This review first ran in the Dec. 23 edition of The Hamilton Spectator.
The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty
By Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman and Rick DeLisi
‘Twas the morning after WestJet’s holiday video hit the air.
And CEOs near and far exclaimed we too need to go there.
Look at those Westjetters, those jolly Santa’s elves,
Collecting passengers’ wishlists and clearing store shelves.
As the video went viral, there arouse such chatter,
Going above and beyond for customers is all that must matter.
Our businesses too must amaze, delight and wow,
Because that’s how you turn us into a perpetual cash cow.
So managers and staff were tasked with finding the way,
Of blowing their own customers’ expectations away.
Yet they got down to business with a misguided belief,
That customers want delight instead of relief.
But the research is clear, the Effortless Experience authors do say,
What customers want most is to be saved from delay.
If there’s a problem that needs fixing, solve it with haste,
Because there’s nothing we hate more than having our time go to waste.
And here’s another key finding sure to make some executives cry,
While we’re satisfied today there’s no guarantee that tomorrow we’ll buy.
But wait, there’s more harsh truths that companies must get,
Our loyalty’s pretty much the same whether our expectations are exceeded or simply just met.
And no matter how hard you try to impress and how much money you spend,
Customer service’s four times more likely to make us disloyal in the end.
To lose us as customers, all that will suffice,
Is making us contact you with the same problem at least twice.
Deliver generic service that makes us feel like a number,
And odds are good we’ll leave you and wander.
Another dumb move that drives us away,
Is to transfer us over and over and make us repeat what we say.
To keep the cash flowing and avoid destitution,
Make this your Holy Grail – first contact resolution.
If we come to you with a problem, here’s what you say,
I’m going to fix thisASAP so you can get on with your day.
Because the less effort we make to get what we need,
The more money you’ll make and the more your business will succeed.
And if you’re looking to move up, up and away on the loyalty curve,
The future’s all about easy-to-use websites and customer self-serve.
So rather than wowing us with hopes that we’ll stay,
Make it super easy to get what we need and then get on with our day.
And one last piece of advice, some wisdom to share,
If you’re at an airport terminal and find St. Nicholas there,
Wish for free flights, tablets and flatscreens instead socks and new underwear.