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Every day that we spent not improving our products was a wasted day.Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Stack Overflow
A quote that could not be more on-point for a CX newsletter.
Which Service Elements Actually Produce Loyalty
We’ve heard Delight and Wow drive loyalty in service interactions but where’s the proof?
Right here as it happens 😀 -> Ability of Experience Design Elements to Elicit Emotions and Loyalty Behaviors
That’s overstating it a bit but this is a very interesting empirical study (my favourite kind) of a hospitality setting that looks at exactly what is important for loyalty in a service context.
It’s a long study but the two interesting parts for me were:
- Relational service elements, (where staff interact with customers and customers interact with customers) are strongly linked with basic emotions, which are in turn strong drivers of loyalty behaviour.
- VIP vs. basic emotions: the study looked at these two types of emotions and from my interpretation VIP emotions largely correlate with Wow factors. Interestingly VIP emotions played a largely insignificant role in driving customer loyalty.
This provides a couple of useful Service design insights:
Getting staff involved with customers has a positive impact on customer loyalty. You can automate too much. Customers need to feel connected to your company to be loyal and people can only connect with people, no matter how lifelike your virtual assistant may be.
“Wow” is not as significant as you might think. In the study they found an “open bar” had very little impact on loyalty but “comfort and fun (basic emotion)” were important. In this study at least, getting the basics right was more important than Wow factors.
Attack the Loyalty Drivers That You Control?
In Transforming customer experience in utilities, Mckinsey and Company examine what drives customer satisfaction for utilities and the results are applicable to many industries.
Electricity is a classic low involvement purchase with mostly hygiene factors: are the lights on? ⚡🔌⚡!
Even so, McKinsey identified approximately 50% of customer satisfaction is driven by non-hygiene factors over which the utilities have direct control.
The example examined is satisfaction drivers in unplanned outages. Of course, the duration and frequency of outstages heavily drives customer satisfaction – these are uncontrollable because, by definition, they are unplanned.
However, the next layer of drivers (the 50%) can be controlled and managed by the organisation.
Give customers easy to find, clear information about the outage and you can positively drive customer satisfaction, even when you’re not delivering your core product.
The lesson: while the outage itself may be unplanned, planning (designing) how you will communicate when the inevitable happens is entirely within the customer journey design remit.