No no no. I’m not talking about the Charles Dickens novel, I’m talking about your customers.
Time has a funny way of moving on no matter what we do, the same can be said about consumers; their tastes, preferences, opinions, and expectations are constantly changing and evolving. This is important to remember because what may have worked in the past, may not be good enough now.
It’s vital to the success of any business to stay in tune with their customers and deliver experiences that at a bare minimum meet expectations. The hope is by understanding what is expected you can take the next step and exceed it!
“The first step in exceeding your customer’s expectations is to know those expectations.” – Roy Hollister Williams, New York Times and Wall Street Journal best selling author
I recently took my vehicle in for servicing and was very pleased at both the communication and the outcome of the experience. After I picked up my car, I received a text message to take a one question survey, and being in charge of a survey research company I’m always interested in participating. This is what I received:
Did we meet or exceed your expectations?
Look, I applaud their interest in keeping the survey short, and I’m glad they care about me and the rest of their customers. The huge problem is, if I answer “yes” then the company doesn’t have any clue whether they just barely met my expectations or they did an amazing job. The only answer that they can do anything with is a “NO” answer, otherwise they have no idea how well their service is doing over time and if there are any issues that need to be headed off before it becomes disastrous.
If you’re reading the stuff I write then I’ll assume that you aim to do MORE than just meet customer expectations, you want to WOW them! How can I help you get there?
- Survey your customers to find what they expect from your company.
- Ask what they expect from companies in the same industry as yours.
- Identify weaknesses in what you’re delivering as well as strong areas your business has over the competition.
Once you start to see the results from your surveying then it’s time to go to work
To me this whole process is fun (I’m a dork) most of the time though, this is where our clients get excited about the project. The results start coming in, now they know what the heck is in their customers heads and we can address/capitalize on all of the data!
3 steps on how to move forward:
- Fix the areas where your business is under delivering on customer expectations.
- Identify how you can rise above the accepted “industry standard”.
- Craft your advertising and brand your messages around the competitive advantages you have.
As usual, I’ve kept it to the basics but each time I write one of these posts I do so in the hopes that it will help someone start down the path of running their business more efficiently and more profitably. I believe that understanding how your business is meeting expectations is a pillar in the difference between long term success and failure.
If you have questions about what we do or how we can help your business exceed customer expectations, shoot us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our solutions benefit from two approaches under one roof: survey research and database analytics. Whether you want to learn more about your competitors, your customers, your prospects, or your employees, our holistic approach will ensure your objectives are met with scientifically sound methods customized to get to the root of your business challenges– not just address the symptoms.