Why Reducing Effort Is The Secret to Retention: Matt Dixon

Why Reducing Effort Is The Secret to Retention: Matt Dixon


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About Matt Dixon

Matt Dixon is the co-author of The Challenger Sale, The Challenger Customer and The Effortless Experience–the book that launched Customer Effort Score (CES). He is also a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review, and experienced advisor to senior executives on sales, service and customer experience.

Matt is curently Chief Product and Research Officer at Tethr, an Austin based company that provides an AI-powered communications intelligence platform that listens to, accurately transcribes and analyzes phone conversations, chat interactions and other asynchronous messaging in real-time, giving companies searchable, actionable insights that they can use to improve customer experience, sales, marketing, communications, product, service and compliance.

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Mary Drumond: (00:07)
Voices of Customer Experience Podcast is brought to you by Worthix, the first and only self adaptive survey for measuring customer experience. Discover your worth at worthix.com

MD: (00:19)
Matt Dixon is the Chief Product and Research Officer at Tethr and former Executive Director of Strategic Research at CEB. Matt has become well known for his work in creating CES, the customer effort score, a popular metric for measuring customer effort in CX, UX and journey mapping. Matt Dixon has overseen dozens of original quantitative and qualitative research studies on all aspects of customer service strategies, sales productivity and has presented these findings to hundreds of senior executives and management teams all around the world, including many fortune 500 companies. His work has been featured in the Harvard Business Review and in his bestselling books, The Challenger Sale and The Effortless Experience. Welcome to one more episode of Voices of Customer Experience. I am joined today by Matt Dixon. Hi Matt. Thank you so much for being on.

Matt Dixon: (01:22) It’s great to be here. Thanks for inviting me. 

MD: (01:22)
Matt, you are best known for the work that you did with a CEB where you wrote the book The Effortless Experience. Can you talk a little bit about that project and what that meant for your life and for your career?

Matt Dixon: (01:27)
 So the, The Effortless Experience, as you mentioned is and the work that we did with my team at CEB into impact of surface interactions on customer loyalty. And it really provided kind of a different framework around customer experience. And so we will talk more about that. I know across the conversation here day, but you know, in terms of my career and my life, I guess it was pretty exciting. I got my PhD in graduate school and I thought I wanted to be a professor and then I decided I did want to have anything to do with academia. And my parents, I think, never felt like I fulfilled their vision of me as a professor until I wrote something and had it published. And so that was a great validation moment in my parents’ eyes. I think it really understood what I did at CV. They just knew I worked in Washington DC for an organization that had a three letter kind of acronym name and they thought it was a spy. So, but this helped show them that actually was up, you know, contributing to society in some meaningful way. But I guess what I would say, all kidding aside. I think one interesting thing about effortless experience is if I think back to, you know, when we first started releasing this content to the world, there’s actually an article we wrote in Harvard Business Review in 2010 I’ll call, I’ll stop trying to delight your customer. That’s where we unveiled the customer effort score in this idea, uh, reducing customer effort into, I can tell you at that time, and even up through, you know, 2013 when we published the book and for you know, several years after that, we were still, it felt like we were kind of like pushing a rock uphill.

Matt Dixon: (02:52)
Like when I went to conferences, and when I went to different events when I talked to folks who produce podcasts like yourself other content providers and have conversations about this, it felt like these concepts of effort reduction were really surprising to people. Fast forward now to 2018 so to be 2019 and I can say, you know, having hit the conference circuit with my new organization and being out there and talking about, you know, advances in technology, it’s so surprising to me to look at conference agendas now and see that almost every session on the agenda is about effortless experience or reducing customer effort or reducing friction points or making it easy or any variation of that theme or that idea, which I think is really gratifying. Right. So the, the idea that we played some role in trying to help companies kind of get on the straight and narrow in terms of improving the experience they deliver to their customers is super gratifying. And to now see people using that terminology just as a way to talk about customer experience is really, really powerful because it wasn’t that way five even, you know, five years ago when we were out there trying to share this content with the world.  

