The ability to manage customer expectations is vital to retaining customers. With 80% of your future profits coming from 20% of your existing customers, it is also essential for your business to succeed. Here we look at steps you can take to ensure customer satisfaction…

In today’s world, customers have more knowledge and the ability to source comparison information than ever before, which has increased their expectations. Consequently, it’s imperative to have a customer experience (CX) strategy in place to ensure you can meet your customers’ needs and beat the competition, otherwise they will simply go elsewhere. As stated on Five9.com, “To achieve success, it is important for businesses to have an exceptional plan in place to be able to adequately manage customer expectations. It can often be the defining factor that makes or breaks a business.”

Failure to manage customer expectations effectively can result in a loss of business, reputation, growth and profits. Just as we explained here, 71% of consumers have ended their relationship with a company due to poor customer service. Retaining customers should be your ultimate goal, so to help you effectively manage your customer’s expectations, we’ve compiled a list of measures you can take…

Provide a personal touch

Assign a dedicated account manager to your customers, allowing them to benefit from a more personal and human experience. This will help you get to know your customers and open communication channels to understand what they expect. As explained on MarketingDonut.co.uk, “Customers are not generic and therefore it is critical that companies recognise this and respond flexibly to different customer types and behaviour.” Your customers’ wants and needs must be assessed individually. Doing this will provide you with the information required to meet and exceed their needs, which has the potential to improve your reputation and success of your business.

Encourage honest and open communication

If a customer has had a bad experience with a competitor, find out what went wrong, so you do not make the same mistakes and can cater for your customer’s current and future needs. This works both ways. TeamSupport.com explained, “If a customer service representative doesn’t have the right answer to a problem, he or she should be open about consulting with other members of the team. Regardless of the situation, support teams should avoid keeping secrets at all costs.” This will help develop relationships built on mutual respect.

Utilise tools to increase efficiency

Being more efficient will give your staff more time to focus on your core business and exceeding your customers’ expectations. Automation tools will help streamline repeatable processes to increase productivity. An ideal solution would be Customer Relationship Management software (CRM). If you’re looking to implement a CRM system quickly, you could check out our Quick Start Programmes, here.

Predict and perfect

By utilising business intelligence tools you can begin to understand patterns in customer behaviour, along with buying patterns in your data. This information can be used to predict when customers are likely to make a purchase and allow you to anticipate what they will want. Michael Gazala on Forrester.com states, “Smart CX teams will increasingly use customer data from diverse sources like social listening platforms, campaign management platforms, mobile apps and loyalty programs – to personalize and tailor experiences in real time so that they inherently adapt to the needs, wants, and behaviors of individual customers.”

Continuously add value

Everything you do should add value. Whether it saves a customer time, money, or helps them to increase their ROI. Research on HelpScout.net shows customers value quality over speed. It is therefore imperative that you provide a good quality service to prevent losing your customers to the competition.

Retaining customers is imperative for businesses to remain successful and profitable. According to Gartner, 80% of your future profits will come from 20% of your customers. Meeting and exceeding customer expectations will ensure their loyalty, and as a study by Bain & Company found, retaining just 5% can lead to an increase in profits of 25%-95%.

For more information take a look at our customer retention infographic, here.

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