What Your Customers Are Looking For
Any time you talk about business and customers, it isn’t too long before someone is pontificating about exceeding your customer’s needs. Before you can do that though you need to know what they expect. And while each customer will have varying expectations, you can be sure of these four:
- Product – They expect a perfect product. Simply put your customer wants what they believe they’re paying for. “What they believe” is the key phrase here. It’s a really good idea to make sure that you’re both on the same page with this one. The biggest disconnect I see constantly is you talk about what you’re going to do when you’re customer wants to know what they’re going to get. Make sure you’re talking their language by understanding what’s important to them and showing them that’s what they’ll get.
- People – They expect to deal with friendly, caring people. Your customer doesn’t want to be treated like their a number or seen as a wallet with legs. They want to work with someone who sees them as a person and connects with them by helping them, not selling them. They want an advisor and a friend.
- Time – They expect the product delivered in a timely fashion. The danger here is your speed of delivery is being compared to other company’s ability to deliver right now. The cool thing is you can set their expectations to a degree by controlling the timetable and setting realistic delivery times.
- Warranty – They expect you to stand behind what you do. There shouldn’t be any fuzziness or fine print here. Your customer has given you their hard-earned dollars and while they want perfect products, they realize that things happen sometimes. When this happens, instead of just resolving their issue, use this situation as an opportunity to WOW your customer and create a raving fan.
These are their expectations in a nutshell. So, please understand that fixing it right the rest time or having friendly people are differentiators for your business ONLY because these expectations are so rarely met in most other business transactions. Because your customer doesn’t get what they expect, this turns them into price shoppers. “If you’re going to treat me like crap then I’m going to get the best price I can.”, is what your customer is thinking.
Before you start trying to exceed customer expectations, make sure you’re at least meeting them consistently first. Then talk to your customers and see what’s important to them. Once you do that, you’ll be able to build a culture and process that blows them away, showing them once and for all just how AMAZING you are!
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