A few years ago, Marie Kondo took the hearts of the world when she introduced her method to declutter and organize houses by “sparking joy”. This minimalist approach transformed people’s homes and lives and has since become a fresh way to look at everything in life: if it doesn’t spark joy, it doesn’t belong.
Let’s take a look at Marie Kondo’s method as it relates to the customer experience. Often filled with long waits, disjointed channels, and complicated backend systems, a customer’s path is often a cluttered one. But cleaning up the customer journey is not as simple as throwing out a few boxes of old and unused material things, but rather about prioritizing and optimizing a customer path of least resistance.
The ability to spark joy, otherwise known as customer satisfaction, is a great goal for brands approaching digital transformation. By adopting a minimalist mentality toward technology, integrations, and customer stages, a more straightforward and simple path can be created that rids the customer journey from common frustrations.
Decluttering the customer journey takes thoughtful evaluation, strategy, and cross-functional collaboration. Done correctly, the results can lead to greater customer loyalty, improved sales, and lower operating costs. Here’s a few ways to bring this method to life.
Embrace less is more
It’s important for a customer to have options. But it’s also important to optimize customer options to ensure efficiency and convenience. Let’s take the example of menu trees. Having an IVR read out 20 or more options to a customer doesn’t translate to a better experience. In fact, I would argue it’s a worse experience. Instead, the ability for a customer to describe their request naturally without any predetermined options makes the process simple, straightforward, and ultimately saves a lot of time and effort. Of course, a more advanced technology, such as an Intelligent Virtual Assistant, is needed for this feature.
Eliminate pain points
Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity, according to Einstein. He’s not wrong. If a brand is seeing customers complain about the same thing over and over, it’s time to make a change. Even addressing the smallest of changes can lead to big results when it comes to customer satisfaction.
Now let’s add in the spark joy concept. With this approach, we go beyond just eliminating pain points to include eliminating (or improving) so-so points. In other words, if it’s not sparking joy with the customer, it could be hurting the customer experience. For example, customer authentication is a necessary process to make customers feel secure. A typical customer authentication involves a clumsy interaction of recalling social security numbers, account information, security questions, and passwords. While customers may not find this as a pain point, they also may not consider it a highlight. How can this process be improved? Technology like Voice Biometrics can streamline the authentication process, offering one of the most protective security measures without the hassle of traditional methods. Keeping customers in a positive flow of conversation results in a more stress-free interaction.
Keep customers on the path of least resistance
Jumping through hoops is not a way that you want customers to describe their experience with your brand. A cluttered customer journey is one that requires more effort than needed on both the customer and agent side. This could be caused by unintegrated backend systems that require a customer to repeat information, or inaccurate department deflection that sends a customer to multiple agents before actually being set up with the right person to solve their query.
To declutter this process, there needs to be advanced, yet simple, dialog management that incorporates proper conversation design. Even the best technology can be frustrating from a customer and agent perspective if not properly integrated with design expertise.
Incorporate customer feedback
How do we know if the customer journey is sparking joy? Ask, of course! Getting customer feedback through a strategic voice of the customer program can give valuable insights to what’s sparking joy and what’s not. But beyond just listening in and evaluating data, the feedback must be acted on in order to make an impact. For many businesses, this requires working cross-functionally to create an organizational structure that is designed to initiate these changes.
As the customer journey is decluttered, interactions will become more efficient, productive, and effortless. This results in not only a better customer experience, but also a more streamlined technology approach which can save on operational costs. See more about optimizing the customer journey in our whitepaper.