Do your salespeople meet or exceed your customer’s expectations? And what happens after a sale is made? Does your level of service and delivery impress or disappoint your customers?
What creates an unhappy customer?
Let’s consider an example just about anyone can relate to. Have you ever seen (or been) an irate customer in a restaurant?
What are the common complaints that customers have in higher-end restaurants? Things like a steak that is not cooked to order or a server who has no idea what the day’s soups and specials are can really irritate restaurant patrons.
But what happens when the same customers eat at a fast food restaurant? Suddenly the same quality of food and service that was unacceptable at the high-end establishment is totally acceptable in a fast food setting.
The key lies in expectations. The customer doesn’t expect their food to be cooked to order in the fast food restaurant and they don’t expect the cashier to be anything more than an order taker.
The same is true for most any business – unmet expectations create unhappy customers.
So where do customers’ expectations come from?
Most often, customers form their expectations based on the organization’s marketing message.
It’s helpful to think of the customer’s interaction with your organization as a chain. First, they encounter your marketingpromise which quickly translates into an expectation for their sales and service experience with your organization.
If marketing’s role is to attract the right prospects, position a product or organization, promote awareness, and do so in the right places to attract qualified prospects at the right price point, it makes sense that those who are attracted should be treated in a way that is consistent with the marketing promise. That means that the sales and service effort need to be totally in synch with the marketing effort. If not, the results could be disastrous.