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Effortless: what premium customer service should be

If you've ever been fortunate enough to fly with Virgin Atlantic in their Upper Class cabin, you’ll understand exactly what effortless means.

October 9th 2015

How much effort are you making your customer expend on your behalf?

Effortless: Requiring no physical or mental exertion: "each skill is practised to the point that it becomes effortless" – Oxford Dictionaries.

If you've ever been fortunate enough to fly with Virgin Atlantic in their Upper Class cabin, you’ll understand exactly what effortless means.

After being driven to the airport in a chauffeur driven car, checking in (which is virtually already done beyond a few questions), you are whisked into a lounge with a relaxing environment. Boarding is the easiest it can be. Once aboard you just sit back and off you go.

The whole experience is simply ‘effortless’, and you want to fly with Virgin again and again – and tell all your friends about your great experience, too.

Building your premium service

Attentive staff, end-to-end systems, every wrinkle ironed out – this premium customer experience comes at a price.

So, how do you achieve a level of service that ensures customer satisfaction, makes customers feel great about your organisation and drives everlasting loyalty?

How do you offer your customers the ‘Virgin Atlantic Upper Class’ experience in a way that is relevant to your environment and at a price they are willing to pay?

Knowing your customers

Start by understanding your customers:

  • What do they expect of your services?
  • What are their pain points with the other providers you need to outperform?
  • What do your customers perceive as premium?
  • What are their tolerance levels and price positions for different service levels?

Structure this valuable information to reflect your customers’ journey of interactions across your organisation. You can then start to measure your customers.

Before your research process starts, you need to determine exactly what you want to measure. You need to gain real tangible insight into where your customers perceive they need to put effort in to achieve their desired outcome.

You also need to determine what you will do with the results. Only once this is clear will you be able to implement the actions that will deliver the service they desire at the price they are willing to pay.

Measuring satisfaction, loyalty … and effort

Many of our clients rely on research to gain a full understanding of what their services, products and solutions need to feel like to deliver the satisfaction that will create loyalty amongst their customers.

Loyalty is a measure that predicts future customer behaviour. Satisfaction is an attitude; it’s how customers feel. Our experience demonstrates that these two measures are crucial to developing high levels of service. There is a strong correlation between them.

Asking the right satisfaction questions = accurate measurements = deliver actionable metrics.

Creating a premium service, however, needs a further metric – to measure how much effort the customer needs to input to achieve their desired outcome. We recommend measuring customer effort as a third metric for supporting service design.

The customer effort metric correlates with the complementary measures of satisfaction and loyalty. Its effectiveness can be enhanced by identifying which customer interactions are causing the highest levels of pain and dissatisfaction; an outcome which reduces customer loyalty and advocacy.

Asking the right questions

To deliver the ‘Virgin Atlantic Upper Class’ experience and the resulting loyalty and advocacy, you need to ask the right questions and use the right measures. Only these will deliver actionable outputs which, when combined, can deliver incredible results. Your insight can deliver amazing outcomes – when the measurements are right.

Why not talk to us about how we can help your organisation develop the effortless premium service your customers will love.