How to Reduce Customer Friction and Remove Common Hurdles

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Now more than ever, the customer is king. The modern landscape of customer service operations is changing, and businesses that have invested in effortless and easy purchase and support experiences will continue to thrive, leaving slow-to-adapt competitors behind.

With the unprecedented events of the current decade creating a sudden and dramatic shift across the global workforce, the customer journey has never been more important. Global labor shortages continue to strain day-to-day operation, complicating business agility to meet customer expectations.

It’s up to B2C teams to adapt for the modern era of customer service, remove common hurdles, and create a frictionless customer experience.

What is customer friction?

Let’s say you’re attending a wedding, and you’ve just received your order for a new outfit to wear to the event, only to find that they shipped the wrong size.

You visit the retailer’s website in hopes of live chatting with an agent, but the only option available to you is to call a support line. Upon calling, you’re met with an automated response advising no agents are available to take your call, and are prompted to leave a message.

Defeated and pressed for time, you decide to return the order and overnight a new outfit from a different retailer in time for the big event.

The barriers you experienced attempting to contact the retailer and resolve your issue are an example of customer friction - any pain point in the customer journey that shapes a customer’s perception of, and relationship with, a brand.

Expectations of the modern consumer

The cost of consumers feeling unheard is a 75 billion dollar problem for industries around the US alone, with customer retention loss rising by more than 37% since 2016 due to poor customer service.

Modern consumers expect to feel like their business matters to the brands they support. With more options available than ever before, businesses that invest in providing a seamless customer service experience will reap the rewards of customer loyalty.

Common customer friction points, and how to remove them

Now that we understand the modern, intelligent consumer’s customer service expectations, we can identify and address common hurdles holding B2C teams back from delivering an exceptional customer experience.

So, what are some of the common hurdles your customers may be experiencing (and how can you remove them)?

  • Support your customers on their terms (true omnichannel)
  • Problem: You might not be where your customers are trying to reach you
  • Solution: Have a presence on the channels where your customers are trying to reach you!
  • Skills to pay the bills (agent skilling)
  • Problem: Your agents might not be equipped to resolve the problems being presented to them
  • Solution: Utilize agent skilling to ensure that the right agent is assigned to the right problem to create a quick resolution
  • We’ve got history (customer ticket history)
  • Problem: Return customers want to know that their business (past and present) matters to your brand
  • Solution: Keeping track of previous support conversations is one of the best ways to let them know you care.
  • Sleep with one AI open (AI support for full support coverage)
  • Problem: Support requests are going to come through 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Some of these problems could be resolved quickly by the customers themselves if they only had the resources.
  • Solution: It’s important that you offer customers the ability to solve more simple problems through the use of AI. Have pre-written solutions to common problems available to be served based on a customer’s initial support request.
  • Stick to it (following up with a customer after a support request has been completed)
  • Problem: Nobody likes to submit a customer support request - it makes customers feel like they had to take time out of their busy schedule to resolve a problem they shouldn’t have had.
  • Solution: Following up with the customer after the support ticket has been resolved makes the customer feel heard, and ensures that the issue hasn’t recurred, creating customer friction.

Building brand loyalty

With these common hurdles removed from your customer’s journey, you’re on your way to leaping over the competition and ensuring customer loyalty. Here are just a few ways that building this brand loyalty with your customer base affects your bottom line:

  • 89% of companies believe that excellent customer service plays a key role in customer retention.
  • An average of 68% of new customers are referred by existing customers.
  • The odds of selling to an existing customer are between 60-70%, while the odds of selling to a new customer are between 5-20%.
  • The acquisition cost of new customers is ~5 times more expensive than retaining an existing customer
  • Loyal customers are 5 times more likely to make another purchase, 5 times more likely to forgive, 4 times more likely to refer, and 7 times more likely to try another of your products.

PlivoCX Service—the right tool for the job

Removing these hurdles from the customer journey, and keeping them out of the customers way, doesn’t have to be difficult!

PlivoCX is cloud contact center software for B2C teams built with customer loyalty (and not complexity!) at its core. With Contacto, agent teams are supported by helpful automations, a unified desktop, and an omnichannel experience to exceed consumer needs and create happy customers.

If you’re looking to keep up with the demands of the new era of support operations, we’re here to help.

Book a demo with our sales team, and we’ll help you find the right solution for your team’s needs.

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