Over the past decades, the power of customers in vendor-customer relationships has risen. So have customer expectations.
With the advent of digitalization and cut-throat competitions redefining the business landscape across industries, customers have more options to pick from. This puts substantial pressure on businesses to deliver higher-quality products and services, and also better customer experience.
B2B customer expectations are seemingly higher than B2C customers’. B2B businesses must rise to meet these growing expectations to remain competitive in their markets.
This is transforming the way salespeople, marketers, and other customer-facing teams interact with the clients and prospects. Exceeding customer expectations now requires businesses to deliver a more personalized customer experience.
Statistics claim that 63% of consumers expect brands to use their purchase history to personalize customer experiences. Below, we dive into some of the following key tactics businesses use to adapt to rising customer expectations:
- Conducting customer research and analyzing results
- Offering more channels for customer feedback
- Initiating customer success and retention strategies
- Paying more attention to the customer experience
- Using social listening and monitoring tools
With the right technology at your fingertips, you’ll be able to meet evolving customer expectations faster and stay ahead of your competitors. Let break this down and take a closer look at the tactics listed above.
Conducting Customer Research and Analyzing Results
Simply put, businesses are doing more homework. Conducting a bit of research into your competition is an effective way to uncover secrets to success. Many businesses still haven’t yet grasped how to understand customer expectations.
Research uncovers key insights that help resolve this lack of knowledge. Thorough research can also help you identify the gaps in your product and service offerings. It can shed light on what your customers want but aren’t receiving.
You can also review your competition’s web presence and search engine optimization (SEO) rankings and keywords. Not only will this add value to your research but also provide insights into how your competitors are addressing these growing customer expectations.
Finally, you should stay in constant contact with your customers. Checking in routinely to ensure they have everything they need provides additional insight into those expectations.
Offering More Channels for Customer Feedback
Collecting customer feedback and requesting their inputs during product development goes a long way. Be sure to respond to questions and product enhancement suggestions on your closed forum. Identify the common concerns and frustrations that customers express in your customer expectations survey. Track all feedback and challenges provided through your customer success team’s outreach calls.
Collate all the above information to identify the most common market needs. Then, form a plan and start to implement some changes that will address customers’ needs and challenges.
Always be sure to share these changes with your customers and prospects via email newsletters, social media, etc. This showcases your interest in and efforts taken to meet customer expectations.
When customers see you are actually implementing enhancements and updates based on their feedback, they will feel valued. They’ll appreciate the fact that you’re truly invested in their success. And most importantly, they’ll feel that their expectations are being met and their voices are being heard.
Initiate Customer Success and Retention Strategies
Customer retention strategies are critically important to both customer health. Ensuring customer success drives expedited business growth. In fact, statistics say that it costs five times more to acquire a new client than retaining an existing one.
Retaining a client is a lot easier if you use customer experience management solutions. These solutions provide the added benefit of identifying upselling, cross-selling opportunities while boosting customer success.
Unfortunately, most companies do not understand the difference between customer satisfaction and customer expectation. Many spend the majority of their budget on lead generation while ignoring the importance of customer retention initiatives.
That mistake can have unexpected and far-reaching impacts on business success. It is important to retain existing customers as they represent a source of recurring revenue. Additionally, this can increase customer loyalty, satisfaction, and make it easier to meet customer expectations.
Paying More Attention to the Customer Experience
Today, customer expectation and perception in service marketing is largely driven by the experience customers receive from your employees. Recent reports suggest that roughly a significant number of customers list poor customer experience as their primary reason for leaving a vendor. They prefer to leave and don’t purchase from you again.
In order to meet or exceed customers’ expectations, marketers must put a laser-beam focus on a client’s needs. They must also know what consumers expect from customer service.
A great experience leads to satisfied, loyal customers, which increases repeat business and revenue. This also boosts your brand reputation and reduces customer churn. Understanding and catering to customers’ needs is perhaps the most important thing businesses can do to adapt to shifting customer expectations.
Social Listening and Monitoring Tools
In today’s business landscape, social media is one of the most widely-used information channels. Social listening and monitoring tools, such as Buffer, alert you in real-time when someone mentions your brand.
These tools also alert you when someone posts a review or comment or your posts. This is particularly helpful considering that users expect a quick response and a high level of engagement on social media.
Moreover, when someone receives a positive customer experience, they often share that as well. This amounts to free word-of-mouth advertising, increases brand exposure, and improves your brand reputation.
Consumer behaviors, interests, and buying patterns are changing. They will continue to evolve as new generations enter the workplace and assume decision-making roles. Marketers must understand their audience and adapt their strategy to embrace emerging trends. Further, they need to understand the constantly shifting factors that determine buying behavior.
Customer expectations are changing at a rapid pace. This is especially true with more competition entering the market, making it easier for customers to leave you if they receive a poor customer experience.
Use the best practices above to get ahead of this trend. Adapt quicker to so you can remain competitive in your industry. Ensure customers are successful using your product and you’ll rise above the competition.
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The Essential Guide to Customer Feedback – Why is customer feedback an essential facet in the customer success business? Read on.
Turn an Unhappy Customer into a Raving Fan in 5 Simple Steps – Got a dissatisfied client? Fret no more, convert them into a fan now. Read on.