Make it easy for the customer

On a recent trip to Sydney with my wife Gwen, we stayed in an apartment off Hyde Park. Pleasant surroundings, convenient location, comfortable room but… an unnecesarily frustrating experience each time we used the lift.

They had a key tag system that you had to swipe sideways next to the lift buttons. On the first trip with our luggage we struggled to get it to work. A fellow guest said she’d had the same problem and had been back to reception to get her key tag changed.

Eventually we got it to work but still weren’t sure of the successful technique. As we were to find out, neither were most of the other guests. The only positive was that it created a bond between us and our fellow guests as we did our best to help one another out – “Hold it to the left first then swipe across”“Try moving it back and forth quickly”.

Isn’t it amazing how organisations can introduce ‘efficiencies’ that make life more difficult for their customers? And crazy that they do this at critical stages in the customer journey, as in this example.

Why is this a ‘moment that matters’?

Because, when guests arrive after checking in or returning to their room, they tend to be weary from their travels, the day’s activities or an evening out. The last thing customers need is complexity. Complexity uses energy. They crave simplicity. So, we need to make it easy for them – by design.

We need to design an effortless experience for our customers.

Too often organisations design experiences to reduce costs and to enable them to process customers in the most efficient way.

As renowned customer experience consultants Colin Shaw and Ryan Hamilton explain in their book ‘The Intuitive Customer’, “While it is the economically rational choice for organizations to make, reducing costs and improving efficiency ignores what the customer wants entirely. What is efficient for the company is not necessarily efficient for the customer. The result is a complex experience for the customer.”

As happened with our infuriating key tag, the unintended consequences of this ‘design efficiency’ has the potential to negatively influence how the customer judges every part of their experience with you. This leads to less repeat business, less positive word-of-mouth and therefore long term higher costs for the organisation.

Instead we need to step into the customers shoes, feel what they are feeling, see what they are seeing and redesign the experience from their perspective.

Learning Point: What may seem like an insignificant matter can be hugely influential on your customers overall perception of their experience with you. Map the customer journey, identify the touchpoints and highlight the moments that matter.

Visual courtesy of Shutterstock

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Jurek Leon is a storyteller, speaker and trainer. Subscribe to Jurek's FREE monthly 'Terrific Tips' e-newsletter at Alternatively, email