Access to new technology, rise of social media channels and growth of several digital touchpoints has led to greater customer expectations. It has become more than ever important to understand customer’s demands and expectations in order to satisfy their needs and attract them to your products and services. Customers today are no more brand loyal with plethora of choices at hand and for brands to remain relevant and face the competition, customer expectations are not just to be met but exceeded. So the question is: how do you meet and exceed customer expectations and understand who your customers are and what they want.
To meet customer's growing expectations, it has become necessary for you to close the gap between what customers expect and what you actually provide. We hereby present 5 ways to meet and exceed customer expectations.
Knowing Your Customer Better
The first step to your goal of exceeding customer expectation is to know your customers well so that you can offer them what they actually need and in a manner they want it to be offered. Hence, you must gather as much information about your customers as possible. You must find out what your customers are buying, their inclination for a particular product or services and the frequency of their purchases. It is very crucial to understand your customer’s lifestyle, occupations and interests to provide them relevant offerings.
Be in Your Customer's Shoes
To understand the customer expectation and meet their needs, it is very important to experience the customer interaction with your brand first hand. So, while deciding the best ways to serve your customers your experience often serves as a better guide than any sophisticated analysis of the market. Using your products or services in a manner exactly as the customers do, you will get to know your customer experiences. It gives you an opportunity to make right changes at the right time to improve upon the customer journey and meet their needs.
Unparalleled Customer Service
Excellent customer service is a sure way to exceed customer expectations as it creates loyal customers for life who will even refer your business to friends, family and colleagues. With an excellent customer service, you tend to delight you customers more than simply selling your products or services. You take care of the cumulative experiences of your customers in their entire journey with your brand to make them feel that you care and are inclined to serve them better. You need to consistently be in touch with them and make sure they are happy with not just your products and services but also the process of purchase and order. With an unparalleled customer service, you shall meet your customer expectation and keep them with you.
Understand your customers' expectations
Every customer perceives your brand differently and hence have different perception of what customer service means to them. To provide good customer service, you should know the needs of the customer and then get ready to fulfil those needs. You will not just need to fulfil the needs but will have to find how your customers expect you meet to those needs. The expected level of service varies from one marketplace to another and from one industry to other, hence, you will need to research your marketplace and the targeted audience to find out what your customers expect from you.
"When your company’s perceptions of what your customers think of you align with the customers' perceptions of what they actually think of you, you have what I call customer congruency, and it is a major step toward meeting and exceeding your customers' expectations," writes customer service guru Shep Hyken
Following up With Your Customers
Follow ups with customers to ask them about their experiences are sure way of telling your customers that you care for them and it is here you can meet and exceed the expectations of your customers. Your genuine interests with your customers will bring them back to you and help you beat the competition leading to brand loyalty at a time when customers remain no more loyal. It also converts such customers to remain with you who were not happy with your service and they may remain reconsidering buying from you. Not reaching your customers establishes their belief that you don’t care and hence they may move to other brands expecting a better experience. Follow ups are a great way to receive feedback and can shape the way you offer your services and help you improvise on your CX strategy.
Meeting and exceeding customer experience is not an easy task. It is an ongoing process to offer superior customer experience and keeping customers brand loyal. You thus need to know your customers well to understand their needs and expectations. The process requires you to fill in the shoes of your customers and provide an unparalleled customer service. With right follow ups you need to ensure that your customers feel that you care for them. When all these steps fall in place, you’ll become much more successful in building a company your customers love.
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