agent follow-up (56 percent), or are transferred frequently when seeking an answer or completing a transaction (52 percent).
  • More than 75 percent of those polled are likely to continue spending money with those brands that provide an exceptional customer experience. However, 82 percent are likely to stop spending money after a bad customer experience.
  • Of the more than 50 percent of respondents that would pay more to companies that offer consistent customer service, 21 percent would willingly pay 10 percent more.
  • Eighty-two percent of those surveyed believe existing relationships with companies are important or very important when making a purchase, highlighting the likelihood of repeat patronage and its impact on growing brand recognition and revenue.

Key takeaway: Service experiences play a pivotal role in determining the consumer's likelihood to recommend any given brand. While good experiences have the ability to drive the customer's lifetime value, contributing to long-term revenue and market growth, high effort experiences have the power to push people past the point of frustration and into the arms of another company. Failing to compensate for the negative ramifications caused by high-effort interactions typically leads to additional costs and labor due to escalation and multiple agents' involvement. To curb the costs of inconvenience, companies must work to limit the obstacles facing the average consumer by streamlining their service offerings and educating their employees, thereby making each experience as simple, valuable, and pleasurable as possible.

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EXPERT OPINION