OI Blog


Peter Iansek

CEO & Co-Founder

Peter Iansek


Oct 2023
OI Blog
Oct 2023

Creating a Frictionless Customer Experience: Strategies for Maximizing Efficiency and Satisfaction

Creating a Frictionless Customer Experience: Strategies for Maximizing Efficiency and Satisfaction
Peter Iansek


Peter Iansek

CEO & Co-Founder

Table of Contents:

  • What is a Frictionless Customer Experience? == What is a Frictionless Customer Experience?
  • How to Identify Friction in the Customer Journey == How to Identify Friction in the Customer Journey
  • How to Create a Frictionless Customer Experience == How to Create a Frictionless Customer Experience
  • The Best Way to Reduce Customer Friction == The Best Way to Reduce Customer Friction

What is a Frictionless Customer Experience?

A frictionless customer experience refers to seamless and effortless interactions between a customer and a business from the first point of contact to the final transaction and beyond. 

It requires removing any pain points that could frustrate the customer in order to create a smooth, convenient, and enjoyable experience that exceeds customer expectations.

In a frictionless customer experience, every interaction is designed with the customer in mind. It takes into account their preferences, needs, and behaviors to provide a personalized and relevant experience. It encompasses various touchpoints, including online platforms, physical stores, customer service interactions, and post-purchase support.

Why is a Frictionless Customer Experience Important?

Customers today have a plethora of options at their disposal, and they are far more discerning about their choices than ever before. A frictionless customer experience is crucial for any business to stay competitive. 

They expect companies to understand their needs and provide them with an experience tailored to their preferences. Any impediments to that experience can lead to customer frustration, dissatisfaction, and even loss of business.

Studies have shown that customer experience is a key differentiator that sets top-performing brands apart from their competitors. According to a survey conducted by PwC, almost 75% of all customers point to customer experience as a major factor in their purchasing decisions. Similarly, research by McKinsey has revealed that companies that focus on delivering seamless customer experiences can improve customer loyalty by more than 50% and boost revenue by 15%. 

A frictionless customer experience can also significantly reduce costs associated with customer support. Customers who can easily find what they need and complete their transactions without any issues are less likely to require assistance. This means less time and resources spent on customer support–and more time and resources that can be allocated to growing the business.

How to Identify Friction in the Customer Journey

To create a frictionless customer experience, it's essential to identify and address any areas that pose a problem for customers–and for the agents resolving the problems.

Friction for Customers

  • Long wait times: Customers dislike waiting, whether it's for a response to an email, a live chat, or a phone call. 
  • Complex or confusing website navigation: Customers struggle to find the information they need or navigate through a website or app. 
  • Inefficient checkout process: A lengthy or complicated checkout process can lead to abandoned carts. 
  • Lack of self-service options: Customers value the ability to find answers and resolve issues on their own. 
  • Inconsistent omnichannel experience: Customers expect a seamless experience across different channels (website, mobile app, social media, etc.). 

Friction for Agents 

  • Cumbersome internal processes: Agents may struggle with outdated or convoluted systems and tools, slowing down their response times and hindering their ability to assist customers efficiently. 
  • Lack of relevant customer information: Agents require a complete and updated knowledge base on customer information to provide personalized and efficient support. 
  • Inadequate communication and collaboration tools: Smooth communication and collaboration among agents are crucial for providing timely and accurate support. 
  • High agent turnover: A high turnover rate can disrupt customer support operations and lead to inconsistency and inefficiency. 
  • Insufficient training and knowledge gaps: Agents who lack the necessary training or access to information may struggle to assist customers effectively. 

How to Create a Frictionless Customer Experience

There are several steps you can follow as a business to reduce customer friction throughout their interactions with your organization.

1. Outline All Customer Touch Points

discussion and meeting

A customer touchpoint is any point in the buyer's journey where they interact with your business, whether it's through your website, social media, customer service, or in-person interactions. Identifying all of your customer touchpoints requires a clear understanding of your customer's journey and behavior patterns. Generally, customer touchpoints can be classified into pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase touchpoints. 

Pre-purchase touchpoints can include website visits, IVR, self-service, social media engagement, and customer reviews. Purchase touchpoints can include agent-customer phone calls, live chat, and email correspondence. Post-purchase touchpoints can include post-service customer surveys, escalations and complaints, and upselling.

Begin by listing all the potential touchpoints where customers may interact with your business, and brainstorm with your team to ensure you capture all possible touchpoints. Once you have a comprehensive list, categorize the touchpoints into different stages of the customer journey. This categorization helps in understanding the context and purpose of each touchpoint.

2. Identify Customer Pain Points

Pain Point illustration
Operative Intelligence uses artificial intelligence to understand customer pain points with the highest volume and greatest ROI

Customer pain points are specific problems or issues that customers face that can negatively impact their overall experience with a product or service and don’t add value to the business. These pain points can range from minor annoyances to major frustrations, such as long handle times, low first contact resolution, ineffective agents, and low-quality processes. Addressing these pain points presents the most significant opportunity for business improvement.

While customer feedback surveys or reviews have been traditionally used to identify and measure pain points, they have limitations. Surveys and reviews can be inaccurate and biased since they don't capture the perspectives of every customer. The low response rate of surveys and reviews–typically around 4-12%–means they may not provide a representative sample size. Additionally, surveys and reviews are retrospective, capturing feedback after the interaction has already occurred, making them a lagging metric of success.

