Importance of making things easy.

I’ve talked about cross-searching (part 1 and part 2) before. It’s really an interesting thing and can be very useful. A few weeks ago, I read a post on Ryan Caron’s blog about making customers happy with some simple customer service tips.

He suggests making it easy to help your customers.

This is really obvious, but a surprising amount of people don’t think about it (like a lot of other things in customer service). Ryan must be dedicated because from what he says, his search systems are terrible, but he still searches anyways. A lot of billing/CRM systems have very powerful search systems and you shouldn’t buy one unless it does. 

Ryan, like me, is not above bribing his customers. He says the the process of refunding or crediting customers should be easy and that if customers are inconvenienced, they should be given a refund, credit, or some sort of other thing to help make the experience a little less painful. Definitely good advice.

A commenter pointed out that all administrative interfaces should be built with customer service in mind. He added that if it isn’t in initial development, it should be (and in most cases, is not too difficult) added later.

Some other things that may be good to include when developing applications:

  • Something that automatically follows up or reminds employees to follow up.
  • Automatic customer satisfaction surveys.
  • Easy ways to change accounts (including upgrades/downgrades).
  • Easy ways to add invoices (one time charges).
  • Customer “notes” feature to keep track of little things that customers tell you.

Instead of customer service and operations working together, customer service and the development team need to work together. Check out this post about achieving great customer service (or at least experience) through features.

If things are easy (for everybody, especially employees), they will be more likely to do whatever it entails. If it’s simple, why not? If it’s complicated, then it’s a bit different. So, try to make things simple and it’ll definitely pay off later.