MD: (03:56)
Yeah, I think I addressed this. I mentioned, I brought it up when I approached you and because all of a sudden your article for the HBR started popping up all over the place and I wrote an article based on, you know, kind of talking about the difference or what’s best or can we focus on should it be surprising and delighting your customer or providing an effortless experience. And I was like, wow, this was written in 2010 and its message is still so current, so I reached out to you and I have to talk to this guy. I have to bring him on because it’s basically what everyone has.

MD: (04:30)
All of a sudden, you know, that the coins dropping and people thinking, oh, maybe there’s something of value in this, you know, more strongly in that direction. But not only that, almost all the guests that I have had on my podcast this season have brought up customer effort score as if it were another traditional metric and the mark that day. And it’s like, you know, the three main metrics, customer satisfaction, net promoter score and customer effort score. I’m like, wow, nice. So pretty gratifying for you, you know, having come this far and and seeing that kind of blow up. 

Matt Dixon: (05:09)
Yeah, it is and it’s pretty exciting to see and kind of humbling to think really an idea, you know, certainly research back, but an idea it could have that kind of impact on a big market in a big industry. I think that, you know, the reality is that big companies are slow to change. What I think big companies now that they’re out there talking about that and certainly as I said, you know, I go to conferences, big context and our conferences, customer experience, leadership conferences, et Cetera in everyone’s talking about customer effort score, customer for reduction and making it easy and all these things. I think that those companies, it took him a little bit of time to sort of get their heads around it, understand what it meant for their organizations, realize the economic impact it can have, not just in their businesses, but also the loyalty effect it can have on customers as well. And that takes some time. You know, it’s turning a big company is like a little bit like turning a battleship, right? You decide you want to turn and then a long time later the ship actually turns. Yeah. I think in some respects, big companies are also put on their heels a bit by smaller, nimbler competitors.

Matt Dixon: (06:07)
So if you think about, I get asked this a lot, you know, who do I think out there delivers a real effortless experience to customers? Many of those companies I point to are actually in the earlier stage of their growth. I pointed to companies like Warby Parker, you know, the online eyeglass prescription eyewear company I appointed. It’s companies like Sonos, which is now a public company. These are companies that I think started in a greenfield way, designing a customer experience really built around today’s customer and the kind of experience customers want it. So they, they weren’t encumbered by a lot of the, you know, legacy policies or infrastructure or you know, so on and so forth that many big companies struggle with and they have to kind of break free from. But I think in many respects these companies start to put pressure on the big providers and steal share from them. And then the big companies start to respond more aggressively and the battleship starts turning a little bit faster. And now we’re really starting to see it. So I think you’re right. Everyone I talked to now, it’s a funny to me having my name associated with this up to see people just talking about it as it was just a thing. Like it’s just take it for granted. It’s the way you think about that service and experience.

MD: (07:06)
Well, you know, what comes to mind is Lemonade Insurance and how they, they’re using, you know, chat bots and artificial intelligence to help process insurance claim quicker. And now you have companies like state farm that are all of a sudden feeling that thorn in their side and starting to react. You know, there was some stuff recently on the news about some ads that state farm was running, trying to make fun of bots or you know, make fun of it and it really backfired. But as you were speaking, I was thinking of something, do you think maybe companies had to go full circle in the sense that they started back in 2010 they were maybe beginning to surprise and delight their customers and kind of build that into their processes, ultimately maybe reap not such positive results and then have to pivot into something else and now they’re coming round into the effortless?

Matt Dixon : (07:59)
You know it’s a great question. I know, I’ve always thought there’s this kind of funny disconnect. Ironically, we, you know, we wrote an article like you don’t stop trying to delight your customers and it’s not, it’s not about delight. It’s or going above and beyond. And you know, certainly in the beginning of the effortless experience spoke, we spent a lot of time kind of disproving or or debunking that sort of conventional wisdom around, you know, the idea that customers want to be delighted. And I think the irony of that is that while many companies, we’ll put, you know, a leaders for a long time, we put their hand on their heart less so today, but profess there desire to go forth and delight their customers. I think the reality is that companies have actually been really bad at doing that for a really long time.