To overcome these limitations, businesses need next-generation analytics software

Operative Intelligence is the best tool on the market to identify customer pain points and actionable opportunities for improvement. The platform leverages AI to analyze 100% of inbound customer interactions to determine what customer service, product, or company changes will have the greatest impact and highest ROI. Teams can drive actions faster and more reliably than they’ve ever imagined by understanding exactly how to improve the customer journey.

3. Understand the Root Cause of These Pain Points

Operative Intelligence identifies all pain points throughout the customer journey.

Once the patterns and trends of pain points have been identified, companies must conduct root cause analysis to determine why these pain points are occurring. What about the product, messaging, or organization is causing friction for customers?

It's important to take into account all of the factors that may be contributing to the problem before implementing any solutions. Addressing pain points requires a holistic approach that involves collaboration between the contact center and other departments within the organization. 

Instead of treating the symptoms (the pain points), companies can develop solutions to address the root cause of the problems so customers never experience them at all. These solutions might include: 

  • Making changes to existing processes or introducing new ones
  • Investing in automation and self-service technology
  • Improving communication between departments
  • Providing additional training for customer service agents

Operative Intelligence is designed to automatically identify the root cause of every customer contact–all while providing essential context for each customer's inquiry. Businesses can gain not only valuable insights into the underlying drivers of customer pain points but also uncover opportunities to proactively prevent these issues from occurring— leading to enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty and ultimately increased revenue.

4. Prioritize Root Cause by Volume and Cost

Operative Intelligence uncovers the root cause of inquiries by volume and cost

Identifying the root cause of customer pain points is only a part of getting a complete picture of the customer journey. Prioritizing high-volume and high-cost inquiries helps businesses make a greater impact on a larger customer base to improve overall operational efficiency and optimize resource allocation, reduce expenses, and enhance profitability. By delving into a comprehensive list of customer pain points ranked by volume, you can gain deeper insights into each opportunity for growth. 

Operative Intelligence drills down on this data and provides insights into the number of customers affected, the cost to the business, and the sentiment associated with each aspect of the customer experience. Armed with this compelling data, service leaders can make a persuasive case for change that is more likely to be embraced by decision makers within the organization.

5. Determine Automation & Self-Service Opportunities

AI chat

Contact center automation is the use of technology to automate routine tasks previously performed manually to enhance efficiency and productivity. Organizations can automate manual tasks using artificial intelligence in their call and contact centers to improve customer retention, agent effectiveness, and resource allocation. 

Contact center automation goes beyond chatbot self-service tools. It can also include: 

  • Forecasting and scheduling automation help contact centers understand customer patterns and optimize workforce management. 
  • Workflow automation automates repetitive tasks, streamlining processes like order tracking and case management. 
  • Automated agent guidance provides step-by-step instructions to ensure compliance with industry regulations. 
  • Automation opportunities also exist in queue management, customer service analytics, quality assurance, and fraud detection.
  • Creation of self-service opportunities for customers, providing convenience and cost-effectiveness for both parties.

This is another area where Operative Intelligence provides insights. The platform identifies and validates exactly which interactions organizations can automate with confidence, build the business case, and then tracks the ROI of the change.

6. Implement All Changes Within the Customer Journey

Now that you’ve identified pain points, understood their causes, and identified cost-saving opportunities; you can actively drive positive transformations across your organization. Improvements may involve integrating new systems, updating websites and mobile applications, and training staff to support and promote self-service options. 

With careful planning, collaboration, and evaluation, you can be confident in your ability to make meaningful and impactful changes that will eliminate friction points, enhance the customer journey and contribute to your business’s long-term success.

7. Measure & Make Adjustments as Needed

The Operative Intelligence platform measures agent and customer metrics.

The customer journey is not static: it’s important to regularly revisit and update your analysis to ensure it reflects the current customer landscape. Stay attuned to changing customer needs and expectations, and be proactive in adapting touch points accordingly to provide a seamless and frictionless experience. 

Utilize other metrics such as Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSATs), First Contact Resolution (FCR) rates, Average Handling Times (AHT), Customer Sentiment, and more to monitor the effectiveness of implemented changes. 

The Best Way to Reduce Customer Friction

Friction can occur at various touchpoints, both for customers and agents, leading to inefficiencies, dissatisfaction, and decreased productivity. Creating a frictionless customer experience can enhance the customer experience and improve overall contact center performance. 

Operative Intelligence offers a comprehensive solution for every stage of reducing customer friction. The platform:  

  • Identifies customer pain points through analysis of 100% of inbound interactions 
  • Enables organizations to gain deep insight into the root causes of these paint points at scale, including volume, cost, sentiment, satisfaction, and resolution. 
  • Determines the best opportunities for contact center automation, complete with ROI analysis, allowing organizations to prioritize their automation efforts effectively. 
  • Empowers businesses to implement targeted improvements by pinpointing the drivers behind increased handle time and negative customer sentiment
  • Assesses the effectiveness of agents and teams in terms of resolution and customer satisfaction for all types of queries. 

With these comprehensive capabilities, Operative Intelligence proves to be the ultimate tool for reducing customer friction and elevating the customer experience.

Take the first step towards a seamless and exceptional customer journey with Operative Intelligence.

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