Meeting customer expectations is hard. The standards are always moving, and the solutions aren’t ever cleanly laid out for easy implementation. Customer experience (CX) quality fell to the lowest rate in 17 years. Customers expect better and brands that ignore this overwhelming trend will pay the price.
Achieving modern, adaptable, and lasting success means exploring the key aspects of comprehending and meeting customer expectations. While the idea of customer expectations might sound nebulous or unquantifiable, personalization is the launching point for your customer experience journey.
Leverage Effective and Efficient Personalization
Customers in 2023 aren’t satisfied with generic, one-size-fits-all experiences as it’s considered standard practice to use wide-reaching personalization methods and strategies. 56% of customers expected personalized offers in 2022 and that percentage will rise as ecommerce continues to climb and expand. No one ever said personalizing for every potential satisfied customer at scale is easy, but there are tools that make the task achievable.
Organizations rely on accurate insights into individual preferences, behaviors, and demographics. Personalization done right is seamlessly reading a customer’s wants and needs, but poor personalization comes off as creepy or low effort. Connect with the person through personalization rather than serving content to a mass of data points. We all love receiving a gift that suits our tastes, but a bad gift shows the sender doesn’t know you well.
Personalization done right is seamlessly reading a customer’s wants and needs, but poor personalization comes off as creepy or low effort.
There’s no benefit to serving the same content to all customers with no discretion. Take advantage of your customers’ differences and preferences to present the best option the first time. Track and personalize the best metrics and avenues.
However, simply having the right mentality and systems in place is not the end of the journey. I’ve received well-personalized content, only to find the item I wanted is sold out in my size or that the price changes once I add the item to my cart. Making a customer want something only to not have it is a frustrating experience that can alienate brands. Ensure your parameters and personalization details are in line with what you would expect as a customer considering doing business with a brand. Winning the hearts and minds of your customers takes sustained effort.
Show Customers You Know and Care About Them Through Personalization
Personalization doesn’t end once a customer converts. If you hope to make a customer for life, the personalization journey never ends. Customer support has evolved from a reactive service to a proactive and hyper-personalized experience that also represents your brand.
If you hope to make a customer for life, the personalization journey never ends.
Customers want swift resolutions, proactive communication, and convenient self-service options. However, the standards for support offerings are increasing. While 80% of managers think they are meeting or exceeding customer expectations with access to live agents, but only 37% of consumers agree. Customers are quickly frustrated by a chatbot with no real answers or long phone wait times. Live chat is better but make the distinction between chatbot and typing with another human. Don’t let any aspect of customer service become an afterthought.
Too many organizations believe they are already impressive when the bar is much lower than they would care to admit. However, this also shows that it’s easy to stand out when most of the competition isn’t paying attention. Recognize the opportunity for your brand to lead—and make the improvements needed to get there before your competition.
Making a good impression, even years later, matters just as much as the first day. Furthermore, investing in a the right customer relationship management (CRM) system and applications across the MarTech Stack lets companies track and analyze customer information, interactions, preferences, and pain points, which facilitates and fosters personalized support throughout the customer journey while building an ever-solidifying customer picture. Through customer data, you can create meaningful personalized interactions that drive brand loyalty and foster trust by continuously delighting customers at every experience touchpoint.
Create Seamless Omnichannel Experiences
With the abundance of technology, customers expect seamless interactions across various channels. They want to effortlessly switch between platforms and devices while maintaining a consistent and personal experience. Since customers use an average of nine touchpoints to engage with an organization, every avenue must be well-paved and connected. Invest in building robust omnichannel strategies that integrate channels, including websites, mobile apps, social media, brick-and-mortar stores, and customer service centers. You cannot expect a modern customer to only receive support over the phone or only view new offers on a single platform. Providing a seamless omni channel experience is a critical element for leading brands – make sure your brand bends them all to suit your goals.
By creating a unified flow of information and consistent branding, companies can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. No one wants to face brand whiplash by receiving distinctly different treatment depending on the channel. How your customer support agents talk should be in line with store associates or digital sales teams. Presenting a unified, personalized, and consistent experience makes sure your customers stay for life and always know to expect quality.
Champion and Demonstrate Ethical and Sustainable Practices
A good experience is always positive, but you can add to it with an emotional connection. As more people become tech-literate and involved online, customers have become increasingly conscious of the social and environmental impact of their purchasing decisions. Customers want to feel good about the brand from a moral and emotional perspective. Supporting a good cause always feels better and boosts customer retention.
68% of customers trust companies to act with society’s best interest in mind, which is a notable jump from 59% in 2020. To meet current and future expectations, businesses need to align their values with those of their customers. Sharing the same ideals and values makes creating loyal customers even easier if you stay aligned. Staying true to your values and going the extra mile to represent them across the brand builds authority and loyalty with a reliable image.
Embrace Continuous Internal Innovation and Agility
Constant change is the only constant. The moment you rest on your laurels or fail to keep best practices is when the industry will evolve again. Staying ahead and always working to be better is the best way to ensure you are never left behind. Continuous innovation comes from internal culture and mindset. Embracing emerging technologies or a new way of doing things can unlock new opportunities to engage customers and deliver unique experiences. By actively monitoring industry trends, embracing experimentation, and encouraging feedback, companies can adapt their offerings to keep pace with evolving customer expectations while staving off surprises.
Embracing emerging technologies or a new way of doing things can unlock new opportunities to engage customers and deliver unique experiences.
The Future is Here, Don’t Delay
65% of consumers say they love fewer than three brands. Make sure yours is one of them.
Understanding and meeting customer expectations is a fundamental and non-negotiable pillar for success. In this customer-obsessed era, those who truly understand and exceed customer expectations will thrive, while others risk getting left behind.
Amazing customer experiences have the power to set you apart from your competition—it can also make your customers look for alternatives. No brand wants the latter reality. What’s the state of your brand’s customer experience today? If it’s not where you want it, BlastX Consulting has an amazing team that’s helped leading brands like yours build and implement winning strategies that create sustained value and impact. Together, let’s talk about how we can help you do the same thing.