For every store, online or offline, customer satisfaction is one of the major goals, and to achieve customer satisfaction is one of the most important things that the seller should understand the customer’s expectations. The customer expectations need to be met by online stores and even by offline stores to survive in the competitive market environment. Although just meeting the customer expectations is never enough to have an exceptional online store selling rate as many other online stores already are exceeding expectations of the customers
Major Misconception about customer expectations
Some online stores have a misconception that customer expectations meaning nothing to an online store. They think that just displaying a product and sending it to their customer are their only obligations and that is what they think customer expectations mean. Such online stores are taking customer expectations meaning all wrong. As expectations have nothing to do with the primary functionalities of any online store, this is because many good online shopping stores provide much more than just the primary service and they have set high standards for other online stores that they need to meet.
Understanding Customer Expectations
Understanding what customers expect from an online store is very important as you cannot meet the expectations that you don’t even know the customers have. Sometimes it is hard for sellers to understand what are the expectations of customers. Sometimes some online stores also run short surveys and ask what are the expectations of customers directly from the customers instead of speculating about them on themself. If you do not have the resources to run a survey you can just sit and ask yourself “what are the expectations of customers?” Once you have enlisted some expectations just think from the perspective of a customer that if you were purchasing a product from your store what would be some particular things that you want. Both strategies are almost equally efficient in giving you a deep insight into customer’s expectations.
Customer Service Expectations
As many online stores provide you with tough competition and high standards that you need to meet, you need to live up to customer expectations ecommerce stores cannot survive at all without that, not even for a single day. When customers purchase from e-commerce stores they do not just expect the product to be of high quality they have some customer service expectations as well. Very basic customer service expectations include that stores provide their customers with answers to their concerns, address any complaints that they may have, and ensure that customers receive their parcel on the right delivery time along with good packaging.
Online VS Retail Shopping Expectations
What customers require from e-commerce stores is very different from what customers expect from retailers. You cannot generalize your concepts of what customers expect from retailers to online shopping customers as this is a completely new dimension and mode of shopping. For instance, consider that online customers are very much concerned with the shipping of their products and in time delivery which is not at all the case when customers purchase from retailers. Therefore what customers expect from retailers they do not expect the same from customer expectations ecommerce stores as the way they work are completely different.
Successful online stores know how to set expectations with customers. Learning how to set expectations with customers is not a very difficult thing to understand but it requires attention. However new online stores can have a little inspiration from them and learn how to set expectations with customers. Firstly, you need to make sensible and achievable claims with your customers. Online stores that offer unbelievable discounts are often perceived as spam by the customers. You need to be very careful and use effective strategies like claiming achievable advantages to the customers like minor discounts and an efficient customer support system.
Exceeding Customer Expectations
If you want someone to fall in love with you or like you need to do things for them that exceed their expectations. Exceeding customer expectations works pretty much the same. Clients are likely to develop loyalty towards your store if you provide the products and services that exceed their expectations. For instance, you can provide your clients with faster delivery than they expect. In this way, they will be surprised to receive your parcel very early.
Managing Customer Expectations
Once you have set customer expectations the next step that comes after it is managing customer expectations. Managing customer expectations means to ensure that your client gets the service and product that they desire from your online store. For instance, if you have set your customers an expectation of in time delivery, then you should always be vigilant and must monitor the time at which clients receive your parcel. If you see variation or problems make sure to solve it as soon as you can to avoid disappointing your customers. Managing customer expectations is an ongoing work that you need to keep on doing forever.
Things to Avoid
Rising customer expectations is a very good marketing strategy however you need to be very careful that rising customer expectations will also require you to raise your standards. The last thing that you want to do is crashing customer expectations ecommerce stores can just not survive in this way as search customers would never purchase from your store again and they will give you bad reviews that will prevent other customers from making a purchase from your stores in the future as well. Rising customer expectations strategy should be adopted but only when you can meet those expectations. Don’t ever make claims or promises to your customers that your online store cannot live up to.
The understanding, setting, and managing customer expectations are critical functions of an online shopping store. Just like any other business online stores are nothing without their customers. Stores need to stay updated with increasing and changing expectations of their customers to meet them. This is because they do not get disappointed and remain loyal to your online store.