Exceptional Customer Service could make a big difference in the coming year. There is the simple way to think about customer experience: every client should love their interactions with a service provider. When professionals provide a service, they want to do a good job. To really stand out, professionals should strive not just to meet but exceed expectations with everyone they interact with.
The hard thing about customer experience is actually discerning those expectations — figuring out what your customer’s unstated expectations are, and then meeting or exceeding them. Here’s how to figure them out and knock them out of the park.
1. Ask About Your Customer’s Expectations
Every person carries expectations with them that you might never guess.
Unfortunately, you don’t always have enough information to provide every customer with the best experience possible. If your last customer articulated a certain expectation you can’t simply try to deliver the same thing. The next person’s expectations may be completely different, and both are likely completely reasonable.
The simplest thing that you can do to improve your customer experience is to ask clients about their expectations. Simply asking, “what are your expectations?” differentiates you and puts you in the top 10% of customer experience providers! If you only did that one thing, it would have an impact and you’d see better results right away.
2. Highlight What Past Customers Have Expected from You
Now, if you want to be in the top 2-3%, you follow it up with a second question.
You can’t meet everyone’s expectations all the time, so you have to pick out the ones that matter the most to them. If their expectations are unreasonable or they can’t articulate them, the way you find out is to ask with a leading statement:
“Let me tell you what it is that I do — what my customers can expect from me. The three most common/important expectations that I typically encounter with my customers are ___, ___, and ___. Are those things important to you?”
Maybe those expectations you fill in are, “I’m always reachable, I’ll return your call within 24 hours, and I’ll inform you right away when anything changes.”
The question is almost rhetorical at the end because the answer is nearly always yes.
3. Uncover Your Customer’s Unstated Expectations
Although some customers may be able to identify their expectations accurately, some may not. In fact, the ever-changing nature of customer wants often makes it difficult for customers to verbalize expectations. Since it can be difficult for some customers to tell you what they expect, it can be helpful to have an “inside track” of what they’re interested in.
The CardTapp solution provides real-time engagement insights. These insights help salespeople identify customer expectations. Not only do engagement insight help identify sales opportunities, but they help sales professionals exceed expectations as well. Indeed, proactively identifying customers needs helps provide excellent service.
4. Let Them in On Your Own Expectation
At this point, you’ve already differentiated yourself tremendously. Your customer or prospect is already thinking, wow, this is a totally different experience than what I’m used to.
Now you should state what your goal is when you’re done: that they’ve been so delighted with the experience they’ve had, they’ll not only want to be a customer for life but to refer you to other people as well!
Stating how you want an interaction to end at the beginning of the conversation is a very powerful thing.
Plus, you’ve already introduced the referral conversation before the transaction has even started. This way, when you follow up to ask for referrals at the end of the transaction, there’s an easy opening. You can ask:
“Remember in the beginning when we talked about this? I want to check in with you:
- How was this experience for you?
- Which expectations did I meet or not meet?
- Did I exceed any of your expectations? If so, how?
Remember that my goal was to leave you with a desire to continue doing business together in the future and feeling that you’d want other people to benefit from my product or service. How close do you think we’ve come?”
When you ask them directly for referrals for the first time, it’s not the first time they’ve heard that request from you.
It’s very healthy for your customers to know that you have expectations, too. When you let them know that you want to meet or exceed their expectations, they will know that this is an uncommon experience and one that they would want other people to benefit from.
We Can Help You Meet & Exceed Expectations
Use your CardTapp solution to monitor client engagement and provide timely follow-up and proactive outreach. Schedule a demo to learn more.