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What are elevated customer expectations?

Definition: Elevated customer expectations are higher standards and demands that customers have regarding the quality, speed, and efficiency of customer service and support. 

In a highly competitive market, customers expect personalized interactions, prompt responses, seamless experiences across channels, and quick resolutions to their issues. 

These elevated expectations are driven by technological advances, hyper-personalization, increased access to information, and heightened competition among businesses

Meeting or exceeding these expectations is crucial for companies to maintain competitive advantage, customer satisfaction, loyalty, and a positive brand reputation.

Examples of elevated customer expectations

Response time context:

Usual Expectation: Customers expect a response within a few hours or a day.

Elevated Expectation: Customers expect immediate or near-instantaneous responses to their inquiries through live chat or social media channels.

Multi-channel support context:

Usual Expectation: Customers accept limited communication options like phone or email support.

Elevated Expectation: Customers expect support across multiple channels, including social media, messaging apps, live chat, and self-service options.

24/7 availability context:

Usual Expectation: Customers expect support during regular business hours.

Elevated Expectation: Customers expect round-the-clock support and assistance, regardless of their time zone or location.

Proactive support context:

Usual Expectation: Customers reach out when they encounter issues.

Elevated Expectation: Customers expect companies to anticipate potential problems, notify them in advance, and offer solutions before they experience any inconvenience.

Personalization context

Usual Expectation: Customers expect to be addressed by their names and to receive recommendations based on their past purchases.

Elevated Expectations: Customers expect personalized interactions on all touchpoints, tailored solutions, and services based on their unique needs, and proactive recommendations based on their preferences and purchase history.

For example, SaaS businesses often offer custom solutions and packages to address each client's needs.

How to accommodate elevated customer expectations

  1. Adopt a customer-centric approach: Develop a company culture that prioritizes customer needs, satisfaction, and feedback. Encourage employees to focus on creating positive customer experiences at every touchpoint.
  1. Invest in technology: Leverage modern tools, like AI, chatbots, live agents, 360 customer view, CRM systems, help desk and advanced analytics, to streamline customer interactions and provide personalized support.
  1. Offer multi-channel support: Ensure customers can reach support through various channels, such as phone, email, live chat, social media, and messaging apps. 
  1. Enhance self-service options: Develop user-friendly self-service resources, like knowledge bases, FAQs, tutorials, and chatbots, to empower customers to resolve problems independently.
  1. Provide proactive support: Monitor customer behavior, transactions, and product usage to identify potential issues before they arise. Offer timely solutions and preventive measures to minimize inconvenience and enhance customer satisfaction.
  1. Focus on hyper-personalization: Use customer data to tailor interactions, recommendations, and support to individual needs and preferences. 
  1. Train and support your agents: Equip customer service agents with the necessary skills, knowledge, and tools to address elevated customer expectations. 
  1. Measure and improve: Regularly track customer satisfaction, agent performance, and service quality KPIs. Some of the KPIs to track are customer satisfaction scores, Net Promoter Score, Customer Effort Score, first contact resolution, and customer retention rates.
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Article FAQs

How do elevated customer expectations impact businesses?
Elevated customer expectations impact businesses by increasing the need for exceptional customer service, prompt response times, personalized interactions, and seamless multi-channel experiences. 
How can businesses measure the success of accommodating elevated customer expectations?
Businesses can measure the success of accommodating elevated customer expectations by tracking CSAT, NPS, CES, FCR, and customer retention rates.
What are the main drivers of elevated customer expectations?
The key drivers of elevated customer expectations are technological advancements, hyper personalization, increased access to information, heightened competition, and the growing influence of social media and online reviews.

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