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Managing Customer Expectations
Guest articles > Managing Customer Expectations
by: Viganesh Kumar
Do all the organizations achieve customers’ expectation? What does customer expects and how to fulfil their needs and wants? According to Harris Interactive through Customer Experience Impact Report, it claimed that ‘Even in negative economy, customer experience is a high priority for consumers, with 60% often or always paying more for a better experience’.
A close Chinese colleague of mine simply loves Biryani. He would try almost all the new outlets to find the best Biryani in the town. What craves him so much to this particular Indian authentic food? He stated that when he was young he ate Mutton Biryani and he felt the taste is still in his throat that is unmatched till now. He had even highlighted to several restaurant proprietors for improvements if it is cooked below expectation. It is crystal clear that he wants only quality Biryani even if he had to pay high price. Based on the Biryani example, my colleague has set an expectation but his likings may differ from others. However what he may like may not necessarily suits other customers and vice versa.
In this modern age it is competitive to accommodate all the customers but we should try to at least match their expectation as their needs and wants can change. Organizations should always listen to customer feedback because without any feedback we may never improve the quality of our services. Feedback can be either positive or negative but organizations should use it as advantage to improve their products and services. Management have to remain receptive and understand customers concerns rather than ticking off customers’ appreciated feedback. Organizations can conduct a survey poll to analysis if their offered product and services fulfils customer requirements and expectations. Organizations should consider engaging expertise or third party individuals such as consultants and trainers to conduct gap analysis and provide recommendations to improve their products and services. Management should not only store away customers’ or consultants feedback but be brought to the next stage of action. It is vital to acknowledge the highlighted area and work towards the reformation of the required changes. Improvements or changes can be attained if organizations are committed in integrating supportive solutions such as technical assistance, quality ingredients, technology gadgets, financial allocation, skilled manpower and trainings. The management should also consider developing customer blueprint to ensure a systematic process to done in line with achieving customer satisfaction. Customers expect management to provide precise and accurate information when arises doubts and clarification. Customers do not want slow response to their queries but demands fast and concrete action. If the management did not act fast to rectify the highlighted issue, they may lose another customer and just imagine if the disappointed customer spreads his unhappiness to others. The employees’ should be trained in communication skills especially techniques on handling unhappy customer. Tackling tactfully with a caring attitude should be instilled within all the employees whenever they want resolve their brought up queries. Even at times when price hikes are bound to occur, customers are willing to pay extra for quality product and service. Thus if management is unable to fulfil customers’ expectation or undertake effective measurements, it can be met with harsh response as dissatisfaction continues to mount up.
According to an article by White House Office of Consumer Affairs, Washington DC it is reported that ‘Happy customers who get their issue resolved tell about 4 to 6 people about their experience’. Each customer has different perception, lifestyle, taste or liking that accommodates their needs and wants. According to Timothy Heffernan through http://timothyheffernan.net, he claimed that “Despite 40 years in digital photography, Kodak went bankrupt because they failed to monetized new products that allows consumers to save and share memories but instead focused on its core dying product, film’. If an established organization such as Kodak itself had went bankrupt for its failure to fulfil customers’ expectation, imagine others that did not suit their product lines. No organizations can take things for granted and always must be innovative in matching customer needs and wants. Throughout the years customers’ expectations have changed dramatically to suit the modernization of global appeal for lifestyle suitability. Your organization may be small, medium or large but you have to constantly track customers’ need and want especially re-establishing the products and services cycle to fulfil customer expectations and remain competitive in the market.
Viganesh Kumar, a HRDF approved consultant, trainer and lecturer in the fields of Management, Operation and Hospitality. A Human Resource Strategist with distinctive career and has provided consultancy & training for over than 200 organizations in various industry.
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Contributor: Viganesh Kumar
Published here on: 07-Sep-14