Matt Dixon: (08:36)
So you know that. And I think that’s actually the disconnect. It’s probably less that they, we’re pulling off the delight thing really effectively and weren’t getting paid for it. I think the reality is that they were trying to pull off the delight thing and they weren’t really doing it very consistently and yet they kept getting poor survey results and bad negative word of mouth out there in the market and they kept losing customers and they couldn’t figure out why. And I think what they, you know, when you study, we did it well, we found it sort of overlooked in the book, but we say, you know, hey, there’s this conventional wisdom that you need to go to delight your customers and look, customers actually aren’t that loyal to you when you go above and beyond. What they really want is for you to just deliver on the thing you said you were going to do that when the product or service you sold them doesn’t work, that you actually make the process of getting things back on course in fixing the problem that you actually make it easier than they expect it to be.

Matt Dixon: (09:24)
If people were like, wow, that’s really surprising. But the thing they miss is that when you actually ask customers, customers will say that they’re delighted by big brands only about 16% of the time. So that means that 84% of the time they’re either, you know, they sort of are like math or they’re, they’re very much underwhelmed. Right? And so, so really, you know, for those of you who your listeners who are, you know, perhaps a football fans, you know, are we, we call this sort of the Hail Mary pass, which is like, you know, he, the ball up in the air and you hope somebody catches it and it, sometimes it works, but usually it doesn’t. And that’s what I think of delight as. It’s this thing that companies have embraced and they’ve celebrated. And if you go to any big company in the world, you’ll see that they, you know, they’ve got the wall of fame with their, their thank you notes and the emails and the praise that customers in a moment of need.

Matt Dixon: (10:08)
They felt like a rep really went above and beyond and really blew them away with some like a wow moment, a delightful experience. And they write a really nice letter and that letter it gets pinned up on the bulletin board and that rep gets called up in front of the whole service organization and they get a Starbucks gift card or some sort of award, a loose a lucite trophy and they get a pat on the back and everyone is told to go forth and make sure we, wow our customers don’t just do what they want but wow the, but when you really study it, what you find is that the company companies are really hard. I really bad at delivering that at scale. What they do a great job at delivering at scale is a really awful experience. And so they have really kind of mechanize that and routinize that.

Matt Dixon: (10:42)
I think what comes to realize like he lets stop even the ball up in the air and hoping somebody catches it and let’s go after the thing that’s really causing us pain, which are these friction points, these sources of customer effort. You know, the fact that we make our customers call us back over and over again, or the fact that our customers go to the website because they don’t want to actually talk to our people. They want to take matters into their own hands and solve their issue on their own. But we make it really hard. Like our website’s really clunky. It’s loaded with jargon. It’s just hard to understand. And then the customer bails out and they pick up the phone and 41 they call us, we transferred them all over the place. We tell them, hey, that’s not our, that’s not my department that somebody else.

Matt Dixon: (11:13)
So let me put you on hold and transfer you and maybe you’ll get disconnected. I didn’t have to call back. You know, these things caused customers a lot of pain. And we always say, again, not to go too far with this sports metaphors, but you know, customer service is a, is actually a game for most companies have playing great defense. You’re company has played great offense and it has, you know, has figured out a way to delight the customer with a great product. Maybe it’s a really compelling, like you think about Walmart or alerts like on Amazon, maybe they delight the customer with a fantastic set of options in inventory and a great everyday low price. Maybe your an apple and you delight the customer where they just really sexy product and exciting product and a fantastic user experience. Or maybe you delight the customer with a fantastic store experience or shopping experience you had there.

Matt Dixon: (11:57)
Or maybe it’s just like it’s like a Nike or something. It’s a really cool brand that customers want to be associated with. There were lots of things. Yeah. And there’s a lot of things your company has invested in, in the name of playing offense and in delighting the customer. And what we’re saying is when things go wrong, that’s actually not the moment to delight the customer because by the way, you’re not very good at it. You know your customers don’t appreciate it when you do it. And so instead plugged the hole in your loyalty bucket by making things easier. Don’t, when the customer reached out to you, the problem, you need to focus on reducing those friction points and making it, you want the reaction from the customer not to be, wow, that was so delightful and it exceeded my expectations, but rather, wow, that was easier than I thought it was going to be way simpler than I thought when I, you know, when I was getting tense and it was dialing in that one 800 number to get in touch with the company, I thought this is gonna be awful. Actually turned out to be pretty easy. It was a pleasure to deal with them

MD: (12:47)
You’re logically trying to figure out arguments in your head. Right. Trying to figure out. Yeah, absolutely.

