Customer expectations evolve over time. Agree or not, but this isn’t going to change!
You’ll get the question of why are the expectations evolving over time. But the real question you’ve got to ask is, why is it important to meet customer expectations and how to exceed them?
Modern customers have everything they need at their fingertips. Options to switch to your competitors, platforms to rant about your service and access to discover how good support looks like.
It’s like you’re in the age where CUSTOMERS ARE KING (you definitely are) and meeting customer expectations is something you’re not given a choice about.
Luckily, for you, modernization goes both ways. Today, you’ve got a lot of options that help you meet customer expectations and deliver great support!
You would now have got an idea of what this article is going to be about! So, why wait? Let’s get started and figure out how to exceed customer expectations.
What are Customer Expectations?
That’s a different question but in order to understand how to meet and exceed customer expectations, you need to understand what the customer service expectations are in the first place!
In this section, we’ve pulled out and listed the top 5 customer service expectations that’s most demanded today.
Let’s look at them one by one.
1. Customers Look for Connected Journeys
Disconnected experiences aren’t going to work. Might have worked in the past but not anymore!
You’ll get a better understanding of disconnected customer service experiences with this example.
Let’s take a John for example.
Assume John has recently talked to one of your support agents for XYZ reason. Unfortunately, it wasn’t resolved the first time and John had to reach out again. But this time, it was a different agent who had no idea what John was dealing with.
Now that’s a classic example of a disconnected customer service experience. John’s not going to like it. Nor does anyone else!
This is just one example of a disconnected customer service experience. This can happen across platforms as well – your customer reaches out to you via different channels with the same issue but ends up explaining the same every single time!
“74% of customers use multiple channels between the start and end of a transaction and on average, a customer uses three channels during a transaction.”
It’s not only for support but conversation during the entire customer journey and more!
2. Personalization is Another Customer Service Expectation
The same offer doesn’t please everyone. The same sort of canned response over and again doesn’t give customers the support they need.
Your customers are spending a generous amount to avail your services/products. And the last thing they need is generic support. That’s okay but at times, they need extra personalized support, especially when they have a unique situation that needs to be taken care of.
“A massive 66% of customers want businesses to understand their unique needs and stated that they hate being treated like just another number/ticket.”
So, the next time you or one of your agents talk to a customer, have this etched up! In fact, this is one of the important customer experience trends of 2023.
3. Customers Want Quick Resolutions. QUICK
We had to stress this one out to show you how important it is. Customers are on the go. And they need solutions while they’re at it. Not later.
Almost everything has become faster in today’s world – one-click purchases, messaging, etc. Customers expect support to be also the same way.
“90% of costumers say that immediate responses are what they expect when they have got a query to be resolved.”
This shouldn’t be a surprise because quick support is one of the basic customer expectations today.
4. Customers Expect Businesses to Be Present Across Multiple Channels
Earlier, the standard support channels were phone and email. And they were working fine except for the long waiting times.
But now, the presence has increased and customers are across platforms and they expect businesses to be on them as well. They no longer just want to get in touch with you using traditional channels. They want you to be on channels that they prefer. And yes, the journey shouldn’t be disconnected!
5. The Ability to Resolve Queries Themselves
No matter how quick your support is, certain customers like it when they are able to self-serve themselves. This way, they don’t have to wait to connect with a support agent or wait to hear back from them.
“77% of customers have stated their views on a brand would be more positive provided the brand has self-service options.”
Now, that’s something you wouldn’t want to miss out on! Plus the perks of the self-service approach are huge!
So, mentioned above are the top five customer service expectations you need to meet and exceed. Before we see how to exceed customer expectations, we’ll see why you should be doing it!
Why Is It Important to Meet Customer Expectations?
It’s simple! Customers can make or break your business! But for a question like this, a one-liner answer wouldn’t cut it. We’ll go brief.
Customer expectations and customer satisfaction are two different things. Every business wants its customers to be satisfied and attain a high CSAT score. And that starts with meeting customer expectations.
Here’s why you should start managing customer expectations and make sure that it’s met.
1. Customer Expectation Management Influences Brand Reputation
You might have heard this example a number of times from us but it’s just perfect and we can’t help ourselves!🙂
Starbucks doesn’t serve the best coffee but they are known for their great customer service! And this influences their customers and upholds their brand reputation.
Starbucks offers seamless connectivity, great customer service and takes new initiatives to put a smile on their customers’ faces. They go above and beyond to manage customer expectations and as a brand, they shine with all glory!
That exactly can happen to your brand provided you meet the expectations of customers.
2. Increases Customer Stickiness
By customer stickiness, we mean brand loyalty. When a customer is satisfied with your services, they wouldn’t think about switching to a different brand. It’s because they are happy with your services.
Brand loyalty will result in increased purchases and word-of-mouth marketing, paving the path to new customers from untapped markets.
