Valentine’s Day is the day when we show our dear oValentines_day_rosesnes how much we love them and how important they are to us. At best, it is a beautiful day that strengthens our relationships and reminds us of what is important in life. But honestly, it is just one day in a year and it cannot do miracles. To keep our relationships strong, we cannot neglect our spouse 364 days a year and expect a bouquet of roses and a nice dinner to make it good again.

With customer relationships, it is not any different. Companies tend to send birthday cards, create loyalty programs, or send emails emphasizing how important we are as customers. But frankly, it does not make any difference if customers don’t experience the same treatment during all interactions with the company. It is hard to convince customers that they matter if you keep them waiting on the phone, don’t reply to their emails, or if it takes weeks to fix an incorrect invoice. Companies need to love their customers every day and show it; in customer service, every day is – or should be, at least – Valentine’s Day.

When building customer relationships, you need to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. If customers find it difficult to get in touch with the company or get answers to their questions, it is a clear indication that the company does not care. Therefore, the goal should be to reduce customer effort and make it convenient for customers to get their problems resolved.

Companies should ask themselves the following questions:
•What are the main reasons customers contact us?
•How much effort do customers need to make to get answers to their questions?
•What can we do to reduce the effort and make it easier for customers to get what they need?

Creating effortless customer service is not a simple task. It requires a thorough evaluation of current contact channels, customer service processes, and technology in place. And it is a continuous process that needs to be evaluated on a regular basis. However, it pays off, since reducing customer effort has a great impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty.

To gain some fresh perspective on how effortless customer service in contact centers could look like, take a look at this short video on Vinnie, a pretty personal coffee machine.

This post originally appeared at the D!gitalist Magazine and has been republished with permission