10 Effective Ways To Meet Customer Expectations
As a brand in the competitive modern market, it’s not enough to just provide decent products and services. Your business needs to meet — and, in some cases, exceed — customer expectations to keep people coming back and to build its reputation.
That’s easier said than done. But with the right strategies, you can know just how to meet customer needs and expectations like never before.
Read on for ten tips and techniques to maximize customer satisfaction across the board.
Emphasize Strong Customer Service
Excellent customer service is a crucial element for any brand these days. Therefore, if you want to meet customer expectations, you need to make sure that your customer service agents and staff are well-equipped and ready to handle customer complaints, questions, and concerns.
If you don’t have the staff to do this, you can hire a BPO service like Awesome CX and take advantage of call center services. With Awesome CX, you can get all of your customer service calls handled by trained professionals without breaking the bank.
In any case, you need customer support that uses many communication channels. This may include chatbots or a FAQ knowledge base. Then, top off your strategy with a live support team with fast response times that offers customer-focused solutions.
Nurture Long-Term Customer Relationships
It usually costs more money to acquire a new customer than it does to retain a current customer. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to try to nurture long-term, positive customer relationships. This will also meet customer expectations.
People don't shop at brands expecting to spend a few bucks and move on to another company. They want to have long-term, trustworthy relationships with their favorite stores at all times. This is actually beneficial for your company from a cost-effectiveness standpoint.
If your customers are already looking for long-term business relationships, there's no reason not to provide those relationships for them. Offer stellar products, good customer service responses, and personalized marketing materials.
Collect Regular Customer Feedback
The best way to understand what your customers want and need is, of course, to collect regular feedback from them. You can do this in a few major ways:
- Consider sending out regular customer surveys to those who purchase your products or subscribe to your services.
- Ask your customers in person if they come to one of your retail stores.
- Read regular customer reviews online using forums like Google, Yelp, etc.
- Engage with customers in real time on social media and ask them questions about your brand or product.
By collecting regular customer feedback, you can get a better understanding of how your customers perceive your brand and what they want from your next offerings. In some ways, this can help you make products that your customers desire, even if they aren’t able to vocalize or write what they want. This can establish your templates for buyer personas — a critical part of necessary market research.
Get adept enough at this strategy, and your loyal customers will feel like you can read their minds: always a good thing when you want to stand out from your competitors!
Target the Right Customers
For starters, make sure that your brand — especially its marketing and sales staff — targets the right people for your company. Every company has a target audience. This is essentially the focus group of people most likely to buy your products and services, usually identified through demographic characteristics like age, sex, and location.
For example, if you sell hip, eco-conscious, and comfortable athletic wear, your target audience is probably comprised of fit adults aged 20 to 40 in metropolitan areas, such as big cities. That target audience is also probably composed of college-educated folks who know the benefits of things like bamboo cloth.
In any case, making sure that you target the right customers will prevent your marketing materials from misfiring and ensure that your brand reaches the best prospects as quickly as possible. Customer-centric targeting also boosts customer loyalty, enhances customer experiences, and brings new potential customers to your brand.
Know Your Customers
That ties into the next big tip: know your customers in terms of their wants, needs, and fears.
The more you know your customers, the better you’ll be able to assuage their fears and make them trust your brand, which is one way to ensure that you meet their expectations. Naturally, knowing what they want and need from your products is also the most direct path to meeting and exceeding your expectations each time they make a purchase or walk into one of your stores.
Note that understanding your customer base is super critical for marketing. Omnichannel marketing leads to powerful customer interactions, follow-up potential, and greater customer retention. Through motivating marketing, you can inspire customers to make more purchasing decisions and exceed customer expectations in more ways than one.
Knowing your customers is crucial not just for bottom-line profits, though. It's also important if you want to foster and cultivate long-term, positive relationships with those customers. That's a big element for long-term business success, as we'll discuss later.
Set Standards for Your Team
Your team members (including your sales staff, customer service agents, and everyone in between) are the front-line and personal faces of your brand. They're how your customers will think of your company when they make a purchase or call to ask a question.
Therefore, you can meet customer needs and expectations by setting key standards for your team members. Make sure that they know what to say, what to do, and how to handle irate or frustrated customers while remaining polite and professional throughout the conversation.
By setting reasonable, intentional standards for your team members, you’ll minimize or entirely prevent bad interactions that lead to reputational damage or lost profits. When people interact with your brand, after all, they expect to be taken care of and treated respectfully. The last thing you want is to hear that your employees are not treating your customers with the respect and attention they deserve.
Be Transparent and Honest
In all communications from your brand, including public relations statements and social media posts, try to be transparent and honest from the get-go. Transparency is key to establishing a customer-centric culture — for both small businesses and massive corporations.
Contrary to old-school PR strategies, people can see through inauthentic or flat statements that don’t really say anything. What people want is authentic, empathetic, candid responses from your brand whenever there’s a mistake, such as a product recall.
For instance, say that you have to recall a product due to a manufacturing error. Be upfront and transparent about it, and even consider going into why the error occurred in the first place. Spread the word on social media and email newsletters. Not only will your customers appreciate your honesty, but they will be more likely to reward it with increased loyalty.
These days, customers expect transparency and authenticity, so be prepared to share this with them 24/7.
Map Customer Journeys
Customer journeys are the step-by-step processes that prospective customers take, from first becoming aware of your brand to making a purchase or subscribing. It's vital to map customer journeys so you better understand your customers and how they interact with your brand.
For instance, put yourself in the shoes of a prospect. What does your website landing page look like? Are your products easy to find, and are they priced fairly?
By understanding and mapping customer journeys, you can answer these questions and better revamp your website or the customer buying process so that it’s an enjoyable shopping and service experience from start to finish.
That won’t just meet customer expectations. It will exceed them right from the get-go!
Improve Product USPs
Your products’ USPs or unique selling points are the factors or elements that set them apart from competing products. You can directly meet customer expectations by improving those USPs and by directly increasing their value to their key customers.
For instance, if you have a product in a competitive industry, giving it a new feature or making it more durable than competing products can make it a clearly better choice relative to other organizations in the same industry.
Most customers have discerning personalities these days and will only settle for the best. Therefore, you need to make sure your products’ USPs are up to the challenge and are distinguishable enough from similar products to bring new people to your brand.
Analyze Your Competitors
Lastly, you can meet customer expectations by analyzing your competitors comprehensively and carefully. The better you understand competing organizations in the same industry niche or arena, the better you’ll understand how your target audience thinks and operates.
More importantly, you can notice and record any mistakes that a competing brand makes, such as pricing products too highly. Once you notice those mistakes, you can ensure that you do not repeat them with your own products or services.
By the time a target customer stumbles upon your brand, they will already have their expectations met. They’ll see you as the easily superior choice compared to the competing organization.
Contact Awesome CX Today
As you can see, there are many ways to surprise and delight your customers, especially if you partner with the right BPO or business process outsourcing organization like Awesome CX.
At Awesome CX, we offer a wide range of compelling and effective services, ranging from call center services to up-selling services to back-office support for administrative functions and data entry, and much more.
With our help, you’ll not just meet customer expectations. You’ll exceed them in every way imaginable. Contact us today to learn more.