“The process needs to be more annoyingly complex” is a sentence that has never been uttered by anyone, ever… and especially not your customers. The perception of your company – whether negative or positive – is driven primarily by your customers’ interactions with you. In those rare moments when their lives intersect with your company, when they actually need to use you, do they have a positive experience? Marketing is powerful, but perception is reality.
Simple, painless, effortless interactions are a key to customer loyalty. Brands that understand this and take it seriously can make themselves long-term parts of their customers’ plans. More than ever, smart companies are investing in new digital and analog technologies to improve ease of customer use. Money spent in this area works double duty as positive marketing, as well.
Simple, painless, effortless interactions are a key to customer loyalty. - Highlight to share -
Insurance company Direct Line is an excellent example. Insurance is a notoriously headache-filled proposition for customers and users. Filing claims, revising policies, disputing charges… all of these prospects conjure images of long telephone wait times and frustration galore. Direct Line, and Neil Blagden, the Director of Customer Experience & Operations at Direct Line Group, listened to their customers and decided to change this.
"Direct Line top empathetic company on Twitter, Harvard Business Review" on @LinkedIn https://t.co/kFxFCJ5Qc0
— Neil Blagden (@NeilBlagden) April 29, 2015
How did they change? They invested in new technology to improve ease of use. They developed and release a newly-improved mobile app. They invested in telematic or “black box” technology that communicates customers’ driving habits to Direct Line without the customer having to do anything. They totally redesigned their claims process with the goal of streamlining it. And they’re seeing results already.
Retention rates are up. They’ve won the UK Customer Satisfaction award back to back. Sales from smart devices have increased. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.
Evolution never stops, and neither should the innovation from your brand’s end - Highlight to share -
None of this is surprising. Everything now is about “micro moments” – the moment when someone gets out of their regular life and connects with the world via their device. Brands need to learn how to communicate in the right way to engage with their customers in these micro moments. It’s funny to think that people actually used to have to go to a store when they wanted to ask a question – so we’ve come a long way. But evolution never stops, and neither should the innovation from your brand’s end. It has to revolve around the customer; they decide the channels, and the easier you make their lives, the happier they’ll make yours.