For any brand or business to enjoy the benefits of customer support and loyalty, it is imperative to align their expectations with the services offered. Here are some great ways to ensure it:
- Be transparent
Reasonable expectations are often born from trust. Companies that make their policies, values and practices transparent build lasting trust with customers.
Communications on your website, company literature and social media pages should be very clear and the customer executives should accordingly practice those principles.
- Give clear timelines
Most customers don’t mind waiting (a little, at least) as long as they understand why. They understand that glitches, errors and bugs come up. But they expect you to be honest about them.
Update them regularly through your social posts, website notifications, e-mails, phone calls. If it’ll take longer than you anticipated, make sure to inform them upfront.
- Be Honest In Your Marketing
Avoid misinforming customers in any way through your marketing efforts.
Attention needs to be given to the salespeople, a lot of them are guilty of deliberately misinforming customers just to meet their sales quota. They should be trained on the dangers of setting unrealistic expectations and encouraged to say exactly what the products or services can offer instead of bending reality to make them seem more appealing.
4. Educate Your Customers
When customers know and understand your products, their features, capabilities & limitations, they tend to form more realistic expectations of you.
A good practice would be to provide detailed information on your products and services through video guides, infographics or blog write-ups on your website.
5. When A Service Failure Occurs Apologize & Make Amends
Even after you’ve set and managed the customers’ expectations effectively, there will be times when you’ll be unable to meet them, this could be due to reasons beyond your control. The crucial point here is to win back the customers’ trust and reassure them that they made the right decision to do business with your brand.
Effective service recovery will help restore the customers’ confidence to the point where it becomes higher than it was before the service failure occurred.
6. Don’t over promise
To avoid over promising, you have to know what you can afford to do for customers. Often, this isn’t easy because customers expect that you can do more than is realistically possible. If it’s a time issue, start tracking how much time it takes you to do certain tasks, or to serve each customer. If it’s a cost issue, keep tabs on what it costs to deliver everything that is expected.
7. Get to Know Your Audience
This is simply establishing a clear picture of who, exactly, your audience is. In order to really understand your customers, you need to dig deeper and learn about their needs and interests, as well as the factors that go into their buying decisions.
And your best resource for finding this information is your existing customer base. Ask your customers what led them to seek out your product, and why they chose it over other options on the market. Then, use their answers to develop a stronger understanding of what your audience is looking for when they research your company and make sure that you’re providing exactly that.
8. Develop a Customer-Centric Culture
Many companies put the responsibility of managing customer happiness solely on their support teams. But this shouldn’t be the case. That’s because when it comes down to it, each employee’s contributions have an impact on your customers’ experience with your products and services. And you can highlight this impact by developing a customer-centric culture.
Encourage your employees to keep your customers at the center of each decision they make, whether they’re a developer adding new features, or a marketer coming up with new campaigns.
This way, everything your company does will be done with the end user in mind — and will be much more likely to meet and exceed their expectations.
9. Collect Feedback Regularly
As you work towards meeting customer expectations, the best way to gauge whether your efforts are successful is to collect feedback on a regular basis.
Send customer satisfaction surveys, and ask questions about the entire customer experience. Can customers easily find the information they need to make decisions? Is the buying process user-friendly? Does your product itself live up to their expectations?
Asking these questions will help you not only get a sense of the experience your brand provides, but can also help you learn which parts of the process you could be doing better so that you can make the kind of impactful changes your customers want.
The above blog has been collaborated on by Alex Dsouza from our Support Team. For more such articles, stay tuned to Square Off’s Blog space.
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