Merely satisfying customer expectations is more like playing the safe game. It won’t get you anywhere. Your brand needs to constantly exceed customer expectations and deliver memorable, ever-lasting experiences. In other words, give your best and make sure this best is something they can’t find anywhere else!
Here are 10 ways by which you can look to exceed your customer expectations.
1. Collect Client & Customer Feedback
How could you possibly exceed client & customer expectations without knowing what these expectations are in the first place? All you have to do is Ask. Ask your clients & customers for feedback. Get to know what their needs are and only then can you figure out their expectations and devise a way to exceed them. Client & customer feedback, if leveraged correctly, presents a clear picture of what your brand should be doing in order to surpass expectation levels.
2. Focus on a seamless experience
As customers become more demanding, they’ve started to explore multiple avenues and channels to interact with businesses. Omni-channel customer experience is not just the need of the hour but also a concept that most businesses are finding hard to execute, especially given that the modern-day customer is channel hopping at a ridiculous rate. If you truly want to delight your clients & customers, omni-channel technology and infrastructure is key. It ensures that the experience you provide across multiple channels – both online and offline – is seamless and consistent and in-sync with your brand reputation.
3. Create a world class Customer Service model
The Customer Service function is a vital clog in the entire CX spectrum. And if there’s one thing that gets your customers riled up, it is following up with multiple customer service reps, constantly repeating the issue/complaint at hand, but still not getting a clear and concrete solution. Your customer service needs to be world class. And when we say world class, we don’t mean just the quality. It’s about quality service NOW! Your clients & customers are looking for instant solutions for their problems. Deliver it on time, without compromising on the quality and you’ve found your path to wowing customers.
4. Introduce an employee training program
While employee training and empowerment might not have a direct impact on customer retention or loyalty, if done right, employees will take it upon themselves to ensure that every single customer is kept happy, loyal and delighted. After all, employees are your internal customers. In many ways, they are even the ‘first bunch of customers’ you need to take care of. Empower them enough and they will gladly represent your brand, fight for it, empathize with end-consumers whenever needed, and more than anything, go above and beyond the status-quo to create a truly amazing experience.
5. Focus on the small things
Often the smallest things make the biggest difference. A smile, a hand shake, a thank you. How are your clients & customers greeted? What is the first thing that your property manager tells a frustrated customer? If you think that your client or customer doesn’t pay enough attention to the details, you’re totally wrong. In fact, things that you consider as trivial, a waste of time and resources can turn out to be the only differentiator between a delightful experience and an average one.
6. Add a personal touch
Each client & customer is unique, which is why brands need to personalize the customer experience by carefully studying customer needs and aspirations. Get to know their interests, likes/dislikes and maybe even take them out for a cup of coffee. It might sound like a crazy idea but building an emotional connect with your customer is a sure shot way to exceed their expectations consistently.
7. Follow up with your customers
If there is one thing a lot of property management companies are guilty of today, it is that they don’t follow up with their clients & customers regularly. How many of you persistently stay in touch with a client or customer and conduct a “no reason” call? How about emailing monthly e-newsletters? Include info on upcoming legislation changes, market conditions, case studies etc.
8. Surprise your clients & customers often
Surprises can totally make anyone’s day. They provide quite the elation and in most cases, turn a satisfied customer into a delighted one. You might be inclined to ask though, how do you surprise your them? If you know the date on which a client or customer’s birthday or wedding anniversary falls, send them a personalized card. Want to do something even cooler? Send the customer a simple, fun video greeting! The ROI of doing such an initiative might not be quantifiable but your client or customer will forever remember the moment.
9. Don’t hesitate to apologize
Let’s face it – even the best of companies have made their fair share of mistakes. Yet, their loyal following doesn’t seem to dwindle, right? This is not peculiar though. The most customer-centric brands have made it a point to apologize outright every time they commit a mistake or let down a customer. In fact, when a business takes ownership and apologizes sincerely to a customer, the true value of this relationship can be seen.
10. Don’t make a sale. Build a relationship
In times where stakeholders talk sales and revenues figures, the foundation to any successful business model remains looking beyond a sale or transaction – simply building a solid relationship with the client & customer. Don’t be revenue driven. The money will start flowing once you start understanding and caring for your clients & customers. And when you prioritize these relationships like you mean it, customers will eventually start identifying with your brand as a whole.
The hype surrounding customer experience is justifiably real. And if you factor in the competition in the marketspace, unless your company is able to surpass customer expectations and give the customer an authentic and unforgettable experience across every touchpoint on a consistent basis, the chances of survival look very dim. Now, it’s your turn choose between mediocrity and greatness!