How to Go Above and Beyond Customer Expectations

It’s one thing for your organization to meet a customer’s expectation about the value or experience you should provide. It’s something else entirely for your business to step up and exceed that expectation. Do you know how to go above and beyond?

5 Ways to Wow Customers

Research shows that 80 percent of companies believe they’re providing superior customer service, yet just 8 percent of customers agree. That’s a massive gap between perception and reality. And on top of that, 66 percent of customers can’t remember the last time a company exceeded their expectations!

Wowing customers isn’t something most brands do well – and that’s good news for you. By improving your customer service, you can gain a competitive advantage and propel your business to new heights.

The question is, where do you start?

We’ve got a few ideas:

1. Get to Know Your Customers

The first step is to know your customers on an intimate level. This means breaking your audience down into customer segments and demographics to communicate effectively with each individual customer you encounter.

Creating customer profiles can be time consuming, but thanks to the abundance of data that’s now available online, it’s easier than ever before. Get as granular as possible and look beyond basic demographics like age, location, or occupation. Find out what makes people tick, what their hobbies are, other brands they purchase from, etc. All of this information can be leveraged to improve how you communicate with them and which offers you extend.

2. Implement Journey Mapping

It’s extremely helpful to use customer journey mapping to understand your audience and guide your messaging. This is basically the process of creating a sleek, visual representation of the processes, needs, and perceptions of your customers throughout each touchpoint and relationship with your organization. When you’re able to visualize these steps, everything changes for the better.

With journey mapping, you don’t have to guess how customers are feeling or what contributes to their decision making process. You can make informed assessments and meet them precisely where they are at any given moment in time.

3. Add a Personal Touch

People are tired of being treated as just another customer. They want to feel special and prioritized. You can appeal to this desire by adding personal touches to your products and service.

Whether it’s calling customers individually after a purchase to follow up with them, or including a handwritten note with each delivery, there are unlimited opportunities for personalizing the customer experience. It’s up to you to get creative.

4. Hire the Right People

You can have a thousand data points on every single customer and the best customer service processes in the industry, but if you don’t have the right people on your team, you’re never going to wow your customers.

If you want to instantly elevate your ability to meet and exceed customer expectations, it all starts with hiring people who care about your customers. Stop viewing customer service as the entry-level department in your organization and instead hire talented people with experience. It might cost you more up front, but the ROI stemming from increased customer loyalty will justify the initial investment.

5. Empower Your People

After hiring the right people, you must empower them. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of businesses – and business owners in particular – mess up.

You need rules and processes, but too much rigidity will prevent your employees from serving your customers and effectively responding to their needs. Look for ways to empower your team.

One option is to set a dollar amount and give your employees the freedom to fix problems that fall under this threshold without having to ask for approval. It might be $25, $100, or even $1,000 per instance. By removing stringent approval processes, you give your people the opportunity to fix problems quickly (and with minimal friction).

Prioritize Customer Satisfaction

Your customers’ collective satisfaction is the ultimate prize. Because no matter what, dollars always follow closely behind. Make sure you’re prioritizing customer satisfaction at every stage of the game. In doing so, you’ll elevate your business above the competition and win a larger and more loyal share of the market.