Should you make things easy for customers?
As a counter-argument to Sampson Lee's recent piece suggesting that businesses shouldn't aspire to effortless CX, Graham Hill makes the case for making things as easy as possible for customers.
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I have read Sampson Lee's articles and the point he appears to be making is that a company such as ikea creates friction... having to build the furniture... because it means that it can keep costs down. I hope I have undestood that correctly, Sampson. So ikea... for instance.... is providing cheap goods as a trade off for readymade furniture. The same as same as costco... for instance... providing cheaper goods in an ugly building which is essentially a chaotic warehouse. But i don't think these are cases in point so that all businesses should create friction and make things harder for customers. if ikea could sell readymade furniture for the same price they would be even more successful. So it is not about wanting to create difficulty for the customer maybe, but that it is out of necessity as a business model.
Hi Graham, thanks for your article. As I replied to you in another blog post, first of all, the link to my article “Why experts are wrong to encourage effortless customer experience” does not work. Frankly speaking, I don't think our views differ much. May I invite you and the readers of this post to read “Stop Trying to Eliminate Customer Effort” https://customerthink.com/stop-trying-to-eliminate-customer-effort/
Thank you, Neil.
Hi Eileen, not every customer pain point/effort/friction is good. Most customer pain points are bad or unnecessary and have to be reduced or eliminated. There are basically five types of pain:
1) Inspirational Pain: by solving it, you can create innovative solution, product or business model.
2) Unnecessary Pain: there is little or no value generated for customers; customers suffer for nothing.
3) Good Pain: by allowing it, your branded pleasure can be further enhanced.
4) Bad Pain: when the good pain falls to a level deemed unacceptable by your target customers, it becomes a bad pain.
5) De-Branded Pain: the attribute (pain) is supposed to be the pleasure peak because it reflects your brand promise.
To conclude, only the Good Pain should be allowed. For the remainder, you should either solve, minimize, or eliminate, and spend different level of resource addressing them.
For more details, please read chapter 4 of my book “PIG Strategy” (142 pages simplified version): https://globalcem.org/pig-strategy. This is a free download; no registration is required.