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How To Meet Customer Expectations In A World Of Outpaced Experiences

Last Modified: 20/12/2017

Customer experience benchmarking code.png Digital and mobile solutions have resulted in constantly evolving customer expectations. To be successful, your brand must meet these expectations through a positive consumer experience (CX), from your website to your contact centre, by leveraging the power of first-in-class customer management practices.

Customer expectations vs. experience

A 2016 study, commissioned by Forrester Consulting by Accenture Interactive, where 702 online surveys and 11 in-depth interviews were conducted with customer experience decision makers, showed that:

  • Only 7% of the brands questioned exceeded customer expectations;

  • 25% did not meet these expectations;

  • 40% of the decision makers feel their customer experience (CX) is inconsistent across channels;

  • Only about ⅔ of respondents feel their company has the right technology, processes and organisation in place.

Furthermore, the study shows that high CX performers are outperforming peers in brand relevance, customer loyalty, ROI and revenue. This is because these companies understand the value of instilling CX innovation and experience transformation as an organisational mindset instead of approaching customer management on a per-project base.

To truly make a lasting impact and increase market penetration, your business needs to redefine how you are tapping into customer expectations in a disruptive way.

The digital route

In recent years, the biggest CX success stories were born in the digital realm. Peer-to-peer commercial interactions, framed by a strong brand presence, led to companies like AirBnb or Uber becoming multi-billion businesses in a short timespan. These companies saw a gap in the market to fulfill a basic consumer need—access to affordable accommodation or transport—in an agile, real-time, instantaneous and wholly digital way. This customer-centric approach, empowered by the sharing economy and the extreme flexibility digital platforms offer, resulted in an organic, almost self-governed, CX.

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Developing a customer experience culture

While the advent of digital distribution channels has increased the rate at which customer expectations evolve, it has also given brands the opportunity to operate on a digital playing field that is the same for consumers and brands.

Which is why improving CX and transcending consumer expectation involves a strong digital presence. You should aim to develop a company culture that pushes CX on every level of your organigram by adopting an all-encompassing approach. Your CX is intricately linked to your customer relation management processes. Using the right technology can create an environment where your CX thrives, all while maintaining a human touch.

 Using available tools:

To create a personalised and engrossing customer experience, make use of proven methodologies like ethnographic studies, using focus groups or online research communities, and delivering strong marketing content. On the human resources level, you can create a culture of brand championing through in-house training and incentive schemes, starting on the contact centre floor.


Using customer insights:

Digital platforms are a treasure trove of customer insights. Analysing customer behaviour data at various stages of the funnel will help create scenarios in which your contact centre can proactively engage customers with a message and tone of voice that’s in line with their expectations, increasing retention through positive CX.


Adopting a dynamic business model:

As customers evolve, empowered by all things digital, so do their expectations. Identifying shifts in behaviour is accomplished through analysis of the above-mentioned customer insights. But reacting to these changes depends on your brand’s agility and speed. Your processes need to be streamlined to ensure your contact centre is reactive and flexible enough to meet any type of consumer demand and pre-empt upcoming trends.


Finding the right partners:

Outsourcing customer management to the right partner will optimise how your resources are managed. A partner can help you, as a CX decision maker, to ascertain your core strengths and identify processes that can be tweaked or innovated upon. With the right top-down approach, you can optimise your CX and truly meet customer expectations.


Merchants offers end-to-end customer management solutions that deliver great, consistent and future-proof value using best practices, processes and technology. Our approach is substantiated by relevant benchmarking data to provide industry-standardised information and enable decision-makers to put their best customer experience strategy in place. For more information on Merchants and our services, please contact us.

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