The concept of customer effort first began gaining traction back in 2010 when team members from The Corporate Executive Board Company (CEB) published an article in the Harvard Business Review entitled Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers. Since that time, CEB has expanded its research into the relationship between customer effort and customer loyalty.
Much of this research culminated in the recent book, The Effortless Experience.
The Effortless Experience posits a direct relationship between reducing customer effort and increased customer loyalty. Authors Matt Dixon, Nick Toman, and Rick Delisi put forth five drivers of disloyalty:
As the list above indicates, the amount of effort a customer puts forth or perceives putting forth with an organization has a direct impact on that customer’s loyalty.
One of the authors of The Effortless Experience, Matt Dixon, was gracious enough to sit down with me and explore some of the key concepts found within The Effortless Experience. You can learn more about Matt’s credentials in his bio below, but I can tell you that the 20 minutes I spent discussing customer effort with Matt resulted in some of the most informative customer service content we have collected on video to date.
We have broken up the interview with Matt into three shorter videos that directly focus on some of my favorite topics from the discussion. Check out those videos below.
Then, make sure to come back Monday to see the full interview with Matt!
Once you’ve explored the 50,000 foot view through the clips below, I highly recommend purchasing a copy of The Effortless Experience. The book provides not only a deeper dive into the concepts discussed below but also explores the execution concepts centered around effort reduction. You can find the book’s Amazon page here.
Matt Dixon, an executive director of strategic research at CEB, has an unrelenting drive to find the answers to questions senior executives often take for granted. For more than 15 years, Matt has worked to uncover the truth behind many pillars of conventional wisdom in sales and customer service, often overturning long-held assumptions that are costing companies dearly in terms of wasted money and lost market opportunity.
Matt is the coauthor of The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation. This research has taken the B2B sales and marketing world by storm and has been hailed by industry experts and gurus alike—including Neil Rackham, author of Spin Selling, who describes it as “The most important advance in selling for many years.” The work of Matt and his research team has also been featured in Harvard Business Review (“Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers,” July-August 2010) and most recently in his newly published book, The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation (Penguin USA, forthcoming Nov. 10, 2011). He is also a frequent contributor on sales and customer services topics on Harvard Business Review’s blog as well as on CEB’s sales and customer service blogs.
Nick Toman oversees the global research operation and product development for CEB’s Sales Leadership Council, which serves more than 650 sales organizations around the world.
For the past decade, Nick has conducted numerous research studies in the space of customer service and sales effectiveness and presented these findings to Fortune 500 business leaders and management teams.
Nick has been published twice in Harvard Business Review with his article “The End of Solution Sales” in the summer 2012 issue and “Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers” in the summer 2010 issue. He is a principle contributor to “The Challenger Sale” (Penguin/Portfolio, 2010) and ongoing research on the Challenger and Insight Selling Methods™. Nick is a frequent contributor on sales and customer service topics for a number of blogs, including that of the Harvard Business Review and Freakonomics.
As a senior director and executive advisor for CEB, Rick’s intense passion for communications and customer relations is only rivalled by his love of college basketball. When his alma mater Syracuse University isn’t playing, Rick’s attention is focused on helping executives unlock the extraordinary potential of communication to solve business problems and contribute to the bottom line.
Drawing on more than 20 years of experience, Rick tackles these challenges in addition to offering solutions in key topic areas including how to effectively manage social media, building communications strategies to drive measurable business results, enhancing the customer experience while continuing to reduce operating costs and boosting customer loyalty in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.