Giving your customers what they want is crucial to your business success, but giving them what they expect is far more important. If you don’t, then you will not be seen as customer friendly, and you will be seen as being behind the times, and they are two of the biggest death sentences known to businesses.
To meet the expectations of your customers, even if you only meet the bare minimum, you have to study what is expected right now, and you have to find ways to implement that into your code of business conduct. But what do customers expect? Read on to find out:
Customers expect options
The customers of today like to feel like they have control over the way they spend their money, and you should help them to feel this way by providing them with as many options as you possibly can. You should provide plenty of options in regards to the products and services that you offer and the way you offer them. You should offer options in regards to the transaction process, which means making more than one form of payment available. You should offer different options in regards to how you can be contacted; and you should give your customers the option of choosing when they bring you their custom, rather than telling them when to.
Customers expect speed
If there’s one thing customers expect more than a plethora of options, it’s speed in the way how their service is delivered. Nobody wants to be hanging around business premises all day just to get whatever it is they’ve come to get, so make sure your selling process is as fast as it can be.
Importantly, this means choosing a merchant service that processes and accepts payments as quickly as possible. Doing so will not irate your customer at the point when they have their product and just want to get home and try it out, and this will make them far more likely to return to you in the future when they are in need of their product again.
What you should also do is respond quickly to customer queries, whether this is in person, on the phone, or online. You should do so because when you leave a customer hanging, you make them running off to your competitor far likelier to happen.
Customers expect contact
You should not only be in contact with your customers when they bring a query to you, though. What you should also do is get in contact with them off your own back, even if it’s just in courtesy, which could mean talking to them via social media, adding a live-chat feature to your website or even making calls to your customers’ homes. Staying in contact in this manner will make your customers feel valued, and them feeling such a way is pivotal if you want to enjoy a wholesome relationship with them, and ultimately retain their custom going forward into the future.
Customers expect good customer service
It will come as no surprise that your customers expect good customer service. As obvious as they might sound, however, despite its importance, good customer service is not always provided.
To provide such service, you should be willing to make each customer’s experience one that is personalized, or as personalized as you can realistically make it. At the very basic level of personalization, you should be remembering the names of your customers, and you should be using their names in all correspondence with them, but just don’t get any names mixed up!
Something else that you should be doing to provide good customer service is always coming across in a way that your customers expect you to be coming across. If you are in a highly professional environment, for instance, then remaining professional throughout, which includes a strong handshake and a cutdown on the jokes, is needed. On the other hand, some customers will expect to see a ‘jokey’ side of you, and will only feel comfortable bringing their custom to you if they see this side.
Meeting the expectations of your customers, those that fall into both your target and wider audience, is one of the most important things you can be doing as a business owner. If you don’t, you won’t have customers for much longer, and the impact of that is clear. No customers equal no profit, and no profit equals no business. So, meet your customer expectations, and do so in as quick and as well a fashion as you possibly can.