What are Customer Expectations? How to Meet
Excellent customer service and high customer satisfaction begin with understanding expectations. You need to know who your customers are and what they want.
While companies measure customer satisfaction, they ask two questions:
1- Does the product or service they offer meet your expectations?
2- Do the customers think there is a service that exceeds the expectations?
These are the key questions that will enable us to reach the truth behind customer satisfaction.
Customers; they are ‘less’ satisfied with a service where their expectations are high and the offer is not even a quarter of this expectation. This is a process that depends entirely on whether the promised is realized or not. For example, a luxury hotel may receive a lower customer rating than another budget-friendly hotel. Even if the opportunities it offers are literally superior, the situation does not change.
Expectations set the limits of customer satisfaction. In addition, this fact is the basis of a decision to re-use a service and a loyal customer understanding. If a customer feels that you cannot provide the service you promised, he will not come again. On the contrary, if you offer a service beyond your expectations, you can be sure that they will re-shop with you and share this wonderful experience with everyone.
So how can you provide a service that is above expectations? The first condition to exceed customer expectations is to understand these expectations, and we begin our article that we think will guide you in this journey of understanding:
In the content of our article you will find:
- Unchanging facts about customer expectations supported by research
- The advantages of understanding customer expectations
- Understanding customer needs
- Determining the standards of customer expectations
- To meet customer expectations
- Troubleshooting customer expectations and recreating expectations standards
- 4 examples of companies breaking ground in customer expectations
Invariant Facts about Customer Expectation and Factors Affecting Customer Expectations
Researchers A.Parasuraman, Leonard L. Jerry and Valarie A. Zeithami reached the following conclusions as a result of their research on the participants consisting of 16 focus groups:
The customer expects a standard service concept: Every customer has an expectation. For example, the more money a hotel customer pays, the more services they expect.
Your service process is the key to exceeding expectations: Companies are expected to be clear and reliable about their service. If the only thing a hotel has is the room it has prepared for its customers, it is unlikely that they will increase customer expectations. Customer; You can surpass expectations by surprise with your unique speed, attitude, business domination, dedication or understanding.
Customer expectations consist of two different stages that conflict with each other: Research has revealed that customer expectations consist of two stages. While the desire stage represents the service that customers hope to achieve, the qualification stage shows how much of the service that the customer finds acceptable.
Customer wants to communicate: Communication is important to the customer. Most of the customers whose opinions are consulted in the research say that they want to be ‘communicated customers’: They prefer a system that is uninterrupted, personalized and they always deal with the same representative. At this point, it is also important who is responsible for connecting. Customers state that they do not want to be the party that has to call all the time, and any company representative should establish this connection.
Keep your word: If companies want to meet customer expectations, they must first make sure that they provide the service they promise. According to a study, low promises are required to increase customer expectations. The logic is: the lower the level of expectation, the higher the satisfaction rate in return. Our advice is also in this direction, because there is nothing worse than promising a lot and providing service below expectation. Of course, remember that the lack of promises also has a risk in itself. The low promise can push you to get things done and retire, so your competitive edge can blind. So be sure to analyze your opponents well before reducing promises.
Providing customer satisfaction is essential for businesses. To do this, you need a highly reliable measurement tool that will be used to measure satisfaction. Just what you are looking for: Customer expectation.
Read: 7 Tips on How to Build Customer Trust and Loyalty
Many things can go wrong in their customers’ relationships, so be sure to pay enough attention to the process of setting expectations, meeting expectations, or reorganizing as needed.
Advantages of Understanding Customer Expectations
Customer satisfaction is the result of comparing the service you provide to the customer with the service that the customer hopes to receive.
Here are 4 advantages to understand customer expectations:
- It allows you to understand the level of service required to make customers happy and create higher customer satisfaction.
- It enables your employees to focus on fulfilling customer expectations.
- It allows you to exceed expectations and thanks to you will have a loyal customer base.
- It helps you to solve customer complaints. Since the complaints are the result of not meeting the expectations, if this problem disappears, the problems are solved more quickly, and you can take care of your business with peace of mind.
Determination of Customer Needs and Expectations
The meaning expressed by excellent customer service is different for every customer. To understand what your client’s high level of service is, the first thing you need to do is ask them. You should learn what your customers expect from your service or service. Then the job is to find out how or how you will meet these expectations.
If your customers need a 24/7 call center, you should find a way to provide this service. As we said, you should set your expectation standards according to the needs of customers. We seem to hear that you say, “Well, we don’t have any financial resources to provide this service.” Such a situation may also be experienced. Then you should determine the price of the service you offer, while meeting the needs while making a profit. You may have to waive some things, but remember, the first second you fail to respond to customers’ needs, you risk losing them completely.
