Before learning how to manage client expectations, it is also important to set the goals based on their needs. The most difficult part is to satisfy the needs of both the client and the organization. A result of the customer satisfaction is always an increased customer loyalty and rewarding, long-lasting relations.
Satisfied customers guarantee the following benefits to the companies that meet their expectations in full:
The сustomer experience is dependent on the customers’ expectations. Thus, successful companies that want to deliver the best customer experience focus on meeting and exceeding the current expectations of their clients regarding the goods and services provided.
Exceeding these expectations means providing solutions of superior quality. In return, businesses build long-term relationships with customers and increase LTV.
No matter of the business specifics, customer support is one of the most powerful ways to gain competitive advantages on the market. Even if the goods and services the company provides lack of extra features and the quality of goods is not luxurious, a stunning customer support is what can make the customers choose your business over and over again.
As your support services represent the company’s values and approach to treating its customers, it’s vital to provide the very best user experience to every first customer. That’s why it’s important to hire support agents with the right skills and personality traits, conduct customer support training, and ensure that the support team is on the same wavelength and is eager to provide high-end assistance. Being treated this way, customers will remember such exceptional services, and it will become the strongest competitive advantage of the company.
High-end support services make customers loyal to the company, and loyal customers are extremely valuable assets. No wonder that many businesses struggle with identifying their customers’ needs and exceeding their expectations. But what’s the most working way of achieving a stunning user experience? By providing first-class customer support assistance every time.
It’s important to remember that customers, in their turn, struggle with finding reliable companies to get goods and services that users need. When they find such a company, feel treated with care, and professionally assisted any time they need, customers become loyal to the brand and even stop looking for alternative solutions. Pleased and satisfied consumers will return over and over again, looking forward not only to the goods and services the company provides but an exceptional customer experience, too.
It’s known that customers remember bad user experience, but they also remember a stunning one. Thus, the power of word-of-mouth should not be underestimated in both ways. For example, if a user received poor assistance, they won’t hesitate to tell their family and friends about it. However, if they were treated with care and timely, such customers will most likely share their positive experiences with their friends, coworkers, and closest ones, too.
This will result in more customers coming to the company in the hope of receiving the same top-level services. If you provide them with amazing assistance and ensure the best customer experience, the power of positive word-of-mouth will spread even further and act as a sincere advertisement that costs your company nothing.
Word-of-mouth recommendations have such a strong power because no business advertisement can be so sincere as the words of the person you know and trust. Thus, word-of-mouth feedback convinces people to try some goods or services easily and effectively.
Customer expectations don’t appear out of anywhere. They are systematically formed by ads, marketing, online reviews, the price of the goods and services provided, word-of-mouth from close ones, and past experiences of a particular person. For example:
If the business offers cheaply made goods at cheap prices, customers will automatically expect poor support services. By calling such a company, customers will anticipate a rude or untrained support rep and a long conversation to get what they want.
But if the company provides expensive products and services, customers will expect top-level customer support only and have very high expectations of the future experience with the brand. Consumers will expect support agents to go the extra mile and respond to their requests within seconds.
So, all these factors form customer expectations and influence the resulting user experience. That’s why it’s so important to identify all the customer touchpoints and build adequate anticipations that the company can meet and even exceed.
Customers always expect more. The good news is, businesses can manage these expectations to ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction. Even if a customer asks for something unreasonable or what the business can’t actually do, it means only that the company didn’t provide a clear message on what users can expect from its goods or services.
If users don’t know your possibilities and limitations, they will think of some by themselves and, thus, deliver hard times with their requests. So, it’s crucial to translate the right message to the target auditory, from leads to returning customers, so that the customer expectations will correlate with the real solutions provided by the business.
Customer satisfaction is the end result of getting the products or services the customer wanted plus getting customer expectations met and pleased.
So, here are the four advantages of understanding and managing customer expectations:
Customer expectations start growing right from the first contact with the brand, so it’s important to set customer expectations not too high and not too low from the very beginning.
