Customers are no longer satisfied with a product or service being "good enough." No matter what industry you're in, customers expect top-notch products and services, and they're willing to pay for them. If you want your business to stand out from the competition and stay competitive, you must meet and exceed your customers' expectations.
Managing customer expectations is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. If you don't manage your customer's expectations, you risk disappointing them, which can lead to lost revenue and customers.
What do customers expect?
Customers expect to get what they pay for. If you promise something, then it should be delivered on time. Customers expect to be treated with respect, especially when dealing with customer service representatives. Being rude will not win over a customer; instead, it can make even the most patient person angry and ready to take their business elsewhere.
Customers also expect companies to listen to their concerns carefully when they have something important and then respond accordingly. If you aren't listening seriously enough, your customers can leave without making any purchases from you at all.
Here are some top strategies you can follow to manage customer expectations:-
1. Consider the overall customer experience
When trying to manage customer expectations, it's important to consider the overall customer experience. Customers have different expectations from different industries.
According to reports, “63% of consumers expect businesses to know their unique needs and expectations”.
For example, a hotel guest expects a clean room with an extra pillow and blanket, while a restaurant customer wants their order to be taken quickly so they can eat and get back home as quickly as possible.
You can use this kind of knowledge when setting up your business so that you know what kind of service level you need to meet customer expectations in each area.
2. Don't promise what you can't deliver
While it's tempting to over-promise and under-deliver the products/services to the customers. When customers have unrealistic expectations of your product or service, they'll be disappointed when those expectations aren't met and that disappointment can turn into anger and frustration quickly. If you want happy customers who trust your brand, don't make promises that aren't possible to fulfill.
3. Exceed customer expectations
Provide more than you promise, and be sure to exceed their expectations by providing additional things in unexpected ways. For example, if a customer orders a cake from your bakery, don't just send a cake, you can also send a cookie along with a cake as a gift to your customers.
4. Communicate openly, and honestly with customers
Clear communication is important to manage customer expectations. Be clear about what you can do and what you can't do. For example, if a customer wants to know when their order will be delivered and you don't know, be honest about it.
Communicate openly and honestly with customers about what is happening with their order or request, even if there are delays or problems with the process. This will prevent any misunderstandings between you and your customers and maintain a good relationship.
5. Provide solutions and alternatives to your customers
This is another way to manage customer expectations. When you can't meet a customer's expectations or needs, provide solutions and alternatives that are as close to what they want.
For example, if someone is looking for a product in a specific color and you don't have it in stock but you have something similar then you can suggest them. Otherwise, if you know about your other branch that has a similar product, tell them about that store.
6. Ask for feedback
You can't manage customer expectations without customer feedback. By asking for feedback from your customers, you get a clear picture of how well your team is doing and where they need to improve. This information helps you make decisions about how to move forward with customers' expectations, and how you can manage customer expectations.
If you know who your customers are and what they want from your brand then it will be easier for you to fulfill customer expectations and can handle the situations when conflicts arise over expectations not being met.
If you are looking to measure and optimize personalized customer experiences, then Dropthought can certainly help!
Dropthought is a user-friendly, omnichannel, and real-time customer experience management platform. We empower companies in different verticals to create delightful experiences for customers across their journey. Get detailed analysis and insights from data to exactly know what your customers think and what actions you need to take to delight them.
With a dedicated customer success team, we would ensure that you are optimizing your Customer Experience programs and strategies to create great experiences!
Learn more by simply clicking here.