Don't disappoint your online customers

Jun 29 2012 by Andy Hanselman Print This Article

If customers tweet about your business they expect a response. And guess what – they're not getting one! The result is customer disappointment.

A new report from Maritz Research has underlined both the increasing expectations of customers who make a comment about a business on social media and the challenges facing businesses when it comes to meeting these expectations. It suggests that half (51%) of people who make a complaint on line expect a response, but more than eight out of 10 (85%) have never received one.

Perhaps in the past (a few months ago!), you could have delighted customers simply by responding on-line. In doing so, you would have delivered a great experience that exceeded their (relatively) low expectations.

Not any more. Expectations have risen and responding on-line is now expected. But real customer delight is only likely to come from a speedy and / or a very personalised response to online comments, one with a little extra something to wow the customer.

The report highlights the fact that providing feedback makes people feel good. When asked how they felt about receiving a public response from a brand, more than a quarter (27%) said they were delighted and a further six out of 10 (58%) said they were very or somewhat happy.

Younger people were more likely to prefer public feedback via the likes of Facebook or Twitter, while older age groups prefer more traditional, direct contact.

Not responding at all means that they receive a poor experience in relation to their expectations and as a result are disappointed. Failing to respond to this disappointment means they become disaffected – they walk away, tell others and ignore your marketing messages.

The challenge for any business today is to be aware of, and respond to these increasing expectations and get ready to deal with disappointment (find out how to do that here. Even better, try to exceed them and create delighted customers. Then do it consistently to create devoted customers (at least, until their expectations rise again).

Devoted customers are those who have high expectations of you and who consistently get a great experience (and that's 'great' as defined by your customers by the way). They are the ones who come back for more and tell others, and clearly its getting more difficult to do.

So, what are you doing to track, respond to, and exceed your customer expectations? If you don't know, this is a good place to start.

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About The Author

Andy Hanselman
Andy Hanselman

Andy Hanselman helps businesses and their people think in 3D. That means being Dramatically and Demonstrably Different. An expert on business competitiveness, he has spent well over 20 years researching, working with, and learning from, successful fast growth businesses. His latest book, The 7 Characteristics of 3D Businesses, reveals how businesses can get ahead, and stay ahead of their competitors.