The Importance of Simplicity in Customer Experience

The Importance of Simplicity Customer Experience

This is a guest post written by Ricardo Saltz Gulko. Ricardo is on the international advisory committee of the Customer Experience Professionals Association and a thought leader in the CXUniversity.

I don’t think anyone would argue that being a CCO is a hard job. It’s only been a more common role in the last 5-10 years, thanks in part to people like Jeanne, and most of the guests on her podcast, who speak in depth about some of the challenges in this role (as well as the opportunities). For example, Enrique Gomez Alonso, the CCO of Zurich Insurance Spain, did a whole episode with her about proving the ROI of the role.

But when executives think about the CCO role, I often think there’s a major concept they often don’t fully grasp. This concept is that the CCO needs to ensure customer experience promotes simplicity. All leaders involved with CX transformation must think about ensuring the quality of the product/service in the eyes of the customer. That means also working with the product and design team, the operations team, etc. and unifying the delivery of the experience. The customer perception about our solutions (both services and products) is what matters. The value for customers matters.

All leaders involved with #CX transformation must think about ensuring the quality of the product/service in the eyes of the customer. - @RicardoSGulko Click To Tweet

CCOs Need to Pave The Path To Simplicity

The Importance of Simplicity in Customer ExperienceAs a CX practitioner, I’ve realized something quite simple – customers don’t want the best sales pitch; they want the option that will solve their problem(s) — and that is all. Quality and top design are the key for a sustainable customer experience, which generates your customer successful outcomes.

I mostly work with enterprise B2B technology companies in my day-to-day work as a global strategist. In doing this strategic work, I’ve noticed a few things that happen in the B2B industry that impede good customer experience. Some of these problems may sound familiar to you as well:

  • Unnecessary features are added to a product, service or solution, usually because one manager/team wants to showcase what they added or because of a lack of human-centric design as a primary principle.
  • Rules and processes are created to manage complex workflows, but the rules themselves don’t make sense (Jeanne has a “Kill A Stupid Rule” concept that I like a lot).
  • People get busy with the day-to-day and keep pushing emails and meetings around, which adds to complexity and reduces clarity (email tone is impossible to infer, etc.)
  • Processes get increasingly complex.
  • The product suffers and the user suffers even more.
  • When we decide to acquire an enterprise technology solution, one key to consider: will this make the work of the C-Suite easier, or will it make the future of work for the entire employee base (the employee experience) better? Technology can’t be designed simply for the benefit of the top ranks (where they will get approved and paid for). It has to work for the needs of everyone.

We all know business these days is fast-moving, busy, and global. But that doesn’t mean everything needs to be complex. Simplicity can actually be a huge strategic advantage in the customer experience, services and customer-centric world, where we live.

Since 2009, a stock portfolio comprised of publicly-traded brands which focus on simplicity has outperformed major indices, and by a lot. Simplicity may indeed be a winning path as we all enjoy Amazon, Google, Alibaba, Aldi, Netflix and other simple solutions across the globe.

As the picture of Siegel + Gale Simplicity Index 2017 demonstrates:

The source research also found that:
  • 64% of consumers will pay more for simpler experiences (46% U.S.A., 48% Germany– but much higher in countries like India, at 92%, and China, at 85%)
  • 61% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand because it’s simpler to use
  • A stock portfolio of companies from these simpler brands outperformed major stock indexes by 330%
  • When your experiences are too complex, an average enterprise brand can leave an estimated share of $86 billion on the table

Don’t Overwhelm Your Customers

It can actually be hard to achieve simplicity, but all the effort is worth it when you create seamless customer experience, products and services. Rather, they need to be simple, easy-to-grasp ideas that the customer needs in a nimble, intuitive manner. When you get that, you start to craft the right simple solution for your target customers — and you avoid overwhelming them, a fact that which will keep them coming back or simply staying with your organization.

When you craft the right simple solution for your target customers and you avoid overwhelming them, and can potentially keep them coming back or simply staying with your organization. -@RicardoSGulko Click To Tweet

Another way to think about all this: Google is one of the two most important websites in the world, probably. While Google now has tons of other products and services, for a long time — as it grew rapidly — the main interaction any customer had with it was a box on a white background. You typed some information you needed into the box and Google delivered. That’s it. Simple. Nothing majorly complex. (The back-end and algorithm are complex, yes, but customers don’t see all that.)

Simplicity can win the day. And it can get you a share of $86 billion too, maybe and definitely will impact your company bottom line.

Remember this, even if you find yourself pulled in multiple directions and often assigned to complex projects – simplicity, design and quality are actually the path to winning customers and among the customer experience main pillars.

Simplicity, design and quality are actually the path to winning customers and among the customer experience main pillars #CX -@RicardoSGulko Click To Tweet

What do you think about the CCO role and need to ensure quality and simplicity? What about aligning silos also with quality and simplicity? I’d love to hear some of your perspectives on quality and simplicity and where CCO work is headed.

About Ricardo Saltz Gulko 

Ricardo Saltz Gulko

Ricardo Saltz Gulko is the founder of Eglobalis: Information – Insight – Innovation a global strategist, thought leader, practitioner and speaker in the areas of customer experience, experience design, customer success, and global professional services. Ricardo has worked at numerous global technology companies, such as Oracle, Ericsson, Amdocs, Redknee, Inttra, Samsung* among others as a global executive, focusing on enterprise software, professional services, design thinking and customer experience. He currently works with companies of varying sizes to transform themselves around customer experience, customer success pathways, and professional services. He holds a MBA at J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Evanston, IL USA and Undergraduate studies in Information Systems and Industrial Engineering.

A diabetic who wants to wipe diabetes from the Earth for all of us, the proceeds from his forthcoming 2018 book will be going to the Faustman Lab. The Lab is working to eradicate it, based out of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. You can also support and donate to The Lab. It would mean a lot to me, and millions of others struggling with diabetes.

You can learn more about him, his work, passions, and his charitable causes at his LinkedIn or Eglobalis or Facebook or Twitter.

2 comments to " The Importance of Simplicity in Customer Experience "

  • Great post. Keeping it simple and the effort level for a customer to obtain their desired outcome is key. And, a simple concept!

    • Thanks Michael, for your commentary. Sometimes the way to make things simpler or using simplicity to design a digital or physical experience, can be a complex process with many algorithms in the back office , but it is worth to invest the time to generate new experiences that are easy to interact, purchase, and still delivering a great quality. In my simplicity article I am addressing the “complex” world of enterprise technology, which today is overwhelming users, leadership and customers with so many features and functionalities, which are not always practical or necessary to have. It often requires much more effort on onboarding programs to win adoption. Several companies lost the simple capabilities to design simple solutions, easy and effortless experiences. Probably 10-15 years ago I would not be saying the same. Thanks so much kr R

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