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Great expectations

It’s fair to say we’ve all become more demanding as customers. We expect brands to not only know what we like, but anticipate what we need. Often before we even realise it ourselves. It’s a challenge faced by both B2B and B2C businesses, and with a ‘growing gap between customer expectations and the ability of brands and products to meet them*’ one that simply can’t be ignored.

It’s far from all doom and gloom. Quite the opposite in fact. Brands that can meet these rising customer expectations will not only be rewarded with greater loyalty, they can also command a premium price. Nike is a perfect poster child, but it’s equally true of smaller local businesses too, for example housekeep.com have won numerous awards based on their excellent customer service.

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Protect your brand

Here are a few ways you can help ensure your brand meets and delivers on increasing customer expectations.

Avoid investment without intelligence – It seems obvious, but you’ll never meet customer expectations until you know what they are. So skip the assumptions and identify what your customers actually want – the results will often surprise.

Put your customer centre stage – This isn’t just a marketing challenge – it’s a business one. Does your delivery team really understand your customers’ needs? How about production? In today’s transparent world, simply having a good idea isn’t good enough. Everything has to tie together.

Stand for something – It’s essential to have a strong opinion on what drives your business. Do you want to make the world healthier? Help keep houses cleaner? Or simply make more people smile. If you have a clear purpose, it will be easier to define initiatives and deliver on customer expectations.

Stay hungry for feedback – A brand is no longer defined by what you tell consumers it is – it’s defined by what they tell you back. So embrace comments. Seek out opinions. And respond fast. It’s the quickest way to identify where improvements can be made.

*Source: Deloitte, 2018.

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