Customers’ needs are the base of forming customer expectations, as this information defines what service levels the users require, what customer support they find exceptional, and what results they look forward to.
Although such requirements may differ depending on the business specifics and individual preferences, it’s important to identify a common pattern and offer customized solutions to different types of consumers.
Here are the main principles of client management that can help businesses achieve the right customer expectations and, thus, high customer satisfaction rates:
Every customer wants to have all the necessary information about the company and its goods and services, so transparency is a must. The brand should clearly communicate its position and values, update on any important changes and news, explain crucial business decisions, and show care and dedication to its customers.
Following the previous point, transparency won’t be possible without clear, constant communication. It is the communication that translates the right message and the tone of voice to the auditory. Depending on the customers’ preferences, a company can provide the information more or less frequently, on the communication channels that the target auditory prefers, in the preferable content form, etc.
The last one, such messages from the company should align with the needs of the customers. What features and results are they looking for? What do they find important? If you know the answers to these questions, you will be able to build communication in the right way to reach the customers and please them.
1. Come up with the relationship that goes beyond customer. It is important to view any business-client relationships from a personal point of view as well. When you care about how your client’s family is doing, the way he or she prefers spending free time, what motivates this person to live, and how your business can help in achieving all goals, there are higher chances that you’ll make friends. It automatically increases the trust in the offered product or service.
2. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals to recall them every time. S.M.A.R.T. stands for the specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. It is critical to set the purposes previously discussed with the entire team as well as potential clients. This way, the business will remain on one wave with the client, understanding and respecting goals of each other.
3. From the Go-Go, it is critical to stay sincere and honest. The clue to client expectations management is staying honest in any situation. It is better to say that your business is not able to offer a particular feature and start working on the improvement instead of promising what your product or service cannot give. It’s impossible to predict whether all customers will admire the offered packaging or extra features: just do it and tell the truth.
4. All projects need to be supported by the well-organized plan. Not only client expectation management but also financial or human resource management require a separate action plan. All employees and the owner themself should know what they have to release and when exactly certain projects should be finished. Plan of action and timelines won’t let your team stuck in the middle of the process. The clients always want to see something new as old offers make them dull and bored. To stay on track for launch without being late with innovations, turn to your well-written plan every day.
5. Managing client expectations is all about communication! To survive the harsh business competition in any field, it is critical to talk to your clients whenever possible. There always must be a responsive support team available 24/7 to establish the sense of protection to each customer.
6. Remain a counselor and good listener at the same time. Try to combine the roles of counselor and listener. Listen to your clients carefully to come up with all possible solutions to their problems. Those can be updated old products or brand new services. An open dialogue is the best way to learn more about the client’s needs and objectives. Prevent your customers from using outsourced marketing services by being attentive to them.
7. Anticipate the needs of your partners and clients. Many people just don’t know what they want at the certain point of life. Being an expert in marketing and client management, you should give valuable advice. There are few steps a business must take to anticipate the client’s goals:
8. What is a plan change? In case your business plan changes suddenly, you should be ready. If certain approvals are missed, the timeline has to get back to reveal the delay in approval. The business owner must also know all potential risks of the deal as well as the ways to prevent these threats. The backup plan has to be in place.
9. Do not ignore the importance of regular reports. The reports must be posted every week if not every day! They should not be long – just highlight what was achieved during the working period. Show what your clients paid for and whether they stayed happy.
10. Make your client understand the true value of the item or service on the market. A PR plan is not enough for the client to motivate all journalists to call them. Being involved in active blogging, these clients may think they generate something like 10,000 leads monthly and receive 1,000 shares per post. Explain to them what such terms as marketing sophistication and maturity mean, and where they are in the chosen industry. Recommend the steps to take after.
The advantages of generating excellent relations with clients are obvious. Another question is how exactly one can better meet and exceed customer expectations. Right, it’s no longer enough just to meet the expectations. We’re living in the age when people expect something more thanks to the rapid technological progress as well as significant advancements in some other areas.
Now that you know how to understand customer needs and expectations, you may start or continue expanding your business idea.