Making it difficult for the customer is making it for your business

In the last Blog I wrote ‘Why being easy isn’t a bad thing’ I explored five principles for making you an easy organisation to interact with and thus retain customer advocacy and loyalty.

I felt compelled to re-visit the first one of the very first lines of the First principle having spoken with my Home Insurance provider today.

The First Principle:

  1. Offer your customer the channels they want the most. Then deliver a consistent customer experience on every channel. Invest in each channel as if it were the only one so you don’t force operational or technical limitations onto the customer and you avoid the trap of having a channel simply because you think you ought to rather than because you know your customers deserve it.

I’ve been with my insurance provider for 4 years but before then I would continually switch at renewal to find a better price or when my provider increased my premiums for my 2nd year despite not making any claims; Annoying and short-sighted.

I am loyal because the online self-service options are excellent, the product offers comprehensive cover and the price was right; all from a well-known and much-loved high-street brand underwritten by one of the Big 4 Banks.

The online options spoke to the Fourth principle ‘’ Empower customers to self-serve when it’s convenient. This might be hard to hear but no matter how much they are engaged with your brand, how loyal they are, how high your NPS score is and how fierce an advocate they are for you; sometimes your customers don’t want to talk to you. They will love you more for not having to talk to you when they don’t want to.

My loyalty was tested today having called to ask for a re-quote for the new home I am moving to. I expected a mundane interaction because the level of cover will remain the same and the new post-code is just 100m from where I currently live. However, the re-quote was 70% more. With my loyalty at an all-time low the comparison websites were my next port of call and after a tedious exchange my results were presented to me, and there it was, my current provider at the same price!

The resulting investigation yielded an all too often result; the online channel has an economic incentive not offered by the contact centre. I will cancel and re-purchase. Why wouldn’t I?

Surely it would be easier for both of us if there was parity for the customer across both channels and I wasn’t forced to switch channel, in defiance of the 2nd Principle.

  1. Don’t make the customer move channel unless they ask to or if the nature of the contact demands it. This is as frustrating as ordering a takeaway from one restaurant only to be told that you need to go to another to pick up your order. You already have the insight locked in to your operational reporting and analysis, use it to understand customer channel preferences and how these relate to the range of customer contact scenarios. Then ensure the processes are in place to support advisers and customers, reducing effort for both.

If your business doesn’t live and breathe the 5 principles for making customer services easy then get in touch to hear the vision Teleperformance has and together we can explore the 5th Principle……

Photo by Freaktography licensed under Creative Commons.

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  • avatar

    Eptica September 11, 2015

    It is amazing Richard that so many companies excel at parts of customer service, but then fall down at others, as your home insurance example shows. It demonstrates the importance of making customer service improvement a continuous process, with companies continually listening to customers, studying their feedback and making changes to how they operate. More on this at