Customers expect certain things when they walk into a business, and those with the highest level of service will know how to identify those expectations and meet them to the customer's satisfaction.
However, this process is not as easy as it sounds – customer expectations are a dynamic feature that ebbs and flows regularly in accordance with a wide range of factors. However, when expectations are not met by the performance of your customer service representatives, customer dissatisfaction is the result.
This article will delve into the importance of meeting customer expectations, as well as how to identify and meet them through your customer service.
Customer Expectations + Service Performance = Customer Satisfaction
The quality of your customer service is almost wholly determined by your ability to meet your customer expectations. You can have the greatest service team, but if your customers perceive their needs are not being met, your service reputation suffers.
By the same token, companies that don’t spend much time worrying about customer service – but manage to meet customer expectations consistently – are perceived as offering good customer service.
Service quality is largely determined by customer's perception, which is why meeting customer expectations is an essential part of the process.
Identifying Customer Expectations
Because customer expectations are an ever-evolving process, it can be very challenging to know precisely what those expectations might be. The best course of action is to take the question directly to your customer base through a variety of customer service research techniques.
Have customers complete surveys about your products and service. Provide incentive for them to complete that survey, such as entry into a drawing for an enticing prize. Next time you see a customer, ask if his expectations of your business are being met. If not, find out why and what you can do to make your service better.
Common Expectations to Consider
Some of the most common and basic expectations customers have for most businesses include:
• Fast, efficient and accurate service
• High quality products at a competitive price
• Friendly, helpful service staff to provide information and answer questions
• Prompt responses to their inquiries, whether online, by phone or in person
• Sufficient stock to meet their needs without long waits
• A trained staff that can handle their questions without referring them on
• A clean facility or easy to navigate website
All of these expectations comprise the minimum of what your top-notch service should look like. Additional expectations may arise from your customer research, which you can address on an individual basis.
Benefits of Meeting Expectations
When you are able to accurately identify and adequately meet your customers' expectations, your customer service reputation will automatically be enhanced.
Some of the benefits of meeting your customers' expectations include:
• Customers that transform from first-time visitors to loyal clients
• Increased sales as customers feel more comfortable doing business with you
• More referrals from satisfied customers who bring in additional business by word of mouth
There is no doubt that adequately meeting customer expectations is an essential part of a robust customer service department. By accurately identifying those expectations, and meeting or exceeding them consistently, your company is likely to enjoy happier customers and a healthier bottom line.
- Meredith Estep