Return on Behavior Magazine
Home for marketing and customer service professionals



Customer Experience

September 26th, 2009

Customer Expectations vs. Customer Needs

The first rule of stellar service delivery is: Service is all about expectations..

You buy a product; you expect it to work the first time. You go to a discount supplier, you expect the quality to be less than the high end dealer, but you still expect what you buy to work, first time every time. When it comes to products, expectations are pretty clear. People expect a good quality product based on the price they are willing to pay for it. When it comes to service, expectations can get a little fuzzy. When a customer begins a relationship with you he or she already has a specific set of expectations. These expectations are based on their perceptions of you, your company and your industry. They are formed through personal past experience, and the experience of others with whom the customer interacts.

Consider the last time you went into a self-service gas station. What did you expect? Other than the pump to be working, not much else right? After all - you are doing all the work. You have the opportunity to Satisfy, Dissatisfy or Impress-and two of these are bad. Delivering below expectations is obviously bad, but in the context of creating loyalty, so is simply satisfying customers, because they are getting nothing more or less than they expect.

If it exceeds your expectations, you’re impressed, and If the service you receive meets your expectations you are satisfied.

If it is below your expectations…well, you know. Creating customer value and loyalty comes from consistently exceeding expectations.


About the Author

Ray Miller

Ray Miller is Managing Partner of The Training Bank,  a Training and Consulting firm specializing in Customer Focus, Service Improvement, Leadership and fully customized training solutions. He is author of the book That's Customer Focus and The Customer Focus Companion. Ray is also known for his highly effective training programs; Customers Forever, Customer Focused Leadership and The Wow Factor.

You can get more information about our books and training programs by visiting our website www.thetrainingbank.com

How customer focused are you? 

We have a great online assessment that might be very interesting for you in completing. It's Called How Customer Focused Are You? This free online assessment helps you to determine your current level of customer Focus. If you think this is something of interest, please let us know and we will provide details.  

Send Ray Miller an Email






 
 

 

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