At FreshBooks, we Execute Extraordinary Experiences Everyday to help owners grow, but one team is adding a secret fifth E - Effortless.
In today’s world, poor customer support experiences are far too frequent, leaving us frustrated and disheartened. It’s the dreaded feeling you get when you’re told by a support agent that “your feedback has been passed to the product development team for consideration”, also known as sending it to a black hole to never be heard from again. It’s the exasperation of calling into customer service after a failed Google search, only to wait in a queue, and then be passed around like a hot potato until you get an answer. No matter how bad these encounters are, they’re detrimental to the company’s efforts to keep your loyalty.
At FreshBooks, we’re customer-obsessed and committed to Executing Extraordinary Experiences Everyday, also known as the 4Es. The 4Es are ingrained in everything we do, including our customer support. Beginning in 2018, we wanted to ensure low-effort customer experiences would remain a top priority at FreshBooks. To accomplish this, we established the brand new Effortless Experience team in Support, thanks to a very special book of the same name.
Better Customer Support: Effortless Experience
This new approach came from reading The Effortless Experience by Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman and Rick DeLisi, which revealed that going above and beyond to delight the customer ends up having no impact on customer loyalty. In fact, the authors’ research revealed 45% of people who had positive experiences with a company told fewer than 3 other people, while 48% of people who had negative experiences told more than 10 people.
Reducing customer effort to foster loyalty became the guiding principle for the Effortless Experience team. Our 4Es became 5Es, Execute Extraordinary Effortless Experiences Everyday. To prioritize more instant and frictionless experiences in our customer support and product, two core pillars were created within the Effortless Experience team: Customer Experience and Documentation.
Using the Voice of the Customer to Influence Product Development
Customer Experience advocates for a better product through these key responsibilities:
Analysis of Customer Feedback
All customer feedback received through various channels like emails, phone calls, social media, and reviews, is categorized with detailed notes. Customer Experience then analyzes all this feedback to identify and prioritize the issues our users are facing, and works with stakeholders in product development to incorporate this feedback into FreshBooks.
Prioritize the Product Roadmap
Our product roadmap ensures that FreshBooks continues to innovate and help owners grow. Customer Experience assists in the prioritization of our product roadmap, advocating for features and improvements from customer-driven feedback to be incorporated wherever possible. The more customer feedback we can implement, the better the product experience becomes for all users.
Champion the Voice of the Customer
There are many stages involved in adding a new feature or improvement to the FreshBooks product, from research to launch. Customer Experience shares user-centric viewpoints at all stages of product development to ensure that we’re building an usable product that customers love.
By turning data into insights, and representing the voice of the customer throughout the product experience, Customer Experience can help reduce effort in the product. Customer Experience also works in tandem with the other pillar, Documentation.
Using Self-Service to Empower Customers
Documentation advocates for accessible knowledge through these key responsibilities:
Technical Writing and Knowledge Management
To ensure our documentation stays up to date as much as possible, our support agents share their own feedback and customers’ feedback on our Help Centre and AI chatbot for Documentation to update. Documentation also conducts quarterly audits on support tickets and in collaboration with subject matter experts to ensure information remains relevant and effective.
Champion Self-Service in the Product
Documentation works closely with product development teams to provide self-service resources inside FreshBooks. This helps users find the right information they need within our product while minimizing disruption to their workflows.
Continuous improvement is crucial for effective self-service for our users. Documentation actively engages in researching, developing and implementing projects aimed at improving our self-service offerings. This includes enhancing the search experience, providing better formatting options to improve content accessibility, and introducing an AI chatbot for quicker self-service assistance.
By providing simple and fast access to accurate information 24/7, and allowing our users to get consistent information, Documentation helps reduce effort for everyone.
How It All Comes Together, Effortlessly
Most importantly, while Customer Experience and Documentation have distinct responsibilities, we test new features and updates in FreshBooks together as a team. This ensures that the customer experience is thoroughly considered and documented before launch, as a collaborative means of reducing customer effort.
At FreshBooks, there are no black holes for your feature suggestions to spiral into, and no one plays hot potato when you call in. There’s only passionate people who care about solving your problems, and an Effortless Experience team looking for every opportunity to improve the customer experience for you. We believe in a mission of Executing Extraordinary Effortless Experiences Everyday to help owners grow, because it’s the right thing to do.
If you have product feedback or suggestions on how we can improve our documentation, we’d love to hear from you in FreshBooks Support.