The expectations of customers never stays the same. They are constantly changing, evolving with technology and driven by their experiences across multiple industries. With the business world being so competitive, meeting the expectations of your customer is essential to long-term success. Here are 4 strategies for managing customer expectations in 2019 to increase the overall satisfaction of your customers.
1) Shift your efficiencies to their expectations – When working with customers, it’s all about obtaining the right answer or solution in a timely fashion. Place yourself in a position to do this by leveraging quick and thorough communication methods to collaborate in real time. More companies are turning to customer support software with built in collaboration tools so when a subject expert is needed, they can review all past communication (chats, emails, etc.) in one place to learn about the issue quickly. No customer likes repeating information, and software improves the efficiency of your team so they can meet expectations.
2) Appropriately deflect their needs with innovation – Sometimes the best way to meet expectations is to exceed them. This can be done by utilizing innovative solutions internally to create customer-facing experiences. For example, a customer may always need to call you to find out holiday hours. Instead, post these to a self-service site and tell the customer about it the next time they call in. Not only does this 24/7 solution create an excellent experience for most customers, but it saves your business time and money in the long run by reducing the workload on your team.
3) Anticipate what they will expect next – One of, if not the, best ways to manage customer expectations is to accurately predict what customers will need. For example, a customer may reach out to you every quarter to see what versions of your software they are using for security purposes. With a support software solution that houses both communication and product history, you can proactively share this information. The customer will be impressed, and these interactions can be created during whatever down time your team has.
4) Surprise your customers (in a good way) – Not all surprises are something to fear. In fact, too many companies only contact their customers when there’s a problem, setting an expectation that when you reach out it’s a bad sign. Simply put, not every customer interaction should be when something went wrong. A nice gesture for customers, especially those who have been with your business for a long time, is to send a communal gift on your contract anniversary. Send a bunch of nice coffee cups or hire a food truck for a day. It’s unexpected, but a good way to say thanks and let customers know you care.
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In short, manage customer expectations by leveraging a variety of methods. Work smart and anticipate their needs, but don’t be afraid to surprise them or introduce new ways of working with you. It’s beneficial for both you and your customers!