The Benefits Of Effectively Managing Customer Expectations

The expectations of customers increase on a regular basis. Many small businesses are struggling to meet new and increased customer expectations. The speed and increase of expectations could be the result of technology. People have instant access to information in the palm of their hands. This has led to them to expect more in all aspects of life. Should small business owners fail to develop a way to meet their customer’s expectations, their reputations could be damaged and more.

Personalization

Customers will go to where they can get the level of personalization they desire. In the technological world of today, it’s ironic customers want to be provided service on a personal level. Approximately 50 percent of consumers will stop an online transaction if they can’t get immediate answers to their questions. A small business needs to have customer service representatives that are available to communicate within seconds of a customer going on their website. A major bank discovered that 60 percent of its banking transactions were made by customers who preferred to speak with a teller. This was preferred over the many online banking services the bank offered its customers. A small business will need to provide many different channels for communicating to meet their customer’s demands. The company representative speaking with a customer will need to know the customer’s previous experiences with the company. They’ll need to be aware of anything pending as a result of a previous communication with the company. They will need to have the tools necessary to follow-up with promises to the customer. Many companies have learned that providing a more personalized experience leads to higher customer satisfaction ratings. This will translate into a higher number of repeat customers.

Constant Contact

The competition for customers in the world of small business is intense. A small business needs to have a system of regularly contacting customers. A consumer will go with the company on their mind the most. To develop a program of contacting customers, some companies use Business Process Management Software (BPMS). This is a valuable tool for achieving this goal. It has been shown that most customers do not get annoyed with advertising promotions. Today, customers have an expectation of companies making follow-up efforts so they can share their customer experience. The important thing is for a small business to provide the correct amount of information at the right time. This must be done using the preferred channel for communication. This is a good way to build a strong relationship with customers.

Listen And Respond

The customers who respond to a company’s survey are not annoyed by it; they see it as a way to be known to the company. Customers now have an expectation of being able to provide feedback to a company. Should a small business not respond to the information provided by their surveys, it could have a negative impact. It’s important for companies to use the data obtained and make changes when necessary. These changes must then be effectively communicated to the customer. If a small business does not make changes or communicate them; customers may stop taking surveys. This could cause an erosion of return customers. One company received feedback telling them their operation was getting products out too slowly. The small business responded by increasing the number of checkweighers they used. This increased their delivery time. When they communicated this change to their customers, orders increased.

Flexibility And Efficiency

When a small business has dedicated itself to managing customer expectations, they need to be flexible and focused. A small business can create customer expectations with their advertising and marketing programs. They need to be able to effectively meet these expectations. A small company has to be able to match their message. There are times when marketing or an advertising program will not get the desired results. This is when a company needs to be flexible enough to get customer input and make the desired changes. Being flexible and efficient can enable a company to create trust with both current and future customers.

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