What Your Followers Expect from Your Brand (and How to Deliver)
A significant part of digital marketing is understanding your customer base. Learning what drives purchase intent, what kind of needs customers have and meeting their ever-changing expectations comes with its fair share of challenges.
Understanding what your customers expect as they walk through your door or visit your online headquarters is critical to business success.
Let’s discuss more about customer expectations and how to capitalize on them so you can drive your business forward.
What are Customer Expectations?
Simply put, customer expectations describe the predictions customers make about your brand’s offerings. Before a purchase, customers take various factors into account before following through with it. They gather and interpret information about a product or service, which directly influences their purchasing decisions.
Customer expectations are almost subconscious to the customer themselves. On occasion, some of the information gathered by a customer will make it to their conscious mind. Still, a lot is going on in the subconscious mind. Many contributing factors play a role in how customers perceive products and services.
Customers set expectations based on desired outcomes as well. For example, suppose a customer wants to buy cleaning products. In that case, they purchase them with the expectation that they will help them keep their home tidy. This is only one example of how you can identify what goes into a purchase decision.
It’s a simple concept, but businesses must be aware of customer expectations to continuously improve their products, services, and face-to-face interactions.
You can identify customer expectations through a business audit, which is most common across various sectors. Through a brand audit, you can find where your business is falling short versus which company areas are performing well.
Importance of Keeping Customers Satisfied
For small to medium-sized businesses, managing customer relationships can be a challenge. Thankfully there are ways you can educate yourself and your employees on how to meet basic customer needs.
First, let’s explain why keeping customers satisfied is always helpful for your business.
It’s common business knowledge that happy customers typically spend more money. A surefire way to keep your customers satisfied and coming back for more is to first be aware of their expectations and do everything in your power to not only meet them but exceed them.
There’s no one way to exceed customer expectations — because of external factors, it’s common for expectations to change for various reasons. Take the COVID-19 pandemic, for instance. The pandemic caused a shift in customer expectations, and these changes will likely stick around for years to come.
It’s highly important to understand customer expectations so you can make the appropriate changes within your business operations.
How to Exceed Customer Expectations
So, how can you work to exceed ever-changing customer expectations? Let’s explore some tips you can keep in mind as you’re working to improve your business.
Be Flexible and Adaptable
Any business that’s survived the COVID-19 pandemic knows that flexibility and adaptability are two vital traits that companies need to succeed in a competitive business environment.
Many markets are experiencing saturation, and every business should focus on learning how to adapt to a changing economy. Whether it’s incorporating new technology into your operations or hiring a batch of new employees, being flexible will help you exceed customer expectations.
Conduct Market Research
Market research specifically targets the different segments of your target market and can offer your business a ton of benefits. For example, market research helps you narrow down why your customers purchase from you rather than your competitors.
Conducting market research can help improve internal communications, identify new business growth opportunities and lower some of the risks associated with running your own business.
For example, you can tune into every customer’s needs and wants to personalize their shopping experience. You’ll learn more about the customers you serve and how to reach potential customers when you participate in market research.
Understand Immediate Gratification
There’s been a recent boom in the world of e-commerce, which has transformed the way shoppers’ shop. Regardless of the product or service you offer, your customers must be dealt with quickly while still striking a balance between convenience and care.
You don’t want your customers to feel like a ticket number. Still, you also want to accommodate as many customers as possible to increase revenue. Customers expect immediate gratification from brands they know and love. Speeding up internal processes through automation is one method you can use to exceed this expectation.
Ask for Customer Feedback
Leveraging customer feedback tells you more about your audience, which is the ultimate goal when identifying customer expectations. Using both positive and negative feedback can help your business grow in more ways than one.
Whether it’s an online survey sent in an email or asking for feedback in-store, you’re missing out on growth opportunities if you’re not garnering some form of feedback from your loyal customers.
Businesses must think beyond short-term sales to exceed customer expectations. The companies that invest the time and money into identifying and capitalizing on expectations will outperform their competitors.
It’s also vital to keep in mind that not every customer expectation is realistic. However, it’s important to exceed realistic expectations. In doing so, you’re fostering more positive relationships with your customers and building a loyal customer base, something every business wants to achieve.
Keep Up With Your Valued Customers
If you’re looking for new ways to keep your business thriving in a competitive landscape, be sure to measure customer satisfaction metrics and do your best to meet your customers’ expectations. You’ll set yourself up for success and be prepared to experience business growth.