Read: How Swiggy Makes Money From Its Customers
Most customers have certain expectation patterns about a service or product, be sure to analyze them well and adapt them to your customer service strategy.
Setting the Standards of Customer Expectations
It is very important to set expectation standards from the first moment you contact the customer. The findings made in all of my talks with the customers are always the same, they say that they have met so many salespeople who made pale promises to them, whatever their poor managers did, they failed to fulfill those promises.
Once you understand what the customer really wants, start setting expectations standards. At this point, you can inform your customers about what level of service awaits them, tell them what kind of support service you will provide, talk about the efficiency they will receive from the service, and enlighten themselves on which key performance indicator you are working on. Every sector and even every customer has different expectations. The reason for this is that the needs are different, so don’t forget to create your expectations according to different needs.
Let’s take a technology firm. The employees of a company called R&G Technologies are extremely open to all customers. The company also adopts the low promise system, so they are always experiencing increased customer satisfaction. The system is extremely useful for them because they have both very happy customers and the same reference. Store managers tell their employees to see every contact with the customer as if they were going to have a job interview and show the same excitement and care. This attitude prepares the ground for providing high quality service to the customer.
Meeting Customer Expectations
The concept of customer satisfaction is the most important point of customer expectations. A satisfied customer means a customer whose expectations are met. To do this, you need to make sure that you provide an uninterrupted service based on key performance indicators and key points that you adjust according to customer expectations.
Moreover, there are many different ways to do this. Our advice is to divide it into stages, whatever the service you will offer. For example, one of the companies uses a three-stage system under the titles of Start, Basic and Professional plan. Each plan is prepared to meet a different customer expectation.
The aim is not only to ensure customer satisfaction, but to make them say “Wow” and exceed expectations. Only then can you create an experience that the customer will not forget. This experience will spread to friends and then mouth-to-mouth marketing and will have a positive effect for your company.
As the best example of exceeding expectations, let’s talk about an experience with Netflix’s customer service representative: When Netflix officer picks up the phone: “Captain Mike talks from the Netflix ship, which crew I am talking to,” the customer on the line continues to act as if he is on board. The duo speaks in this cheerful atmosphere during the 5-minute conversation and the process is completed. Now let’s think, the client did not have to make a personal touch and introduce himself as if he was a Star Trek, but he did. This behavior was far beyond the customer’s expectations, he felt the need to share it on social media, and the incident spread like a virus. Its effect was extremely positive.
Troubleshooting Customer Expectations and Recreating Expectation Standards
From time to time, you may have difficulty meeting customer expectations. Don’t panic, the situation is a twist of this business. Well, if you say why you are experiencing it, we can say that the source of the problem is low quality customer service, staff who have not received sufficient training, wrongly determining expectations and even growth pains caused by changing expectations.
The important thing is what to do when you feel you are in a deadlock, what systems you can use to solve problems, or how you can recreate customer expectations. In our opinion, the most correct attitude is to call the customer when you find out that you cannot meet the expectations. You can also listen to what’s going on and try to arrange a face-to-face interview. This will be an attitude that shows that you care about your problems.
The aim of the interview should be to eliminate all the troubles that constitute the starting point of the problem. Some problems can be solved more easily by giving your employees some training, but in some cases you will have to recreate customer expectations. At this point, you need to start by telling your customer that things have changed.
If we need to explain with an example, let’s take an IT Support company called Client Heartbeat, which has hit the bottom about customer satisfaction. The company had hit such a bottom that its customers had little to expect from the firm. The company has grown significantly in the past 3 years, and the former customers of the company, which were able to handle their transactions in 2 hours, had now waited up to 6 hours. Service quality levels decreased, and as the company grew, they could not respond to the needs as quickly as before. Unfortunately, this change during the growth could not be reflected on old customers, so even though the company has grown even more, the customer satisfaction rate was still as bad as it was 3 years ago. Because customers wanted to get things done within two hours, just like the old days. Now that the same process takes at least 6 hours, The quality of service meant it could not meet expectations, so the service was bad in the eyes of the customer, of course in the points. The company scored 4 or 5 points out of 10, the situation was serious!
The company, which received consultancy service regarding the process in question, started by re-establishing customer expectations and went to give detailed information about which quality service they could get to their customers. The old customers of the company were called in person and informed about the causes of this failure and they were made sure that their problems are still more important for the company. When the news arrived, things started to work for the company. Many customers now knew that the company was suffering from growth pains and the conditions were different from those 3 years ago. So the only problem was that they didn’t know about it.