Customer experience revolves around customer expectations and exceeding them at least by a little bit. You do that incrementally, thus improving a customer experience over time.
In my CX Quick Tips interview with Roy Atkinson, we explored Customer Experience Expectations: Springing Surprises.
How can you fulfill your customer’s expectations in this current world where customers are becoming more demanding?
The Element Of Surprise In Customer Experience
You wouldn’t want to spring surprises on the customer too often. You certainly do not want to spring unpleasant surprises.
According to LinkedIn Learning, “Customers experience an unpleasant surprise when their experience falls short of their expectations.”
Even pleasant surprises can be a little bit off on the customer. More so, not everyone enjoys surprises.
A lot of people tend to shy away. Therefore, you have to know your audience. Also, be careful about how you spring things. Forbes noted that 83% of companies believe it’s important to make customers happy and experience growing revenue.
Knowing Your Customers And Understanding The Customer Experience Expectations
If you are constantly in touch with your customers, they get a sense of what you are about and what to expect.
However, customer experience is about the total of all the touchpoints. Learn and understand your customers.
The State of the Connected Customer found out that 66% of customers expect companies to know their needs and expectations.
Surprise customers by doing something unexpected that helps them in the situation they happen to be in. Constant communication is really the key to the whole widget that we call customer experience.
First, make sure your system is built for recovery. Secondly, enable your people to be flippers. Basically, to flip a situation that will end up being most unsuccessful into something less painful.
Help your customers understand. Making that communication clear and clean, making sure that the customers get it.
“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” (Steve Jobs)
Customer Experience Expectations: Living In Your Customers World
When Steve Jobs had an issue with his computer at Apple, he would call the regular support line just like anybody else.
He got to experience their service first hand. He got to understand the wait time and how the reps interacted with people. I believe that had a huge impact on his thinking over the years.
68% of customers believe the key to great customer service is a polite customer service representative. (American Express)
Many organizations talk about engaging executives through maybe answering calls to get closer in tune with customers.
Enabling Employees To Meet Customer Experience Expectations
Statistics show that “Companies that excel at customer experience have 1.5 times more engaged employees than less customer-focused companies.” (Forbes)
It is about giving your people the right and sufficient tools for the job.
It is a huge motivational aspect of our jobs when you feel you need to serve the customers.
For employees to be engaged, they have to be equipped with the right tools for the job.
Part of the role of leadership is to ensure that the employees are enabled to get the job done. In my Call Center Coach, I offer leadership training to help leaders develop necessary skills for their job.
John Jantsch said, “Customer Service is an opportunity to exceed your customer’s expectations.
What Is The Impact Of Not Having The Appropriate Tools?
You feel handcuffed. You, therefore, cannot service your customers.
Sometimes it’s because the tools are too complex. In other cases, they are too many tools to use to get the job done. That’s rather inappropriate.
What happens is that people feel like they don’t have the resources they need. As a result, they feel lost.
They also feel that the organization is not supporting them, and that’s not a good feeling. It’s demotivating to feel that the organization is doesn’t care about enabling you to do the job better.
That’s scary because it indicates to the representative that supposed to support the customers that the organization doesn’t support the customers. After all, they aren’t providing the necessary tools.
In my FastLeader show, I discussed how employee experience impacts the customer experience.
According to American Express, Service insight and knowledge are key to a good experience, according to 62% of consumers.
Not having the right tools makes the task almost impossible. Meeting the customer’s expectations requires appropriate tools. It’s like trying to build a house, and the only tool at your disposal is a staple.
In a nutshell, give people the power tools.
I recommend that you read the book Punk CX by Adrain Swinscoe to capture deeper insights into meeting customer expectations and adding some CX vibe.
Watch My Interview With Roy Atkinson on Customer Experience Expectations: Springing Surprises
- How does employee experience affect customer experience expectations?
- What methods can you use to know your audience better?
- How can you avoid unpleasant surprises for your customers?
Jim Rembach is the Editor in Chief of the Customer Service Weekly and it’s Podcast host. He is President of CX Global Media and the creator of the Call Center Coach Virtual Leaders Academy. As the host of the Fast Leader Show Podcast, he has interviewed hundreds of experts, authors, academics, researchers, and practitioners on various angles, viewpoints, and perspectives for improving the customer experience. He has held positions in retail operations, contact centers, customer support, customer success, sales, and measured the customer experience. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner, Employee Retention Specialist, and recipient of numerous industry awards.