Why the best support often means a less memorable CX

In 2021, many customers want a fuss-free experience. They want help when they need it, how they need it, and where they need it - and they want that help fast.

Take it from the New York Times – during a chat with Wix, Executive Director of Customer Care at The Times, Jeff Shah, said that they know most customers aren’t looking for support to show them they’re special; they just want to get a solution for their issue so they can go back to enjoying the product.

Many customers don’t need a Joshie the Giraffe-like experience where the business goes above and beyond to make their interaction as special as possible.

In times when many businesses are looking to create ‘unforgettable’ customer support experiences, we explored why the best support often means a less memorable CX.

Customers are just as happy with consistent ‘vanilla’ support experiences that deliver than those that go above and beyond

Does delighting every customer always pay off? Maybe not. According to the Harvard Business Review:

“Loyalty has a lot more to do with how well companies deliver on their basic, even plain-vanilla promises than on how dazzling the service experience might be. Yet most companies have failed to realize this and pay dearly in terms of wasted investments and lost customers.”

When customers need to contact support, it’s because something is likely going wrong with the product. Most customers just want help solving an issue.

Let’s look at an example from the NYT:

“If someone has a problem with their subscription or didn’t receive the paper that day, I don’t want them to remember they had to reach out to customer care. I want to take care of this issue so quickly that their memory of the Times is reading the paper,” Shah said.

Customers who call into support may already feel agitated – they expect the product or service to work and when it doesn’t, they need to take the time to contact support. Then when they get a hold of someone they may need to go through hoops (agent transfers, needing to repeat information, robotic support. etc). This creates an even bigger hassle for the customer.

Businesses can’t always make customers more loyal by delighting them when they reach out. A better strategy is to minimize effort for customers by quickly solving the issue without any fuss or ‘extra toppings’ and letting them get back to their day.

Hold off on creating ‘wow’ moments and quickly and efficiently get to the bottom of the issue and find a resolution. Another option for an effective yet less memorable support experience? Letting customers solve simpler issues on their own.

They’d rather fix their issues fast with self-service

Matt Dixon, author of The Effortless Experience said that many senior leaders underestimate customers’ desire for self-service. In the poll, senior managers across various industries were asked about customers’ ideal CX and many said that customers want to speak with agents and feel delighted.

Instead, Dixon found customers want to use self-service. They’re accustomed to using self-service. They don’t want a dazzling experience, they want efficiency. Dixon also found that users first visit the website to see if they can find answers (an FAQ, some piece of knowledge, a way for them to solve the issue on their own) and then call the business when they need to speak to someone to get their issue resolved.

This shows that many customers only call the business when they can’t find what they need.