American Express’s Open Forum recently published an article highlighting the top 10 items your customers will expect from you this year. Given the ever-evolving world of commerce, tips like these can be helpful when you’re trying to stay ahead of the curve in terms of meeting the expectations of your valued clientele. Take a look at this list, then share your feedback with us on Facebook and on Twitter @cocardatl.
1. Personalized customer service. This goes beyond a warm welcome at your brick-and-mortar storefront. Today, customers expect a virtual hello anytime they browse your website. Meet this expectation by investing in a strong Web infrastructure and customer-relationship management system that includes email marketing, like Pegasus.
2. Ability to track orders and research history. Customers want to know the status of their orders as well as their purchase and viewing history, and want the option to be reminded of it via social media. To meet this demand, invest in a process that gives your customers access to info similar to what you share with your employees.
3. Respond quickly to tweets and Facebook messages. Customers expect to hear back in around an hour after connecting with companies on social media. Meet this demand by employing a team large enough to stay on top of social media requests.
4. Quick delivery or shipment of a product or service. Impatience is the norm, with most customers expecting a two-day delivery time. Meet this expectation by offering (and charging a premium for) fast shipping.
5. Try and buy. Thanks to companies like Warby Parker and Rent the Runway, customers want the option to try a product before they buy it. Give your customers a no-questions asked return policy that allows them to feel confident in their purchasing decision.
6. Social transparency. Customers want to know what is going on with the companies they choose to support. Keep the communication lines open and share news with your clients/customers through social media, on a blog and/or through a regular company newsletter.
7. Proactive customer service post-sale. Make clients feel valued for their patronage by updating them on payment deadlines, maintenance details and available savings after they’ve placed their order.
8. Value. People want a good deal, but they also want a quality product. Be upfront about your pricing and offer a loyalty reward program for regular customers.
9. Information available 24/7. In a non-stop world, it’s no surprise that customers are eager to access information or to contact people at your company at all hours. Even if you don’t have the staff to support such around-the-clock intel, set up a FAQ page on your website or a pre-recorded message on you phone line that answers common customer concerns at any hour.
10. Be listened to, and be heard. Face it, sometimes the customer isn’t happy. Even if there is nothing your company can do, customers expect a venue for voicing their complaints and concerns. Give them that option by supplying a responsive phone line/section of your website for voicing complaints.