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Article VOC Impact

The Big Battle: Staying Ahead of Evolving Customer Expectations

Understanding how your customers’ expectations are created and how they evolve over time.  It's the key to building a loyal and growing customer base.

The Blind Side

Ever been blind sided by changing customer expectations?

Complacency is a big trap for businesses, especially when they don’t look at customer expectations in a holistic (CX) rather than product or service way.

if you stop and think a minute about how your customers interact with ‘vendors’, it’s a multi-plane thing. A lot of it is at the product or service level. but equally significant the more universal aspects of the customer experience. Things like call centre support, website, self-help, billing and proactive communications.

What Drives Customer Satisfaction

A big part of customer satisfaction is driven by things that are not directly related to your product or service. things like billing, support, communications all play a big part. and your customer expectations in those areas cut across industries — not just your competitors
understanding what drives customer expectations. a combination of internal needs, past experiences, competition and other industries. the more universal the function (like say a call center) the more likely expectations will be put forth by customers that they picked up from non-competitor companies.

They've been cutting you some slack.

it may not always feel like it, but customers are almost always cutting your company some slack. how do they decide where? typically, it revolves around how they see your business model and what they see as reasonable outcomes from those business channels.

It's all about the proxies.

When customers are judging your efforts, it’s easy to get caught in the thinking that they’ll only look at your competitors. truth is any company they deal with is a potential benchmark for your quality and service levels. if there is another company which seems be overcoming a similar business challenge to deliver superior CX, then your customers will probably expect the same from you.

Staying ahead of changing customer expectations is a challenge that every company faces. especially if there is a long runway on making product and service changes.

VoC programs are powerful tools but what you looking for? What drives customers' expectations and can trigger unexpected changes in what they expect from your company?

Customers always want more. but most customers are also reasonable. they adjust their expectations based on what they see as the limitations of your business model. one thing to watch for is a shift is those perceptions of the limitations on your business.

Proactivity is key

Some may communicate their changing benchmarks to you, but most will just become increasingly dissatisfied and then look to change providers.

Proactively tracking the proxiesis a key component of any business strategy process.

As is to understand the end-to-end customer experience and constantly look for standard bearers to emulate in each key area.

Feb 18, 2015  

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