MD: (12:58)
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MD: (13:29)
Well, let me tell you, like my take on it is that lots of times what you have in the best case scenario, when a surprise and delight goes perfectly well, right? So you get that hail Mary and someone actually catches it, the best thing that’s going to happen is a really good like marketing campaign perhaps. But essentially how much is that going to affect your customer base? And more importantly, will that surprise and delight moment be enough to retain the customer even if the other parts of your processes fail? Will your customers still be loyal to you? Oh, because they went above and beyond that one time. And the delighted me that one time, even though their product is crap and their service sucks. 

Matt Dixon: (14:09)
So we actually, I don’t know if you remember this, but in the beginning of that HBR article and we started with kind of a rhetorical question, which was the idea of getting out a sheet of paper and naming the companies that you do business with strictly because of the delightful service moments that you’ve had when things have gone wrong and the company’s just blown you away with service. And for most of us, you know, we can think of a couple of companies. Oftentimes there’s like the little mom and pop stores in our town or the restaurant that knows your name and when they still that bowl of soup on you, they, it took your, you know, your clothes to the cleaners and the hand delivered it back to your house or whatever it is. We can think of a couple of providers that were loyal to because they’ve gone above and beyond.

Matt Dixon: (14:47)
But then if you ask the opposite, which is list a set of companies that you will never do business with again, you’ll never give them any of your money because they’ve somehow wronged you in the service experience. And most of us can generate a list that is a lot longer, right? It’s the airline that lost your bag and didn’t seem to care. It’s the car rental company that didn’t have, you know, lost your reservation. It’s the bank that made it really difficult for you to get into. I have to pick it up, charge reimburse or to the credit card that made it very hard for you to get reimbursed once your, your card number was stolen. But we, we remember those moments in a very visceral and powerful way. And what we found is, you know, yes, you’re 100% right when those delightful moments happen and they make for great PR, they make for great advertising campaigns.

Speaker 2: (15:28)
But if you think about it for a moment, I, I don’t, I think very few of us would say that we responded to any of those press releases or commercials or marketing campaigns by selecting those companies because we’re thinking, you know, maybe I don’t like their product or their pricing quite as much, but I know when something goes wrong, it’d be treated like a king or a queen. That rarely is the reason that we’ll pick a service provider, but the opposite is really true, which is, again, we’ll leave service providers or we’ll leave companies when we feel like they’ve wronged us when it comes to the service experience. Right? 

MD: (16:01)
We have that victim thing, right, where we’re like, no, they wrote to me on a personal level. That’s right. That’s right. We’re going to exact revenge, right. Ourselves more work to go to a competition just so we don’t bring our business back to that one company that we feel that we were vetting. 
Absolutely. Your book, I think you used the word victim in the book where you saying that the human impulse to punish is much greater than the impulse to reward. That’s right. And that’s extremely true. You know, the those rhetorical questions that you mentioned, I think that was the very first thing that really attracted me to this whole model, and I think it’s amazing. But one thing that intrigues me about it is that I think that it’s a great model to measure service, right? I mean, the book itself talks about how when it comes to products, when people have a good experience of the product, they’ll actually promote it and recommend it, and there’ll be word of mouth, and when the project isn’t necessarily wonderful, they’ll just be no action, kind of a neutral thing. Whereas with services, when you have a great experience, it’s just eh, and then when you have a bad experience, then it’s the end of the world.

Matt Dixon: (17:09)
Yeah, that’s right.

MD: (17:09) I understand that CES as a model works really well with services, but does it fit into product? Does it fit into retail? Does it fit into bent to models? You know that are about providing an a memorable experience?