3. Puts You Ahead of the Competition
This is certainly a by-product of all the value you create. Increased brand reputation and better customer loyalty will increase purchases, revenue thus opening up all growth opportunities and puts you ahead of the competition.
And that’s why you need to manage the expectations of customers. With the basics covered, we’ll now see what you can do to meet and exceed the expectations of customers.
How to Exceed Customer Expectations?
We are talking about a set of people who have already had previous interactions and transactions with your business. If you’re completely starting from scratch, the first steps would be to know your audience, identify the right buyers, convert them into customers and then look for opportunities to exceed expectations.
But let’s assume you’ve already done all that and you’re here to know how you can exceed the expectations of your present customers. We discussed what most of the customers expect above and here, we’ll be looking at solutions for the same.
1. Connect All Your Communication Channels to One Place
To save your customers from poor, disjoint customer experiences, the only way is to connect and streamline your support across all communication channels. Your customers should be able to switch between channels at their convenience and still have connected experiences.
Using an omnichannel support platform can help you integrate all your channels into one place. Your support team can monitor and respond to customer queries/conversations across channels from one place – live chat, social platforms, email tickets and more.
The best part is, your agents do not have to switch between tabs and there’s customer conversation history to help them stay updated with the customers’ queries! So, no matter to which agent your customer talks, they don’t have to repeat it all over again.
That’s the first customer expectation being managed – connected journeys.
2. Deploy AI Chatbots for Quicker Resolutions
A statistic by SuperOffice stated that by 2023, 90% of businesses would plan to deploy AI chatbots and as a result, 40% of the conversations will be AI-enabled.
One great benefit of deploying a chatbot is quicker response times. Businesses that have to deal with a huge number of customers and ticket volumes can increase their response time and put their support team at ease by deploying AI chatbots.
Note: Simplify360’s AI chatbots can be deployed across multiple platforms like the web, social, etc and your agents can still respond to customer queries from one single dashboard.
You might think that quick resolutions are fine but what about personalization? We’ll talk about that next!
The bottom line here is, quicker resolutions can be achieved with the help of AI chatbots.
3. Empathy and AI Chatbots for Personalization
You were right to think about how a chatbot can offer personalized support. But yes, it can.
AI chatbots are different from normal rule-based chatbots. They come with Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning technology that allows them to understand human conversations, the sentiment in the messages and respond to them accordingly. This paves the way for personalized responses to customers + quicker resolutions.
You can know more about how AI chatbots work in this guide.
👉🏼Conversational AI Chatbots – The What, Why and Everything
Also, another way to offer personalization is by inducing empathy in customer service. Being empathetic towards customers will let them know that they are heard and valued. Make sure your agents use empathy statements when they interact with customers and let them know that they are not just another ticket for the day!
4. Use Self-Service Tools
Another customer service expectation is customers want to resolve queries themselves without the intervention of an agent.
Customer self-service can benefit your business to a great extent as the most common and trivial queries are taken care of by customers themselves, allowing your support team to focus on more complex queries.
Some of the most common self-service tools you can consider implementing are,
- Knowledge Base
- AI Chatbots
All these self-service support methods have no reason to be interrupted. They are available 24×7 giving your customers instant access to resolutions anytime and every time they want.
5. Start Being Present Across All Possible Channels
A loyal customer expects to get in touch with you on their most comfortable channel. And some of them include WhatsApp, Instagram and other social media platforms.
As a business in this modern, competitive landscape, it’s important that you have a presence on all possible channels – starting from email to all social channels, you’ve got to have a presence.
Also, just having a presence alone will not do the trick. You need to be active on these platforms and respond to customers whenever they do. We’ve already seen how an omnichannel support platform can help you connect all your channels and make communication easier. So, that’s covered.
6. Don’t Just Stop. Find Ways to Exceed Customer Expectations
Most cases, only when a customer expects something/raises an issue, a business tries to figure out how it can be resolved.
But in order to exceed customer expectations, you don’t need to have a problem in the first place. You need to constantly find ways how to exceed customer expectations by looking for opportunities.
Send out surveys if you need to. Ask your customers what is something they’d like to have to make the experience better. Or, put yourself in their shoes and take every step as a consumer – you probably will be able to find a couple of new bottlenecks that wasn’t existing before.
So, that’s how you can meet and manage your customer expectations (and exceed them).
We’ve seen how to,
- Offer customers uninterrupted journeys
- Connect all your communication channels in one place
- Offer quicker resolutions by deploying AI chatbots
- Enable a self-service approach
- Make customers heard and valued
Following all the above steps will help you meet customer expectations, leading to better customer experiences delivered all the time.
80% of customers have stated that they switched brands when they encountered poor customer experience. Meeting and exceeding customer expectations will prevent such things from happening and increases your brand reputation, sales and puts you up with the competition.
Now that you know how to meet and exceed your customer expectations, why wait? Put them into action, right away!