In a competitive economy, where the slightest shortcomings can cost millions, meeting customer expectations is important. But the trick is to make sure that you set the right kind of expectations, the ones that can be met by your team. Customers construct their expectations based on the previous interactions with the company alongside the price they pay for your product. However, expectations are never stagnant. They evolve over time based on the needs of the hour. Different scenarios will call for different actions and your team must be prepared to adapt to the situation.
According to Microsoft, Globally, 54% of all consumers say that they have higher customer service expectations than they did just one year ago.
There are two kinds of expectations that the customers harbors within themselves. Firstly, they want a complete value out of the product or the service that they are paying for. They do not want a faulty product which invites more trouble than easing their lives. Secondly, they want a welcoming and humility-filled interpersonal relationship with the brand. Customers are bound to call or reach out to the business they are buying from and they want complete attention and expect the first-call resolution. An agent who will attend to the customer needs to meet this expectation to make the brand prosper.
Customers are individuals but they also belong to a larger pool of audiences where they discuss their experiences amongst themselves. They talk about their purchases and personal interactions with their service provider. A cycle of marketing keeps going on in these social circles. By default, if your product and your services meet the customer’s expectations, they will be spoken about in these circles, ensuring more sales and prospects for your business.
Hence, it is clear that meeting expectations and setting the right bar are important. But how does one do that? We have figured out six effective ways to ensure customer expectation management.
1. Transparency of Customer Expectation Management:
The customer must know what they are signing up for. It is as simple as that. This is an ethical code that all industries must adhere to. Let’s not forget that it is you as a brand who has complete control over how you want to communicate. Therefore, it is your responsibility to clear the fog. Determine the factors that influence your business and make sure you promise only what you can provide. Starting from the website to the product information page, every piece of data should be a fact and not extravagant mumbo-jumbo. All advertisements should limit themselves to accuracy and must not be misleading. Clarify the dependability of your staff as customers hate to wait in queues. To ensure, that customers are aware of the wait-time. Lastly, based on the geography of the business, enforce properly trained, well-spoken agents who can communicate with locals without language barriers.
2. Interpersonal Relationship for Customer Expectation Management:
You expect your customers to trust you and you trust them to keep purchasing from you. It is a two-way street. To ensure loyalty, building a relationship is imperative. This means you can no longer alienate the customer. Proper omnichannel infrastructure will accumulate all the customer information and readily provide it to the agent. The agent must be trained to use this data whenever they communicate with the person. They should greet them with little details extracted from this data, to incite a non-alienated environment. The customer will feel known and no longer a stranger to your business. Your awareness will reinstate the trust in this relationship and the customer will be more vocal and upfront about their woes. This eases the task of communication, culminates trust, and manages the customer’s expectation. As long as they feel heard and seen, they will keep coming back for more.
3. Learn and Adapt for Customer Expectation Management:
Customers interact with a variety of businesses, every day. Some for their finances, some for healthcare, some for social security, some for entertainment. Each of these businesses has an infrastructure to ensure a smooth relationship. Imagine your customer experiences a first-class service with one of these businesses while you lag behind with the same person. The customer will compare their choices and will probably move away from your business. Thus, it is essential for you as a business to studying the market. Learn more not only about your competitors but also about your fellow businesses. Understand what they are offering and keep up with it. If someone offers AI-driven interactions while you still provide IVR queues, then you are bound to lose customers. The only solution is to keep yourself informed by being proactive. And eventually adapting to the newest techniques to keep up with the service quality.
4. Analyze and Improve Customer Expectation Management:
Once you meet the baseline expectations, you must not stop. Focus on your module and understand where you can over-perform. Every business has its own perks. Determine those perks and benefit from them. These make you stand out from your competitors, making you an exception in your own game. Ask yourself about the strategies implemented like – demography, target audience, cost of acquisition in every location, and more. Surround your business around these. For example: If you can lower prices for some products without affecting quality, do it. If you can improve quality with USPs that are not yet in the market, do it. Each business is unique and has the potential to grow if strategized appropriately. To do this better, use different analytical tools to understand your user demand, your user pipeline, and work around it.
5. Consistency in Customer Expectation Management:
It is universally understood that consistent effort bears the sweetest fruits. Whatever services you provide, whatever strategies you implement, make sure you stick with them consistently. You can’t provide the first few customers with the best quality of service and then discard them when they become a constant buyers. No matter how often or how rarely the customer visits your website or buys from you, you must consistently make an effort to engage, follow-up, help, and interact. Many companies make the mistake of discarding their old customers while taking care of the new ones. This increases their churn rate, making them lose more money in the long-run. Invest in your existing customers to confirm them as your permanent source of income.
6. Be Realistic for Customer Expectation Management:
Often we get carried away with the promises we make and eventually they are not met. Let’s not make this a habit for a business that is accountable for thousands of people. Businesses should address their audience with realistic standards. Promise them solutions that you can really offer. Many times, certain customers will come up with exceptional issues. The agent and the team must work together within the framework of the company policies, to resolve the issue. It is absolutely acceptable, to be honest with the customer about the status of their issues. If a problem will take more than the usual time, inform them instead of delaying them.
Due to the COVID-19 scenario, a lot of companies have pushed themselves to meet expectations at a faster rate but failed. Remember, your customers are also humans who are aware of their surroundings. Be realistic and honest with them and they will appreciate you for your transparency.
These above-mentioned techniques will ensure that your customers stay longer. Customers only want value for their product alongside a pleasant experience. Meeting these two basic needs will ensure the longevity of your business. There is no harm if your business can’t immediately offer these consistent services, but one has to start somewhere. We at C-Zentrix believe in providing the ultimate customer service experience. Check out our customer management solutions to learn more about cost-effective methods to ensure customer satisfaction.