Welcome to the Monthly Mash, a mashup of tools, tales and tips on customer service and the customer experience from around the blogosphere.
VOLUME 35: September 2014
Thoughts on the Customer: Fewer Choices, More Happiness
In keeping with the theme of today’s Monday Motivation (subscribe here) — simplify — let’s review the key findings of Barry Schwartz’s book The Paradox of Choice and their relevance to customer experience. Essentially, Schwartz puts forth proposition that if you reduce the number of choices a customer has, two important things will happen:
- The customer will be more likely to make a decision (purchase)
- The customer will be happier with the decision (purchase) he or she made
The discussion has more layers, of course, but these are the two findings customer experience leaders seem to have taken away from Schwartz’s work. While recent evidence has thrown some of the paradox of choice into question, it seems to have only truly called into question when the dynamic is true, not if it is true at all. (A great explanation from Schwartz himself is here.)
I’ll leave the research debates to the scientists. I have been observing and practicing choice minimization on a personal and professional level for many years now. It is the epitome of anecdotal evidence, but if you ask me, in most cases, fewer choices makes for happier customers. There is a limit and a balance that needs to be considered, but at the heart of reducing the hassle-factor for customers is the idea of not overwhelming them with too many options.
Everything contributes to being easy to do business with, even your product or service offerings.
The Month in Customer Service Blogging
A collection of the best posts about customer service and the customer experience we read this past month.
- Do You Offer Customer Friendly Prices? – A lesson on surprise fees, surcharges and other costs that companies are adding to customers’
- Charging for Priority Customer Support – This article makes you think. Is charging your customers for better service like the British Telecom Company’s Priority Answer, smart or a bad idea?
- 3 Ways to Effectively Place a Customer On Hold – ““I’d LOVE to call tech support today and wait in a queue for 30 minutes“…said no one ever.” 3 tips that ease the holding customer’s experience.
- Do Choices Enhance or Decimate Customer Experience? – Do choices enhance or decimate the customer experience? Read the article and let us know what you think.
- The Perfect Retail Associate at @Macys – A real-life profile of a priceless customer service employee.
- Lowe’s Funnels Customer Feedback Through “Rant or Rave” App – Bold move to compile customer feedback. Check out the Rant or Rave app by Lowes.
- Proactive Customer Service Will Also Make Your Employees Happier – Proactive customer service will leave you with happy customers and happy employees.
- Why Are Emotional Connections the Key to Exceptional Customer Service? – Take it from The Disney Institute, “Aim for your customers’ hearts, not just their heads.”
- Customer Engagement is the Capstone of Customer Experience Management – The end of a 10 part series with a look into customer engagement and why trust is so important.
- Decisions that Earn Customer Love – “It’s the intent (the “what”) and the motivation (the “why”) behind decisions that bond people with companies.”
- These 3 Customer Service Horror Stories Show Why A Thick Skin is Crucial to Your Business – Three reasons you need a thick skin for customer service. Although we know there are certainly more than three!
- Five Training Tips to Make your Call Center Outstanding – Call-center managers will benefit from these 5 training tips to make it outstanding.
- Cultivating Fantastic Customer Experiences – Gardening analogy helps you cultivate great customer experience. Start watering!
Someone Was Listening
Sometimes the most popular post from the previous month; sometimes just the one I liked best.
We’ve all run into them as customers before, service reps who were so bad that we could hardly believe someone placed them in a customer-facing role. It has led us all to ask: Is Training Hopeless for Some Reps?. In this post, we offer our answer.