Customer expectations are the set of actions, behavior, experiences, and rewards that a customer looks for while interacting with your brand.
These expectations tend to evolve over time, especially during times when market forces give rise to a range of disruptive new trends. Brands must be highly attuned to these changes. Those who sit out the process of defining and managing customer expectations risk being marginalized and forgotten.
Managing Customer Expectations: Keys to Success
Customers expect a lot from the brands they do business with. If your company’s core values and overall experience do not match or support these expectations, it’s time to refine your strategy or consider a new approach.
Here are some of your keys to success.
Monitor, Capture, and Respond to Customer Feedback
The first step in exceeding your customer’s expectations is to know those expectations. On the other end of the spectrum: the worst way to learn about your customer is to guess.
This is why customer feedback is so valuable: it’s your source of information for achieving a greater, more accurate understanding of where you can improve, what customers want and expect, and how they feel about your brand.
Fortunately, modern technological tools focused on enterprise feedback management, social media monitoring and social listening, and online reputation management software can quickly and scalably enable brands to capture solicited and unsolicited feedback (often in real-time).
By monitoring, proactively collecting, and responding to feedback, you can take the guesswork out of your strategy and access information so essential to delivering what customers really want and expect.
Cultivate Customer Loyalty
Your company’s ability to cultivate customer loyalty is beneficial to your bottom line. Loyalty drives revenue, saves your company money, and ensures future success. According to customer retention statistics, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times more than their first purchase.
Strategies and tactics like referral programs, the distribution of different types of customer satisfaction surveys, and customer experience management can help you and your team demonstrate that you value your customers’ business. The data you capture from these activities is also crucial in helping your organization meet and manage common customer expectations.
If customers are comfortable engaging with your brand and sharing their feedback and expectations, you can more successfully establish and build long-term, trust-based relationships with them. This positions your business to retain current customers and increase wallet share.
Ensure Availability, No Matter the Channel
According to Salesforce research, 74% of customers have used multiple channels to start and complete a transaction. This is telling of the ways consumers today expect connected journeys and omnichannel availability.
To meet customer expectations, you must be able to cater to varying channel preferences and dedicate the right resources to make sure your brand is available across all the touchpoints and properties where customers are likely to engage.
Apart from taking an omnichannel approach to selling your products and services, you must also invest in digital transformation activities and tactics. If you’re managing a brand with multiple business locations, ensure that you have a sound local listing management strategy in place, so that you stay highly visible in searches and outrank the competition.
Deliver Better Customer Experiences
According to research, 59% of customers switch brands due to poor experience. Even if you’re able to capture the interest of your audience with low prices, catchy marketing visuals, bundled services, or free returns, the ultimate differentiator is superior customer experience.
More than ever, consumers rate and judge brands not by the quality or price of their products and services, but by the experience built around these products and services. Once your entire organization understands this and implements a strategy for meeting customer expectations, you’ll be in a great position to deliver better experiences and boost your customer acquisition and retention rates.