Most companies put a large amount of importance on trying to meet their customers’ expectations, with the vast majority of top managers saying that it is a top priority to meet their customer expectations, and with a large number of this majority wanting to use their customer experience as an advantage, competitively speaking.
Yet it is a huge and full market place out there, with consumers wanting different things at different moments. Still, it may be difficult to make a general statement about what all customers want. Fortunately, there is a research of customer service that shows there are some very common expectations, thereby making it easier to set our goals and targets.
1. Customers would like you to meet their expectations.
It may seem complicated yet it is very simple. Customer dissatisfaction comes from a sense of disconnection from the expectation of service and what is in fact delivered.
Research has shown that customer expectations have 2 levels, the desired and the sufficient. Of course, there is a third that is unsatisfactory; this is where a company fails to meet the desired or the sufficient level for customer satisfaction. The disparity between these two levels is very obvious and will be shown in the company profits.
The secret is to measure and understand your customer’s expectations, and if you do this then you can manage them. A number of businesses have learnt that it is better to undersell rather than over deliver. This works by increasing the chance of surpassing the customer’s expectations, while others take a sense of pride in high expectations with the full knowledge that they can deliver on them. But, this is vital, never mind the approach that companies use to manage customer satisfaction.
2. Customers want choices in how they can contact you.
The significance of giving customers the choice and/or choices of how they contact you is of a great importance. Customers prefer to be able to contact you in their chosen manner, whether it in person, online, or on the telephone. Customers usually prefer to do the simple tasks the easiest way but as that task becomes more complicated, then communication in person becomes the preferred choice.
3. Customers expect a timely response.
It doesn’t matter where or how but generally, people dislike waiting, so you have to make sure your service is offered in a timely response.
In defining a timely response - this depends on your customer and their preferred choice of communication. Thus, make sure you deal with the issue as quickly as possible - your customer - regardless of the method of contact. Advances in technology have helped this with emails, phones, as well as better solutions at call centers which have all helped to decrease the dreaded time that customers wait.
4. Customers want a relationship (or, at the very least, a personalized experience).
It seems as if we live in an increasingly anonymous culture, with self-service being the norm. Customers wish more and more for a personalized service when it really matters. A study by a bank found that over 60% of its banking transactions by customers were still made face to face with a cashier.
Customer relationship management (or CRM) technology now allows for businesses to make a relationship with their customer even at a call center, as agents can greet a caller by name and have a detailed history of the customer’s history, thereby not having the customer repeat information every time that they call and increasing the personal feel and making things quicker and easier for the customer.
This also helps in being able to proactively contact the customer as for example, sending emails or similar about applicable promotions or follow-up calls to make sure of customer satisfaction.
Building a relationship with customers can greatly increase the possibility of surpassing their expectations, and this can make them strong supporters of your brand.
5. Customers want you to solve their problems!
The basic principle of any customer inquiry is the need for a quick solution. People do not want to spend hours and hours and then end up feeling like they have been through the ringer to get their problem solved or their questions answered.
Giving your employees the ability to solve customer issues is the main thing. Customers don’t want to be transferred or received 50 emails so that they lose patience with your company which in turn leads to a loss of good feeling and can lead to your business losing and not increasing its customer base.
So, by solving a customer problem in a timely fashion is a sure-fire way to avoid issues from your customers later on.