94% of Customers Return to Businesses That Do This

94% of Customers Return to Businesses That Do This

March 4, 2015 | 2 min to read

When it comes to building a customer base, consumers value consistently positive experiences above all else.

So what defines a "positive experience"?

Is it walking through Ugin's ribcage as you enter Vortex Game Center? Is it battling under a hide branded with your favorite clan symbol at Guild Hall?

Yes—but that's not the whole story. These extraordinary stores have built communities worth boasting about, but they did it on humbler foundations than you might think.

Subtle Service Stands Out

Think about the last time you went out to eat. What kind of service did you expect?

If you're like most consumers, you wanted a short wait for your table. You wanted timely visits from your server, convenient payment options, and a refill when you needed one.

If you're like most consumers, you wanted the easiest possible experience.

Making it Easy is Worth the Effort

And, if you're like most consumers, you likely returned to the restaurant—if they delivered that experience.

That's because, according to the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), increasing customer retention means reducing customer effort.

When you make an experience "effortless," 94% of customers return and 88% of them spend more money.

The summit may be "wow moments"—like at Vortex and Guild Hall—but the climb begins right here, with simplifying your customer's experience.

So where do you start?

Simplicity's Best (And Simply the Easiest)

Tactics will vary from store to store, but key strategies are universal.

Such as:

Help customers help themselves, "Do-It-Yourself" style: Don't take this the wrong way—great customer service is positively crucial. But CEB found that most consumers try to resolve issues on their own before seeking help. Make self-service—Wizards account sign ups, preregistrations—as hassle-free as possible.

Give your staff the power to make decisions: CEB found that when customers are passed up the chain, loyalty goes down the tubes. Let employees use their best judgment, with "make it easy" as their maxim.

Make it look easy: A Houston airport virtually eliminated complaints about baggage claim hold-ups by moving baggage claim farther away so that the walk outlasted the wait. Appearing easy is just as important as being easy, so manage expectations with care.

Put yourself in the customer's shoes (and stay in them): Diligently explore your customer's perspective and head off issues before they sprout.

Come back Friday for ideas on how to run an "effortless" Prerelease!

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