Effortless Experience IS NOT Enough, Here’s Why!

Simplifying CX YouTube series episode on the effortless experience concept.

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Video Transcript

Hey everyone, Sara here from GetFeedback. Welcome to another episode of Simplifying CX.

If you’re new to this channel, welcome! Our videos are here to provide you with straightforward answers to the biggest CX challenges. If that sounds relevant to you—don’t forget to subscribe! 

Today we’re talking about the effortless experience—Is it really all that matters when it comes to cultivating customer loyalty? 

At GetFeedback, we say no. But there are plenty of people who disagree with us. Maybe you’re one of them. 

But if you’re still on the fence, we want to help you make up your own mind. 

In this video, we’re going to talk about both sides of the argument.

First, I’ll explain the argument of those in favor of prioritizing the effortless experience. 

Second, I’ll walk you through the argument of those who don’t think an effortless experience is enough to cultivate customer loyalty. 

Most of us first heard of this concept of the effortless experience when the 2013 book, “The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty,” came out.

In essence, the book argues that customer delight—in other words, exceeding expectations—won’t bring customers back to your brand. Rather, customer loyalty depends on how easy you make it for your customers to do business with you.

The book puts a lot of emphasis on the service experience. 

In fact, there are 2 key arguments it makes: 

The first is that We pick companies because of their products but we leave because of their service failures.  

The second is that Loyalty is influenced by many touchpoints across the journey–service happens to be one of those touchpoints and one that is far more likely to lead to disloyalty.

So while the findings in this book are solid, for the most part, they seem to be related to the service experience. What about the rest of the customer journey?

When I read the book, there was a statement that really caught my attention, it read: The impact of service experience on loyalty is far greater when the customer does not have an extremely strong attachment to the product.

Reading this told me that effort is not the only important element of great customer experience; a strong emotional connection to the brand is also key. 

Forrester does a great job of breaking this idea down further.

Forrester argues that ease, speed, and convenience (which all fall under effortless) alone are not enough to build an emotionally resonating experience that develops customer loyalty.

Instead, according to Forrester’s CX Index, a CX program must touch on three key elements to establish customer loyalty: 

  • Emotion: meaning that Customers feel good about the experience.

  • Effectiveness: meaning The experience delivers value.

  • Ease: meaning It’s not difficult for customers to get value from the experience.

All right, brace yourself for some supporting data.

A 2018 Forrester study found that elite brands provided about 22 emotionally positive experiences for each negative one; the bottom 5% of brands provided only two emotionally positive experiences for each negative one.

But it’s not just Forrester’s research that puts an emphasis on emotion. 

CustomerThink, an independent research firm, found that 70% of emotionally engaged consumers spend up to two times or more on brands they are loyal to, compared to less than half (49%) of consumers with low emotional engagement.  

This is all to say that low-effort is the foundation of any great customer experience, but it’s not the only key element. Emotion should always be at the forefront of your CX strategy, accompanied by things like customization and effectiveness.

So, to recap. Those in favor of the effortless experience believe that effort is mostly tied to the service experience, which, according to them, has the most significant impact on loyalty. 

Those not in favor, believe that, although the amount of effort is important, emotion is the real key driver of great CX and customer loyalty. 

There’s a lot more where this came from so be sure to check out our complete guide in the description section of this video. 

Also, if there’s a topic that you’d like us to cover, tell us in the comments section! 

And make sure to subscribe now to see more videos that simplify CX. 

Until next time! 

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