It’s no secret that customers today have high expectations when it comes to customer service. In order to keep up with the competition, businesses need to meet (or exceed) these expectations. Every business has customers, no matter what field or industry, and it’s vitally important to be aware of what they expect.
What are Customer Expectations?
Simply put, customer expectations are the standards that customers have for a product or service. These standards can be based on many factors, such as previous experiences, what they’ve heard from others, or even societal norms. And when customers don’t feel that their expectations have been met, they’re likely to take their business elsewhere.
There are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to customer expectations:
– They’re constantly changing: What customers expect today may be different tomorrow, so it’s important to stay on top of trends and changes.
– They vary by customer: Not all customers have the same expectations, so it’s important to tailor the experience to each individual.
– They should be met or exceeded: Meeting customer expectations is the bare minimum — businesses should aim to exceed them whenever possible.
The 12 Most Important Customer Service Expectations
While customer expectations can differ depending on the company or industry, there are some common themes that businesses should be aware of. Here are 12 of the most important customer service expectations:
1. Honesty and Transparency
Customers today expect honesty and transparency from businesses. They want to know that they can trust the company, and they want to be able to easily find information about the product or service. For example, if a customer is buying a product online, they should be able to easily find shipping costs, return policies, and other important information. Companies should not try to hide this information or be vague about it.
2. Friendliness and Courteousness
It seems like it should go without saying, but sometimes it’s easy to forget about basic decency. Friendliness and courteousness are two of the most important customer service expectations. Customers want to feel like they’re valued, and they want to be treated with respect.
3. Being Understood
Customers want to feel like they’re being understood, and they want businesses to take the time to listen to their concerns. This includes everything from active listening to providing support in their language of choice. Customers want to feel like they’re being understood, and they want businesses to take the time to listen to their concerns. This includes everything from active listening to providing support in their language of choice. Active listening is a customer service technique that involves giving your full attention to the customer, paraphrasing what they’ve said, and checking for understanding. This can help to make sure that the customer feels heard and that their issues are being addressed.
Innovation is one of the most important customer service expectations in today’s climate. With new technologies and platforms constantly emerging, customers expect businesses to be on the cutting-edge. They want companies to be constantly improving and adapting to change. Innovation also means being able to meet customer needs in new and unique ways, like using chatbots or artificial intelligence. Innovation should never be made at the expense of smooth function–after all, the latest and greatest technology is hardly great if it hampers your customer service agents from giving customers the best possible experience.
Customers today expect businesses to be proactive, and they want companies to anticipate their needs. This includes everything from proactively addressing problems to offering personalized recommendations. A proactive approach means identifying potential issues and taking steps to prevent them before they happen. It also involves awareness of customer needs and offering solutions or recommendations before the customer even knows they need them.
6. Speed and Efficiency
Customers today want speed and efficiency when it comes to customer service. They don’t want to wait on hold for hours, and they expect problems to be resolved quickly and efficiently. Quick reaction time from customer service is essential in today’s climate.
7. Multi-Channel Service
In order to meet customer expectations, businesses need to provide multi-channel service. This means that customers should be able to reach out through a variety of channels, such as phone, email, chat, or social media. And they should be able to receive a consistent experience no matter which channel they use. In addition to this consistent access, they also want continuity–a conversation that begins on one channel should continue on another.
8. Privacy and Security
With all of the recent data breaches in the news, it’s no surprise that privacy and security are top customer service expectations. Customers want to know that their personal information is safe, and they want businesses to take steps to protect their data. This includes everything from ensuring that data is encrypted to offering secure payment options.
Customers today expect a personalized experience, and they want businesses to take the time to get to know them. This includes everything from using their name to providing tailored recommendations. Not only this, but customers also want the feeling that they’re more than just a number. They want to be treated as individuals, and they want their customer service experiences to reflect that.
In addition to being understood, customers also want businesses to show empathy. This means that businesses need to be able to put themselves in their customers’ shoes and understand their needs. This is more than just a sympathetic ear or a kind word–it’s about being able to truly understand what the customer is going through. The Human connection is an important one and should be a cornerstone of any customer service approach.
11. Constant Availability
With the rise of online shopping, customers now expect businesses to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This means that businesses need to have customer service representatives available around-the-clock to answer questions and resolve problems.
12. Customer Self-Service
Finally, customers today expect to be able to serve themselves. This means that businesses need to provide easy-to-use self-service options, such as FAQ pages, online chatbots, and step-by-step guides.In addition, businesses need to make sure that these self-service options are easily accessible and easy to use by their customers. Efficient and convenient self service is not only great for customers, but it’s also cost-effective for businesses.
How to leverage AI in the quest for customer service excellence
There is power to be realized in partnerships and the strategic combination of forces, and companies using chatbots for customer service can further enhance the CX, taking it to new heights. While platforms can streamline the agent experience and can decrease resolution times, omnichannel conversational AI platforms like Netomi are now acting as the first line of defense when it comes to customer support. Netomi’s virtual agents sit alongside human agents to supplement and enhance the capacity of support teams, ensuring the seamless resolution of customer queries.
No matter which platform you choose to implement in your customer service operations, the Netomi AI helps you by taking the best course of action with every incoming support ticket:
- The AI can automatically resolve common, highly repeatable tickets without having to loop in a human agent (‘auto-pilot’ mode)
- For more complex tickets, the AI can gather information from the customer or back-end systems, and even draft a response for review, before handing off to a human agent (‘co-pilot’ mode)
- For the most complex tickets that require a human hand, the AI can summarize and route tickets to the most appropriate agent for the task
By leveraging the out-of-the-box Netomi virtual agent integration, companies enhance both the agent and customer experience, while also reducing costs. Other chatbots don’t sit natively within the agent desk, but with Netomi, virtual and human agents work alongside each other, creating an efficient and ultra-powerful customer service team.