Creating and retaining happy customers is imperative! So many things vie for a customer’s attention, often distracting from what they have set as their main goals. It’s more important than ever to make sure current customers return far into the future. And if they can happily recommend your business to others, that’s even better. For that to happen, customers need to be happy. The easiest way to make them happy is to meet and exceed their expectations. Setting customer expectations at an appropriate level is key to providing the kind of delightful customer experience that will keep them coming back.
Start from the Beginning
Every interaction with current and potential customers is an opportunity for setting customer expectations, even initial contact. Bad first impressions are very difficult to fix, so commit to earning their loyalty right from the start. Customers should know what to expect at every point in the process. Statements like “all quote requests are answered within 24 hours” give them an idea of what’s reasonable. And it gives you an opportunity to meet and exceed those expectations.
Pay attention to organization. Information about clients, their needs and communications should be in one place. It should be easily accessible and easy to understand. It should also coordinate with some kind of scheduling system so that meetings, calls and deliveries aren’t missed.
This advice is given often for a reason. Customers expect good service and you’ll need to communicate thoroughly to understand where they are at and where they want to be. This is a delight maker where as communication problems cause major frustration. Customers should know how often they’ll get updates from you. Schedule service or deliveries in advance. Follow up on calls and e-mails and make sure others in your organization have the information they need to keep customers happy.
Communication takes place through text, by phone, email and in person. It is your responsibility to figure out how the customer prefers to communicate and to use it appropriately. Customers want to believe that they can say something, and it will be heard and taken care of.
Be Especially Mindful of Promises Related to Time
This is an area where it’s tempting to overpromise. You run a high risk of upsetting your customer if things go wrong. Make sure the people executing the details have a say in what is actually achievable. Provide consistency, this helps manage customer expectations because results are the same. They know what to expect. And you’ll know how to plan for and even exceed those expectations.
When your customers trust you and you really wow them by over delivering, they are more likely to recommend you to others. If even a handful of your customers did that, think about the positive impact it could potentially have on your business.
Delighting your customers and exceeding their expectations isn’t as complicated as you might think. And the positive impact on your business is well worth the effort.