The Frictionless Customer Experience: Q&A with Don Peppers

As today’s consumers navigate a new world of shopping, buying goods and services, and seeking support, they’re engaging with companies over more channels and touchpoints and with more people than ever before. In the end, today’s empowered customer wants one thing: to meet their own need or solve their own problem.

In an upcoming webinar on May 13, Peppers & Rogers Co-Founder Don Peppers and Genesys CMO Reed Henry will discuss the importance of delivering a consistent, seamless experience across the customer journey and how winning companies are removing the obstacles of the past to overcome today’s CX challenges. Learn directly from Don here on the Genesys Blog as he addresses some of these challenges that can help you take the “friction” out of today’s customer experience.

Q&A with Don Peppers

You talked about escaping the past in a recent blog, how does this apply to what’s happening in customer experience today?

When it comes to customer experience, companies have been adapting to change at a rapid pace over the last several years. With the web and the high velocity arrival of social and mobile, companies have been forced to quickly adopt these new channels to survive – their customers are demanding it. The problem is that most companies simply make minimal changes, like adding a single new customer interaction channel into a vastly different and disparate environment. The more you stretch to accommodate a changed environment, the more fragile you become and the more vulnerable you become to change – especially from a disruptive competitor.

If you don’t want your customer experience to be fragile, then think about how you would design your strategy and technology environment today if you were to start from scratch. Wouldn’t you build it differently?

What is customer experience today, what do customers want?

In another blog post I talked about the need to deliver a frictionless customer experience. This is what customers want, and it’s important for companies to look at customer experience through the customer’s point of view. Customers want low effort experiences without having to jump through hoops or overcome obstacles. Obstacles are friction. No one has time for obstacles.

To overcome this, companies should focus on building the following attributes into the customer experience:

  • Relevance – keep your customer interactions relevant with history and timely information – making customers repeat themselves only adds in more obstacles.
  • Value – Like getting value for money when buying a product or service, customer interactions need to be valuable. Time is precious both for your customer and your company.
  • Trustability – A trustable customer experience is one in which the customer knows the company provides complete, accurate and objective information, and will help the customer avoid mistakes or oversights by anticipating needs and carrying out proactive communications.

What opportunities do you see for companies to quickly remove friction from the customer experience?

The good news is that there are many steps companies can take to make a difference.  Below are just a few of the opportunities related to customer service:

  • Improve your customer data system so that a customer never has to repeat information to you – this will go a long way in helping you deliver a consistent customer journey.
  • Design a smartphone app allowing customers to accomplish routine tasks without having to wait for your participation.
  • Train and empower your service employees to make non-routine decisions on their own authority, in order to minimize customer service problems.

If you’d like to hear from Don, check out our on-demand webinar titled, The Biggest Customer Experience Challenge: Escaping the Past.