Matt Dixon: (17:25) It’s a really good question. I think you’ve captured it really well. That is at once kind of, it feels unfair that when customers say good things about companies, the good things they tend to talk about are the products in the product experience. Maybe there’s the store experience or maybe it’s the the brand. When they say negative things about companies, it’s almost exclusively about the bad service. They received a bad issue resolution moments. I mean all you have to do is go a company’s Twitter feed or Facebook page and just scroll through the verbatim and what you’ll find is there. Yeah. Again, all the good things that that are said are praising the company for the great products or the rate prices or their great shopping experience, whatever.

Matt Dixon: (18:02)
All the bad things are about the bad customer service that’s received when things go wrong. But I think you raised a really interesting question which is to what extent does effort, this idea of of ease factor into things like product or like brand in? While we didn’t study this when you have less experience. When I was at CB, certainly other parts of CEB explored this in their own demand, so I’ll give you a couple of examples. One in the marketing practice SCB they wrote a study that was actually also profiled in HBR around this concept called decision simplicity, which is about how customers reward companies whose brand promise and purchase decision making that the content in the marketing, the marketing collateral, the marketing content that they put out there to help customers informed customers about their product and make decisions about their products when they keep that simple, when they don’t overwhelm the customer with choice.

Matt Dixon: (18:51)
But certainly what they found was customers actually opt into marketing campaigns or respond more favorably to marketing campaigns that are easy to understand in that helped make the decision making process more simple. We found this also the BDB sales practice, and I lend for a number of years. We found that our best salespeople in a business to business selling environment, you know, selling complex solutions, they actually are very prescriptive toward the customer. They’d guide the customer through the purchase journey. They make the buying experience easier than the customer expects. And the truth is that buying complex B two B services is a huge pain. It’s painful for not just the salesperson that’s flyer, these painful for the customer as well. If you think about all the people involved in all the processes and how long the sales cycles dragged on, and then what happens once you buy the solution, you install it and you realize it doesn’t actually do what you were pro what was promised and their problems and integration issues and you know the customer support isn’t what you expected and you end up having purchased regret though we found is best salespeople are actually really good at making that buying experience easy by making the supplier easy to buy from an easy to do business with.

Matt Dixon: (19:53)
And I think you and I can like, while we’ve never studied this from a product perspective, I think we think about the products that really the products that were loyal to in the marketplace. You know, an apple is a great example of that. You know that a super complex device that can be unpackaged and used without an extra in instruction manual is a phenomenal level of simplicity baked into the product that I would say, yeah, if you compare it with other products in the marketplace, I think there is a, an element of loyalty that these companies who design ease into their product experience are actually rewarded with more product affinity, more product loyalty. We see this in shopping as well. There are a number of retailers would actually start to redesign this, the store around creating an easy shopping experience. Old Navy as a clothing retailer that we profiled the, towards the end of the book they took a hard look at the demographics of their customer base and they found that there a predominant shopper profile was the working mom who’s often, uh, you know, trying to squeeze in the shopping trip.

Matt Dixon: (20:49)
Old Navy buying back to school clothes for, for her kids and was bringing the kids in tow to the store is so they redesigned the store to be easier to navigate. The clothing racks are, it’s such a height that you can see your kids as they dart in and out playing hide and go seek, you know, through all the clothing and in the, in the shelves and such in the store. And what they found is that they’ve been rewarded with more repeat shoppers, bigger carts that people take to the checkout line. You’re very positive word of mouth about what a pleasure it was to get, you know, so easy to get in and out of the store and wasn’t as dreadful as people thought it would be. So right. Again, a long winded way of saying I think there is something there. Certainly we studied the service moment when things go wrong. I think we would be naive to assume that ease doesn’t really factor into how we pick products, how we reward brands, the stores we like to shop in versus the ones we don’t. And I think if we think about, I didn’t, we look at some of the data out there. Ease does factor into many of those things.

MD: (21:42)
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MD: (22:05)
Let me ask you something. So does that mean that the surprise and delight or the idea of delighting your customers should be thrown away altogether or is there a use for it still with an organization? For example, we had on the podcast a professor, Peter fader from Wharton, and one thing that just hammers over the head is the fact that not all customers are created equal. So there are certain, there’s a number of customers that you have that you need to take better care of. So do you think that the surprise and delight can still be used as a form of rewarding these maybe legacy customers or people who have been with you for a long time? Or do you think that you should just grow the model out entirely because it might create then an expectation of being rewarded? Or that companies may not even be able to support over time.

