Let’s consider this fact: customer experience equals customer retention, whether it’s good or bad. If you provide a good customer experience, the chances are that some of those customers would be willing to come back.But bad customer experience can break your customer retention and your business. According to Zendesk, 50% of customers say they’d switch to a competitor after a single bad experience and 80% would after more than one bad experience. Customer expectations are always rising, especially as technology makes product and service delivery faster and more accessible. Whether you can consistently meet these expectations can make or break your business. This blog will discuss rising customer expectations, why you should care about them, and how modernization can help you exceed them.
What Are Customer Expectations?
Customer expectations refer to anything a customer might anticipate when interacting with a business or service provider. Every step of a customer’s interaction with a business is subject to their expectations. This includes things like self service options, live answers to questions, communication in inquiry calls, data protection, the quality of a physical product, having multiple payment and delivery options, etc.
Customers want and expect the best in exchange for their money. With easy access to the internet, many individuals tend to research a product or service before making a purchase. If any part of your customer experience feels lacking, you’ll probably lose them to a competitor.
Rising Customer Expectations
Consider two people: Person A and Person B. Both have the exact same net worth—enough to live comfortably with no financial worries. From an outsider’s economic perspective, you might say both Persons A and B should be perfectly happy.
In truth, Person A has recently doubled their net worth while Person B has recently halved theirs. Person A is absolutely elated while Person B is stressed and depressed, trying to recover their recent loss. What does this have to do with rising expectations, you ask? Everything.
At face value, both individuals in the above example could’ve been happy. When you dig deeper, you find that their feelings regarding what they have now are entirely dependent on what they had before. For something to be good now, it must be better than what was previously experienced. That’s how consumer’s expectations are consistently rising.
Thanks to various influencing factors, mostly revolving around new technology, customers are demanding more and more from service providers. The internet, social media, mobile apps, eCommerce, and other similar internet-related technologies have changed the definition of ‘fast’.
As technology improves, so do the customer experience aspects of business. An individual’s experience with a brand is subject to the expectations they’ve gathered through previous experiences with that and other brands.
If a customer has a positive experience that meets their expectations, they’d probably be willing to return. However, if their expectations are better met by a competitor, you may lose the customer. Alternatively, you could lose a returning customer if your ability to meet expectations had dropped since their last interaction with you.
So, what can businesses do and how does this fit into the example from before? Well, expectations are always rising and there’s always something a business could improve. The issue is understanding the customer’s expectations to consistently exceed them. In a bit, we’ll get into how modernisation can help you predict, analyse, and meet what customers expect from you.
The Significance Of Meeting Customer Expectations
Before we start talking about how to handle rising expectations, it’ll be helpful to understand why you should care about them in the first place. We won’t delve into too much detail, but here are five of the top reasons:
- Increasing Revenue
When customers are happy with the experience you provide, they’re likely to spend more. That, in combination with some of the other factors listed below, can help grow revenue. A study found that nearly 90% of businesses with an above-average customer experience management report more revenue growth than competitors.
- Retention Is Easier Than Acquisition
Yes, every business needs to market to attract new consumers. But it’s just as important to keep existing customers happy so they’ll do business with you again in the future. Managing expectations can help you improve customer service and experience, which can lead to a better consumer retention rate.
- Consumers Listen To Other Consumers
Building on the previous point, consumers talk. Think about how often you’ve looked for reviews on a product or service before making a purchase. Consumers share their experiences with a business, and you can bet that many of your potential customers will be reading reviews before deciding to purchase from you. The better your ability to meet and exceed expectations, the better your business reviews, and the more likely new consumers are to visit you.
- Advantage Against Competitors
We’ve mentioned multiple times throughout this blog that consumers are willing to switch to a competitor after a bad customer experience. However, you could be that competitor. Improving your expectations management can help you improve customer loyalty. And when consumers aren’t happy with a competitor’s service, they could be running to you instead.
- Increase Your Customer Lifetime Value
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) refers to how much revenue you expect to gain from a single customer throughout all their interactions with your company. It’s considered a rather important business metric. The bottom line is that consistently being able to meet rising expectations helps build consumer loyalty, brand trust, reputation, and other factors that can contribute to improving your average CLV.
Exceeding Expectations With Modernization
Modernisation refers to the process of updating something to remain current. More specifically, in business it typically refers to adopting new technologies, methodologies, and systems to improve one or more business operations.
You could even argue that modernisation is both one of the root causes for rising expectations and the solution that allows businesses to exceed them. Large companies like Amazon, Google, and popular social media networks are at the forefront of modernisation. When consumers visit smaller businesses, they expect the same level of expectation satisfaction that they get from these large companies.
Smaller businesses must adapt to modernisation if they want to keep up with the demand of rising expectations. For example, process automation relieves the workload on repetitive tasks, speeding up time-consuming business functions. One way this could help is by automating customer service ticketing, which can help you satisfy the expectation of faster consumer responses.
Another incredibly beneficial way modernisation could help is by improving consumer outreach and communication. Things like automated self-service options, instant answers to frequently asked questions, and automated opportunities for consumers to provide feedback are things consumers expect businesses to provide. On top of that, you can leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to study mass amounts of customer data, helping you better understand expectations and make more informed expectation management decisions.
Work with Skywalk Innovations
Would you like to learn more about how modernization would benefit your organization? Have a look at our free modernization digital paper or feel free to Book a no-obligation information session with our team. Explore more ideas around technology and how it can grow your business.