How dare you? You stole my time!
In an increasingly fast paced and complex world, simplicity has become the ultimate value — time saved. As the majority of organisations still fails to deliver on that, an ethos of simplicity demonstrates true customer centricity.
The core driver for satisfaction and loyalty? Simplicity!
An increasing number of studies shows what drives customer satisfaction and loyalty across different industries: simplicity is a top driver for both, satisfaction and loyalty. For example, 64% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand because of a simple experience and 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for uncomplicated experiences. (Source: Siegel+Gale: The World’s Simplest Brands, 2019). Individuals seek simplicity to feel in control, bolster confidence and achieve peace of mind.
What simplicity triggers in the human brain is complex
Looking into neuro-science we see that the human brain embraces simplicity. According to Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences laureate Daniel Kahneman (Thinking Fast and Slow, 2012), the brain is using two different modes of thinking: ‘System 1’ is fast, instinctive and emotional; ‘System 2’ is slower, more deliberative, and more logical.
The ability to ‘System 2’ clearly distinguishes humans from other species. It is expert at solving problems but at the same time it is slow, requires a great deal of energy and is extremely lazy. This is why the vast majority of decisions is taken by the fast and intuitive ‘System 1’. ‘System 2’ is only activated if the abilities of ‘System 1’ are not sufficient (which in most decisions is not the case). Kahnemann calls ‘System 2’ the ‘lazy policeman’, who is only intervening in emergencies.
As a consequence, organisations should design all touchpoints ‘System 1’ – friendly (meaning as simple as possible) as activations of ‘System 2’ are always linked to effort and pain.
Removing barriers to thinking means releasing the brakes on sales
Usually, increasing simplicity goes alongside with increasing efficiency. Simplifying touchpoints and customer journeys means in most cases less complex processes and thus less cost. The still very common fear that increasing customer centricity will necessarily lead to a cost explosion (‘we cannot afford to be customer-centric’) is de facto wrong. The opposite is right: customer-centric companies strive for efficiency in their processes to increase simplicity and therefore foster satisfaction.
Three easy ways to turn simplicity into your success
Ultimately, we can sum it up in two simple equations:
Simplicity = efficiency = reduced costs
Complexity = dissatisfaction = churn
Therefore, drive simplicity! When designing channels and touchpoints, the lens of simplicity will help to determine how to deliver value. To succeed in this, we see three levers:
1) Develop an outside-in, solutions-oriented approach
When designing a new service or touchpoint, always look deeply to understand customer problems. Invest in properly understanding his/her needs, wants and pain-points before designing the new solution.
2) Define and monitor KPIs consequently from the customer perspective
Setting up the right KPIs is essential to drive change into the right direction. To give you an example: average handling time and first-time resolution still are the predominant KPIs in service centers. However, these KPIs often give a limited and constrained view. New KPIs, which go beyond the touchpoint effort perspective and are able to capture simplicity aspects within the whole customer experience are needed. Here, our new customer experience measurement model provides the solutions. It is able to monitor simplicity holistically for different aspects of customer experience. Learn more about it here.
3) Engage your employees, develop a customer culture
Empowered employees with a strong sense for the customer are a prerequisite to deliver customer centricity. Therefore, we advise to clearly understand what employees need to do differently to foster simplicity (and thus customer centricity). E.g., give them the authority to solve customer problems on the spot or provide them with the right information to address customer issues.
Brands that deliver on simplicity are driving demand for their products and services and will ultimately win the customer’s loyalty.