December 07, 2012
The Customer Experience: What about Ease-of-Use for Services?
Maybe we're getting there. Yesterday at Beyond Philosophy Kalina Janevska writes thoughtfully about "The Concepts of 'Ease' and 'Simplicity' in Customer Experience". Kalina's piece advances a theme similar to one we've had in currency at this site for a few years focusing on Ease of Use for services, and in many respects hers is superior to the posts we've done on Ease of Use. One of ours is "Ease-of-Use for Services: Will we ever get there?" (April 27, 2009). Do read Kalina's first. Excerpt from ours:
What if the services sector, now King, competed for clients and customers on the basis of "Ease of Use"?
Develop and apply Ease of Use concepts for products and goods to pure services? Our clients' services? Our services? Law. Accounting. Consulting. Advertising. Newer and non-traditional services, too. Anything where a service (something valuable but "invisible") or product-service mix is part of what you pay for.
In other words, Ease of Use for services.
Services are pretty much Everything these days--and the direction global markets now march, in good and bad times.
Consider for a moment just products. In 2006, The Folgers Coffee Company was awarded an Ease-of-Use Commendation by the Arthritis Foundation for its AromaSeal™ Canister. If you're a Folgers® drinker, you notice that Folgers® added an easy-to-peel tin freshness seal (no need for a can-opener), a new "snap-tight" lid and even a grip on its plastic red can.
Folgers® did it for coffee cans. IBM and CISCO have ease-of-use programs for the products they sell. The great companies many of us represent do spend money and expertise on making their goods, equipment and products usable.
The catch for Ease of Use for services? Customer service for services, in particular, is much harder than it looks or sounds. And only rarely will the professional service providers who know what it takes discipline their firms to do it.
Posted by JD Hull at December 7, 2012 12:59 AM