Ecommerce Customer Service—Is Easy Better Than Exceptional?

Easy customer service is better than Exceptional. Why? Because Easy generates loyalty. This is a major tenant of Roger Dooley, author of the book, Friction. I attended an event where Dooley was keynote speaker, and he made several points that have stuck with me to this day.

According to Dooley, one of the reasons this tenant matters to ecommerce sellers is that according to a 2016 Business Insider study, over $4.6 trillion dollars were left in abandoned shopping carts each year. That’s an incredible amount of unpurchased items, and you have to wonder why that is.

Why are Shopping Carts Often Abandoned?shopping cart

Dooley’s data showed that for repeat purchases, if the effort involved in purchasing was low, the rate of purchase was 94%. However, if the effort was high, the rate of purchase was 4%. In addition, if the effort was high, 88% would “Say bad things about the brand.” I specifically asked about the value of using a Net Promoter Score and Dooley said I would do better to replace the NPS with a system measuring my client’s ease in using our system. Think about easy customer service.

While it’s difficult for me to completely ditch the idea that customer satisfaction is important, Dooley did show that only 5 to 7% of our brains are used in our decision making. As a result, most of our decisions are emotional and subconscious, rather than rational.

Shoppers Love That One-Click Ordering

One antidote he shared that relates to our Amazon customer service experience was about the One-Click ordering. When Amazon first developed this technology, they patented it because they believed in the concept of Low Friction and Easy. When Barnes and Noble added One-Click ordering to their website, Amazon protected their patent by filing a lawsuit, and they won. Barnes and Noble was required to add a “Confirm Order” button to their checkout process. When iTunes launched, Steve Jobs saw the value of One-Click ordering and he paid Amazon $1 million dollars for the rights to use that technique.

Why The Friction?

There are several things that contribute to high friction, as Dooley pointed out in his presentation. These include complicated forms, many steps in a process, instructions, confusion about what to do, and slow problem resolution.

If you think your business has issues with customer or employee loyalty, pick up a copy of Friction and learn how easy it is to interact with your business. As you read it, you will start to see your everyday experiences in two camps: High or Low Friction.

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Post Author Cyndi Thomason


Cyndi Thomason is founder and president of bookskeep, a U.S.-based accounting, bookkeeping, and advisory firm for ecommerce sellers worldwide. She has a passion for data analysis and process development. She uses that passion to educate her clients and help them structure their businesses to maximize profits.

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