Removing Customer Friction Points

Stuck trying to improve your overall customer experience?

Here’s a tip: remove customer friction points.

How and what are they? It depends on your customers. We’re big Uber fans for the disruption they caused in the transport industry. How did they rise to quickly and successfully? They removed major customer friction points.

Do you remember how difficult it was to get a taxi? You need to go to the street side. You scan for a cab and wave frantically hoping to catch the driver’s attention and pray that it wasn’t already occupied – those lights that were meant to indicate a cab on a trip usually didn’t work. It was hot outside. It was freezing cold. Maybe it was raining. Maybe the driver doesn’t like you. Almost everyone will agree that it was generally inconvenient. Once you got into a cab, you hoped the driver knows where to go or you do for the most part. So generally, not good. But they work and they are ubiquitous.

Recently, I flew into a major city airport. As I walked out of the terminal, I noticed many passengers had their phones up and the Grab app open. Grabcar is the South-east asian equivalent of Uber and recently, Uber merged South-east Asia operations under Grab’s banner. Why weren’t people going to the taxi queues anymore? Probably because there’s an alternative and a better one at that. You call a car before you leave the terminal, a named driver accepts the request, the ride is tracked by GPS, the fare is explicitly displayed for all to see, and well, the driver knows where you are going. Did I just mention all the things you DO NOT get with a regular taxicab?

Here’s another story with a major global bank. I recently purchased a car and needed to pay the balance that is not covered by the loan. It wasn’t a small amount and many years ago, a lot of people would typically write a cheque (or check if you’re in the US). It is 2018 and writing a cheque just takes too slow. I registered the car dealer’s account number and tried to make the transfer that evening. It failed because the limit was 4,999 for the first 24-hours. As a security measure, it was well intended but what if you really needed to transfer a bit more than that? The call center couldn’t help me and told me to go to the branch.

Now, this is a major customer pain – going to a bank branch. Strangely, when I went to the branch the next day, the teller told me that I could also use the ATM machine instead of getting into the queue. So, from the CX perspective, I’ve just hit a major speed bump! Security is important. However, there should be a way to circumvent this with sufficient authentication. If I can do that via ATM machine, why can’t the Call center authorize the transfer – especially when the bank had voice print validation capability. The ATM machine only needs my card and pin number. If I performed the transaction online, I needed my username and password plus my authentication token. They also use 2FA (two-factor authentication) so I would think if I called the call center, voice-print identification is already the fourth verification factor required.

So, is there something your customers are struggling with or something that they find difficult? Is there a speed bump somewhere that is making a transaction or activity inconvenient for your customer? Find out today! Talk to your customers, skim through feedback emails or social media messages. What are they saying. Fix that and make it easier for the customers and you’ve made an improvement to your customer experience already!