What Do Customers Actually Expect From You?
We have a very saturated marketplace where there’s too much competition going on—with every business trying to be different and offering something new to consumers.
You know that the most effective way to stay competitive is to live up to your customers’ expectations. On the other hand, some businesses fail because they’re unable to deliver the most basic needs of customers effectively.
The truth is, companies only need to come up with different strategies in planning, implementation, and marketing to help them address their customers’ expectations. But, what exactly do customers want?
While customers differ in their needs and wants, they do share some things in common such as what motivates them to engage with your brand.
Value for money
Value for money has different meanings for buyers, namely:
Some customers perceive that they get value from buying items on sale or when they get discounts for certain services. In this case, buyers are associating value with the least amount of money that they’re giving up. This is where marketers can leverage the use of promotional gifts or branded gifts since you’re giving something valuable to your customers with little or no money equivalent.
Getting what you want in a product
Value for money may also refer to the usefulness of a product for consumers. When you shop for products, for example, you tend to set certain criteria and evaluate your choices based on which product satisfies your criteria the most.
The value comes from the kind and level of satisfaction you gain from buying something to address your needs, which prompted you to purchase in the first place.
Quality of the service or item
You could also measure value for money from the perceived quality of a purchase divided by the price you paid.
For example, you’re shopping for a coffee machine online, and the prices you’re getting are £30, £60, and £90. If you’re trying to determine which has the highest value, you’ll have to rate each one of your available alternatives based on their perceived quality vis-à-vis their price.
The best value, therefore, is not necessarily the lowest-priced item, but the one that gives you affordable quality.
Getting the most of what you paid for
In this type of value-for-money perspective, there’s a trade-off between the benefits you’re receiving from the things you had to give up to make the purchase such as time and effort.
It goes without saying that the one that offers the most significant benefit for the least price is the one that gives you the greatest value for money.
Remarkable Customer Service and Experience
These days, it’s not enough to deliver top-rate customer service to your audience, rather be helpful in every step of your customer journey. This comes from your company’s efforts to provide advice and assistance to customers from pre-sale to post-sale.
Lately, however, businesses are focusing on customer experience (also called CX). More than a buzzword, customer experience may be the definitive asset that can set your company apart from others.
In fact, a study predicts that by 2020, customer experience will be the more important consideration for buyers over price and product.
Customer Service vs. Customer Experience
To help you distinguish customer service from customer experience, you need to remember that the latter refers to the sum of all the interactions that your customer does with your company.
Each time you come across a customer – whether via phone, website, social, or email – at any stage in their customer journey, you need to deliver what you promised to do so that your customer could form a positive perception of your company.
Customer experience also becomes more memorable when you’re able to create and deliver personalised service to your customers. Thanks to the huge amount of data that you’re able to collect from various marketing channels and strategies out there.
A simple example of personalised customer experience and excellent customer service in action is where you can make helpful recommendations to your customers for relevant products or services, which you can figure out based on their browsing habits or purchase history.
As soon as you see any indication that the customer has moved to the next stage of the customer cycle, you should be ready to answer any query to help them make an informed decision before completing the purchase.
Ease of Doing Business
One of the greatest frustrations of customers in today’s highly digital world is that companies are failing to use new technologies to simplify their processes. This is very unfortunate considering that management experts like Harvard Business Review rank the reduction of customer effort as the most important requirement for customer loyalty.
It’s not a good practice, for example, to request customers to fill out website forms with too many required fields or use consumer messaging applications that do not work well with your systems or tools.
Ask yourself: are you automating your processes to make things easy for yourself or your customers? At the end of the day, if the technology you’re using scares your customers away, you might have to rethink your digital strategies in favour of simpler, easier methods of interacting with your customers.
Reliability is one of the most desirable corporate values that customers look for. From serving your customers’ needs to developing relationships with them, the quality of being dependable should always be part of your policy. You have to make your customers feel that they can trust you with their money by delivering on your promises.
If you tell them that your product or service is readily available nationwide, and a customer from a particular city is unable to find it from local stores, you are going to disappoint them with their expectations.
Meanwhile, if you have a money-back guarantee program at your e-commerce store, don’t make it too hard for your customers to get a refund or rebate, whatever it is that you promised to them.
It goes without saying that you need to develop internal systems, processes, and guidelines that will help improve your brand reputation.
Being able to identify and understand what your customers need and want is vital to give your business a competitive edge. Today’s customers are focused on product value, convenient methods of interaction, and the trustworthiness of a company. But, there’s an ever-changing set of expectations among consumers, so make sure that you remain proactive and constantly look for ways to meet and exceed their’ expectations.