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Alcatel-Lucent launches tool to measure customer effort

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31st Oct 2011
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Telco equipment company Alcatel-Lucent has unveiled a new customer effort measurement tool designed to identify where the customer experience is in danger of falling down.

Recent research from the Harvard Business School showed that customer effort is the most accurate indicator of loyalty, gauged by propensity to both increase spending and repeat spend.
Alcatel-Lucent’s Customer Effort Audit tool is designed to capitalise on this understanding, providing metrics and weightings that are case-specific so that organisations can work out their customer effort score and then work to reduce this to build increased loyalty.
The tool works by taking a series of interaction parameters, such as the number of extra contacts, the number of channels used, and interaction durations, and scoring them according to the priority given to the interaction, which varies from market to market and individual to individual.
Organisations can then start to understand the customer experience from the customer’s point of view, identify which areas in particular are requiring too much effort and address the issues.
The tool takes into account the number of events that are significant in scoring customer effort, but also those that may have a multiplier effect on the impact to the customer, so that the organisation not only counts events, but also weights their impact based on how it affects the customer.
"The more we can understand each customer conversation and how customers react to them, then the better we can provide customer service that meets their needs, and be proactive in reducing their effort,” says Brendan Dykes, principal business consultant at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise.
"This is not a perfect science and we must recognise there are many factors that impact a customer’s perception of a conversation – agent attitude, empathy, confidence, rapport and listening skills. In addition, not all customers are equal – some customers bring in a lot more revenue, some customers cost a lot more to serve and some customers are more influential than others. But in my experience, key events are all measurable and in most cases, avoidable.
"When looking to improve the customer experience at an individual customer interaction level, prevention is better than cure, but you have to first understand the symptoms in order to develop such preventative care."

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