Matt Dixon: (22:53)
Yeah, it’s a, it’s a great question. At the highest level, what I’m always careful to say is the message is not that you should never delight your customers. The message instead is that you want to think very carefully about where you spend your delight dollars, your delight resources, and so in places where you do want to delight your customers is with a product that outperforms your competitive response or a brand that is cooler than your competitor’s brands or shopping experience that is more compelling and we’re attracted to shoppers. Yeah. Then your competitor’s stores are under shopping experience. Those are great places to surprise and delight. Oh, when things go wrong again, what do you want to do is focus on making it easy. Ironically, what I would actually say is those companies who deliver a painless ever list service or issue resolution experience in many ways.

Matt Dixon: (23:36)
Ironically, that actually is surprising and delightful to customers and it is so easy because again, what our expectations are when we go into the service experience is that it’s going to be awful. Like you said, you started practicing these scripts and these rebuttals and you know, how am I going to argue for x, Y or z because I know this company’s not going to give it to me and they’re going to make this a big queue tassel even though they shouldn’t. Right. And I’m girding myself for battle. And then when you realize it’s not a battle, they actually get the thing you were looking for and you get it a lot faster and a much more simpler way, a simpler way than you expected. You kind of our surprise and delight about how easy it was. Now I will also say that’s what the professor’s observations about.

Matt Dixon: (24:11)
Not all customers are created equal. I think certainly that is the case. One of the things we found in our research, we don’t talk a lot about this in the book, but in some follow on research we found that you know, your customers come with what we call different baggage. They bring it to the service experience and that baggage needs to be handled by the company. And one of the things we find that factors into that is customers who are, their perception is that they’re high value customers. So think about like a premiere airline travel, right? Somebody who’s earned a high level of status or or the name of the hotel or a frequent shopper or this kind of thing. Customers go in and they do have a set of expectations around not just that this will be easy, but in fact that I’ll be treated differently from everyone else and that my loyalty will be recognized in some way, shape or form even if it’s simply verbal acknowledgement.

Matt Dixon: (24:56)
You know, certainly we’ve seen companies like United Airlines is a great example of this was sort of losing on the NPS or the loyalty fraud, especially with some of the top tier flyers until they introduced some very simple fixes, which is, you know, one of the most simple ones is allowing their, some of their premiere travelers to board earlier than everyone else. Rather than having them queue up with folks who, who paid for the right to be in the first 40 group, but actually letting the premiere travelers shoot. The ones who spend tons of money and tons of time in there on their airplanes every year. First or simply thanking them on the flight. Having the flight attendant with the seat map that shows where their premiere flyers are seated and thanking them by name for their loyalty for being, you know, one member of our global services member or what have you, does a ton physicians to acknowledge that level of loyalty without having to spend a lot of money on it.

Matt Dixon: (25:43)
I will say to your point, you’ve got to be really careful about going above and beyond with customers in general. Now if you put aside this high value, high loyalty, lifetime kind of members or clients and put them aside for a moment and you think about just your rank and file customer when the real dangers of delighting customers is that you set an expectation that that now the customer expects you to deliver on consistently and then when they don’t get it the next time around, they’re actually more disappointed than they would be had they never experienced that to begin with. Right? So you do have to think about how the customer is anchored. You know, both in their own mind as they think about their worth and their value and their loyalty to your brand, but also relative to previous service interactions they have with you.

Matt Dixon: (26:23)
And that’s why we were really impressed upon companies. The thing you want to do is consistently deliver an easy experience when things go wrong and with those high value customers do a little bit Laura and that can be as little as just thanking them for their longterm loyalty for how long they’ve been a customer. Those little things go a long way with this high value customers, they feel like their loyalty is therefore recognize, they feel appreciated even if they get the same exact service experiences. Everyone else?

