Those who know their customers can count themselves lucky. Because the motto inevitably leads to success. At least if customer expectations are recognized and fulfilled accordingly. Because the customer is king and his wish is his command. But customer wishes and needs change over time. Keeping an eye on trends is therefore an advantage for every entrepreneur. In the following I present the 10 latest digital trends of customer expectations to show how the customer changes and what he demands. The digital age also leaves traces in the understanding of “good” or “bad” service.
Digitalization has led to a major change in customer expectations. Large companies such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Alibaba, etc. are the drivers when it comes to new customer worlds. All these companies have something in common: they set the highest standards for their products and this leads to a matter of course. Faster, less complicated, simpler, more beautiful and cheaper. These are just a few examples of what customers want when it comes to products, services and support.
Here you will find the most important trends:
Self-Service is gaining
24/7 & 365 days a year
Customers expect availability at all times of the day. This includes customer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Google, for example, offers its customer service in over 42 languages. The English service is available 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. Many companies already offer their services around the clock via chat and call centres, as companies are becoming increasingly international and the business is also generated in the evening. Another option is also a webshop or the social media channels.
Money Back Guarantee
This point becomes increasingly bigger over time as we get used to software and SaaS-solutions. Customers want a money-back-guarantee for all products and services. Even if companies point out the non-existence of such a guarantee, it is still often accepted by customers. Just as Google sets the standards for customer service and accessibility, here it is Amazon that shows how to handle customer complaints in the best possible way. These high standards lead to an increased competition in retail and other industries.
No customer likes to take them over and therefore often searches for suppliers who take over the shipping costs – so Free Shipping is almost mandatory. Here, too, Amazon is the leader and seems almost unbeatable. The customer doesn’t want to have to pay extra for shipping, rather he compares prices and buys where he doesn’t have to pay for postage (or even packaging).
Omnipresence of all offers
Customers want to get offered several ways to acquire their product … and companies react to it. Thus a product can be purchased online as well as offline. But it is also expected that a product purchased online can be easily exchanged at a nearby store. Multi-channel shopping, Omni Channel Marketing, is slowly becoming something no company can avoid. Customers demand an experience and retention across all channels.
Today’s customers expect that their opinions, concerns, messages and complaints are not only perceived by the entrepreneur, but are followed up, taken seriously and reacted to. If a customer expresses himself or herself about a company, he or she expects feedback. Social media is a major challenge for many companies. Suddenly there are dozens of channels to watch and around every corner lurks a bad recession which, if left unanswered, leads to damage to reputation or even discourages potential customers.
A wish always has top priority. Customers want to be received with honesty and authenticity when shopping (especially digitally). This is, so to speak, a demand on the company and its agency. Customers want to identify more and more with the brands and products. Products are not only more products on their own, but also fulfill the desire of many people for recognition and identity.
… that rises to the customers’ heads. Because they know that they are actually always in the right. Even more, they know the channels in which their voice is heard. Even social outrages against companies put them into greater danger of loosing their customer base. The changing online behavior can lead to increasingly more extreme opinions, which threatens the reputation of a company.
As you can see there is a lot of innovation in customer expectations. Technologies and new channels play an important role and also change the tasks of entrepreneurs. If you keep up to date, you’re at the top.
Make your customers happy and you will be too!