Technology, among other things, has made access to your customers easier, but it has also made your customers more empowered. They have more and better ways to research all of their pre-purchase options, take advantage of free trials, and yes, to share their experiences – both good and bad – with the rest of the world. And because of this, more and more customers’ expectations are not being met.
So what do today’s customers really want? Research data shows the following:
- To have easily understood and well-explained options.
- To see timely action being taken regarding a request or an issue.
- Your responses to their questions and issues must be addressed quickly and understandably.
- For companies they do business with to offer proactive customer service that is easily accessed.
- For their experiences and interactions with your brand to be personalized and sincere.
- For their communications with you to occur on a channel that is convenient for them.
- For brands to include self-service options and flexibility in dealing with customers.
And what is #1 in terms of customer expectations in survey after survey? It is far and away that customers truly want to feel heard, appreciated, and valued. Your customers have more choices and options than ever before. Rare is the company that has no competitors or no alternative solutions to their customers’ needs and wants.
Sometimes, a transaction is really just a transaction. But more often than not, the following is true:
- Your customers have a pressing problem that needs to be solved or an issue that needs to be quickly addressed.
- They trust you to solve it satisfactorily and without hassles.
- They want you to not only provide a service, but also to reinforce that their decision to work with you or buy from you was a smart choice on all levels.
Additionally, customers want the interaction to feel easy and hassle-free. If they encounter too many roadblocks along the way, they will abandon the effort and simply go elsewhere. They reach out to you for a reason, and it’s important for you to immediately recognize that and to then move quickly toward addressing it. Instant gratification is definitely influencing customer behavior, and companies who realize that and build it seamlessly into the overall way they do business will win every time.