In an earlier post, I discussed how, when consumers spend money, they’re often really trying to buy peace of mind. To provide good customer service, organizations and business owners need to realize that’s what they’re offering.

People value transactions and interactions that impose as little mental burden as possible, so if there’s an easy way you can decrease the mental burden of the customer experience—for instance, by lowering the cognitive load of your customer interface, whether at a storefront, at an office, or online—chances are your customer would be willing to pay a little extra for that relief. (Hence the focus on user experience for online services—a topic for another post.)

An easy complaints process is a crucial: when people complain, they already have an unanticipated, unwelcome mental burden. Any more barriers to problem solving only increase that mental burden and decrease your brand’s value in the eye of the consumer. Although customer satisfaction at the point of sale is best (an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure), elegant complaints resolutions have been known to pay off, too.