MD: (27:04) Well, wrapping up, I know that you’ve moved on from CEB and you’re now at a company called Tethr, but you continue to work with the whole idea of customer effort and and customer success and customer experience. Tell us a little bit about the work that you’re doing now.

Matt Dixon: (27:04)
Yes so Tethr is an AI based voice analytics company. So what that means in plain English is that we actually, we help companies and companies around the world record their phone conversations with customers and they were told when we call into a call center, you know, they’ll call may be recorded for quality assurance or training purposes. Sometimes for compliance reasons, right? If it’s a financial services institution or a bank or an insurer is, okay, so now what we also know is that companies have lots of conversations with customers via chat or by their surveys or what have you, where customers are sharing feedback and there’s a ton of insight that can be cleaned for these conversations. It’s just this is a fairly recent phenomenon that the technology now exists for companies to actually go in mind. These recorded conversations at skills. So it used to be that companies would record all these phone calls and then they would have their quality assurance folks are there.

Matt Dixon: (27:50)
Their managers go through and listen to them too with a checklist to see, you know, truthfully what, what that ends out ends up playing out is that companies will only listen to probably 1% at most of all the calls they ever record and then ironically customers, companies then go out to try to understand their customers, wants, needs and desires, the things that make them happy or sad with them or upset with them by asking them to fill out surveys. The irony there of course is that there’s no more high effort experience for a customer who is already engaged in a long drawn out phone conversation with a service representative to then be asked afterward how the, how that experience was. It’s go listen to the recording of the hour long phone conversation and debate I had with the service rep and you’ll understand all the friction points.

Matt Dixon: (28:31)
So we’re helping companies do that kind of at scale. Basically taking an AI platform, basically teaching the machine to listen to all these phone calls and then extract insights from those phone calls are from those chat interactions are from those survey verbatims or emails. And what we find is that what’s really interesting is most of the companies we work with, one of the primary things are looking for are those friction points in the interaction. Those the sources of customer effort, whether that is trying to use this platform to find out how often customers are calling back in, what is driving those repeat contact score. What are customers saying in the phone conversation about what they tried but unsuccessfully tried on the website or on the APP to self serve on their issue that forced them to them pick up the phone or what we can discern around levels of service and language techniques that representatives used to engineer the experience or to make the experience feel less painful or feel less effortful, if you will for customers.

Matt Dixon: (29:27)
So we’re working with a lot of big companies around the world. We really focus on financial services, insurance, travel, leisure, cable, telecommunications as kind of the big, the big verticals that we focus on because those are the companies that generate the most call volume, the customers, and really trying to help listen to all of their calls with, uh, with this AI machine learning platform to try to find these sources of customer effort. Now we can then eliminate for leadership so they can go and do something about it and then remove those friction points from the service experience for their customers.

MD: (29:27) I’d like to invite our listeners to go and grab Matt’s book, The Effortless Experience. I’ve read it myself, read it again last night before this podcast in preparation and it’s a great book. It’s very easy to read. It’s very easy to understand and implement. So I want to put that out there and thank you, Matt, for being on here today and coming and sharing a bit of your wisdom with us. Is there any way that people can follow you or contact you if they want to continue the topic?

Matt Dixon: (30:22) Sure, yeah. They can follow me on Twitter at Matthew Dixon. Or you can send me a LinkedIn invitation to get connected or of course, look us up at tethr.com. Get in touch with me or any of our leaders here if you’d like to learn more about what we do or just talk effortless experience. I’d love to do that with any of your listeners.

MD: (30:39) Great. Thanks so much, Matt. 

Matt Dixon: (30:48)
Okay, thanks, Mary. 

MD: (30:51)
Thank you for joining us for one more episode of Voices of Customer Experience. This podcast is hosted and produced by Mary Drumond, edited and coproduced by Nic Gomes and Steve Berry. This podcast was brought to you by Worthix, discover your worth at worthix.com.

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Mary Drumond

Mary Drumond

Mary Drumond is Chief Marketing Officer at Worthix, the world's first cognitive dialogue technology, and host of the Voices of Customer Experience Podcast. Originally a passion project, the podcast runs weekly and features some of the most influential CX thought-leaders, practitioners and academia on challenges, development and the evolution of CX.



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