And use it to understand where your complaint handling experience is too difficult for customers and how these obstacles can be removed or reduced so as to improve the experience. We believe Customer Effort is a better predictor of future customer loyalty than other loyalty metrics such as Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score (NPS). We also think that Customer Effort is well suited to a customer service / complaint environment where customers may be having to exert more effort than was anticipated to raise and resolve an issue, problem or complaint.
We believe Emotion is closely linked to customer service interactions – how good or bad they are typically influence how the customer feels and how they view your organisation. But measuring Emotion in relation to Effort is also very revealing – where more Effort has been exerted than was anticipated, you would normally find negative emotions. And where a complaint experience contains too much effort and too much negative emotion, we typically see stronger intentions of disloyalty, e.g. to switch away from the organisation at the first opportunity.
Customer Journey Maps provide a vivid and structured depiction of a complainant’s experience – be it an individual, a customer segment or any other variation. The touchpoints where the complaining customer interacts with your organisation, its service channels and your staff are used to construct a ‘journey’ – an engaging story based on your complainants’ experiences.
We plot Effort, Emotion and a whole host of other elements on a Customer Journey Map so as to bring the whole end-to-end customer experience to life for you. While many companies utilise a process-first approach, we deploy a customer first approach to understand your complaint handling performance – because as well as being a more customer-centric methodology, this technique is designed to illuminate where your complaint handling is currently falling down – from your customers’ perspective.
As well as visualising the path of the customer journey, we also collect the complainant stories to explain why the journey happened as it did, e.g. what were the circumstances that caused the customer to complain, what expectations did they have, what experiences did they have and how did this change their perceptions of your organisation. These stories can be very useful to bring the complaint experience to life for others within your business who are not as close to complaint handling management as you yourself are.