Millennials are no doubt the most active consumers ever. Keep them happy and your business will remain lucrative. On the other hand, if you fail to meet their expectations, not only will you lose them as customers, you might just lose their friends and family members. The following is a list of ten customer expectations that every business should meet.
Give Them More Options
Customers have always wanted options when it comes to products and services. Today that desire has easily doubled. If you can offer customers the ability to bundle or ‘roll your own’ when it comes to your products and services. Give them choices when it comes payment methods and delivery options as well.
Offer Up Personalized Experiences And Service
People may claim that it bothers them when websites address them by name or offer up product suggestions based on previous purchases. However, research shows that customers appreciate this level of personalization. In fact nearly 60 percent of people will offer up personal information if they think it will benefit them in the future.
Empower Your Sales And Customer Service People
“I’ll have to check with my supervisor.” The more your sales and customer service people have to utter this phrase, the unhappier your customers become. Empower your frontline employees to make decisions that allow them to keep VIP customers happy and make things right for disgruntled customers. The ability to give a small discount, throw in a freebie, or issue a refund in spite of policy can really turn a negative customer service experience around.
Be Clear When it Comes to Terms And Conditions
Terms and conditions should be written in a way that helps customers to understand your policies. Unfortunately, many businesses seem to write them in ways that obfuscate and confuse. This can lead to the impression that you have written policies that you can hide behind rather than ones that protect your customer as well as your business.
According to Perry Fisher, partner at the Fisher Stark Law Firm, “There is a fairly common misperception that needlessly complex or confusing policy statements can somehow benefit companies if things should become litigious. The truth is, lack of clarity, especially when it is deemed to be intentional almost never works in favor of a business. It’s always better to be able to say that a policy was clearly outlined and written in easy to understand terms.”
Authenticity in Customer Service is a Must
We’ve all been there. You call a customer service center with a complaint, and you can practically hear the agent turning pages in a manual to determine what to say next. Then, when you escalate things, the next person repeats the same script. There’s the expression of regret that you are having difficulties, the pulling up of your account information, the obligatory questions, etc.
These scripts may be put into place to ensure consistency and accuracy. Unfortunately, the result is that customers feel as if they aren’t being heard, and that their concerns are being met with insincerity. Ditch the scripts and talk to your customers.
Follow Up With Them
Being proactive and checking in with customers after they have made a purchase, or had an issue isn’t intrusive. In fact, customers truly appreciate the personal touch. A quick email, phone call, or text message inquiring about satisfaction and asking if they need anything else also reminds customers that you are available to them on an ongoing basis. Of course, the method of contact and the person making that content should vary depending on the situation.
Acknowledge And Respond to Feedback
Whether you solicit feedback through customer satisfaction forms or surveys, or customers reach out to you with suggestions or complaints, letting them know they have been heard is key. If a customer emails you a suggestion, respond to them personally letting them know that you have heard them and that you are taking their words under consideration. If you do make changes based on feedback, let it be known that is why you are doing it.
Pay Attention to Accuracy
Typos, misspelling a customer’s name, sending out a product in the wrong size or color, a minor inaccuracy in a product description are all things that may not seem to be a big deal. Unfortunately, to customers they are a big deal. These things chip away at your customer’s faith in your ability to meet their needs. QA is more important now than ever before.
Increase Your Availability
Today’s customers want you to be there when and where they need you. This means increasing the amount of time that you available to them (24/7 should be a goal!). It also means increasing the number of channels through which they can contact you. Just be sure that information that flows into one channel is made available through all other channels.
Ease of Interaction is Key
To put it simply, don’t make your customers work hard to spend your money or interact with your business. This means avoiding the following:
- Telephone Systems That Require Hitting Multiple Buttons to Navigate
- Failing to Offer Self Service Options
- Forms That Ask For More Information Than Needed
- Red Tape to Navigate When They Need Assistance
Confusing Website Navigation
Meeting customer’s increasingly high standards is undoubtedly a challenge. However, businesses that manage to pull it off will earn the loyalty and future business of the consumers that they manage to keep happy.
Freelance writer and digital marketing buff. Five years in online marketing. One year as a World Teach Volunteer. I love testing custom acquisition growth hacks and always on the look out for new startups.