The Effortless Experience: Book Club Discussion Questions
December 02, 2019
I recently went through a round of the Support Driven (SD) book club reading The Effortless Experience. Calling it the SD Book Club makes this sound like some big formal event. In reality, it was Stacy Justino and I meeting for four weeks, each week covering two chapters.
Over eight chapters, the book shares how to create a hassle-free, effortless experience for your customers. The book starts with four basic findings:
- A customer service strategy of delighting customers doesn’t increase customer loyalty.
- Customer satisfaction is not a predictor of loyalty.
- Customer service interactions tend to drive disloyalty, not loyalty.
- The key to mitigating disloyalty is reducing customer effort.
This was my second time reading through The Effortless Experience. For those working in a customer-centric role, it’s a base text full of great information. Any support team that reads this will come away with at least a few ideas to improve their processes. There are so many wonderful nuggets. Some examples:
- Using the gunning fog index to simplify help docs.
- If your metrics say it was an “easy” issue, but the customer felt like it was hard to resolve their issue, then it’s a hard to resolve issue. While scary to think about, this opens the door to experience engineering to reduce the feeling of customer effort.
- Tips on coaching new employees through experience rather than training.
- The importance of minimizing channel switching to reduce customer effort. Anytime a customer switches channels is another notch of effort. That could be Twitter @ reply, to DM, to email. Or self-service to email. Or even email with a link to a help doc. My tips on this: When giving someone information available in a help doc, copy as much of possible from the help doc to the reply. For Twitter replies that can’t get solved on Twitter, find the customer’s contact information and email them.
But the best experience of this reading? Meeting with Stacy once a week to learn from her experiences and perspective.
Before I dive into the questions, a stray observation. At times, the book swayed deep into the contact center world (e.g. focus on average handle time). It’d be so great if there was something like this written for those in SaaS support.
Book Club Discussion Questions
To prepare for our discussions, I put together questions to spark our chat each week.
I wanted to share these prompts with a wider audience. With hope, others in the industry can go through a book club of The Effortless Experience. Or this might spark ideas/questions for book club discussions for other books.
Andrea Badgley inspired these questions in a previous round of the SD Book Club.
- Anything in particular that came up for you that you wanted to bring to the group?
- What did you find the most surprising or interesting about the chapters?
- What new things did you learn?
- What questions do you still have?
- Were there any passages that you highlighted?
Chapters 1 and 2 questions
- What was your reaction to the idea of reducing customer effort to increase loyalty?
- What ways does your company currently try to ‘delight’ customers?
- What is your own experience in how to increase customer loyalty?
- How do/would you measure this?
- When is a time you’ve recently used self-service, rather than contacting support? e.g. checking into a flight on your phone.
- What surveys do you currently use with your customers?
Chapters 3 and 4 questions
- Does your company currently track FCR? How does your company currently track issue resolution?
- Does your company track next issue avoidance? What initiatives do you have to avoid the next issue err next event?
- Does your organization track issues based on things like explicit or implicit issues?
- What do you think about customer effort being 1/3rd “do” and 2/3rds “feel”?
- Do you currently have experience with “Experience engineering”?
- What are the ways you currently let the customer off when the answer is “no”?
- Does your organization use advocacy, positive language, or anchoring expectations?
- Would you try personality-based issue resolution?
Chapters 5 and 6 questions
- How can you make the experience effortless, when the issues are more complex?
- How do you give control to employees to solve these complex issues?
- If you could immediately put in place CES it today, would you add a customer effort score survey?
- What concerns do you have about the survey?
Chapters 7 and 8 questions
- After reading the book, what skills will you take (or have already) to your team?
- How do you plan to make sure your experiences stay effortless?
- Have the authors proven that customer effort drives or predicts customer loyalty?
- In the future, do you hope to use the Customer Effort Score (CES) in your transactional surveys?
- Outside of CES surveys, where would you apply an effortless experience mindset?
- In what ways did the book change your opinion or perspective?
- What other books do you recommend to the group?
Did these questions end up helping you? I’d love to hear your story. Reach out to me [email protected] to share!