Ever Wonder Why Customer Expectations Rise?

Posted on by in Business, Customer Service, Remarkability

I was working on a chapter of my new book entitled, "Make it Remarkable: How to Turn Anything You’re Doing from Ordinary to Extraordinary," when it dawned on me that some of you may have wrestled with the above question before.  So, here’s a sample of a part of section one on Why Remarkable Matters that answers that question.

    "Have you ever noticed that customer expectations rarely remain constant; instead, they tend to rise.  Have you ever wondered why?  Well, one reason is because, as holistic beings, we don’t completely compartmentalize our lives.  When we have a good experience in one area of our lives, we tend to bring that over into other areas of our lives as well.

    For example, chances are you’ve probably rented a car at an airport in the past year.  If you have, then you know that most car rental companies have automated the majority of their procedures—including checking in your car.  You simply drive into the parking lot, and while you’re unloading your baggage, they complete the check in right there at your car so that by the time your bags are out, you’re ready to get on the shuttle bus to the airport (i.e. no more having to go back into the building, waiting in line again and then answering some additional questions before getting on the shuttle). It’s all very quick, easy and painless.  And it’s all been made possible by technology (software, hardware and wireless).

    So, what do you do with that knowledge and experience?  You take it with you. And the next time you’re at a store and you have to give them all of your information again, what do you do?  You get ticked off at them.  The next time you have to get back in line for something, you get ticked off.  The next time you’re online and the website doesn’t have your information on file, you get peeved. Why?  Because you think, “If my rental car company can do this, certainly they can do this as well!”

    This goes hand in hand with the experience economy principle.  Your customers/clients have probably gone to Disney, they’ve been on a high-speed internet line, they’ve gone to a great restaurant, they’ve stayed at a Westin, they’ve had Starbucks, they’ve listened to great music (whatever their preference is), they’ve used iTunes, they’ve ordered from Amazon, they’ve shipped and tracked with FedEx, etc.  None of those experiences have left them. In other words, they know what remarkable looks like.

    So if your products and services aren’t remarkable, if you don’t exceed your customer’s expectations, what are your customers going to do? Exactly, they’re going to check out one of your competitors and see if their offerings will meet and exceed their expectations. In other words, unless you’re remarkable, there is no loyalty.

    In addition, since we’re all hard-wired for self-centeredness (i.e. we all listen to WIIFM—What’s In It For Me?), it’s incredibly difficult to create customer loyalty for anyone concerning anything?  Why?  Because everyone is always looking out for what is best for them.  And if someone else can offer them more value for a better price in a more attractive form, why would they remain loyal?

    The only way to really create long-term brand loyalty is to make sure you so continuously delight your customers with an ever-expanding and improving set of new and remarkably better products and services such that your customers will be forced to remain faithful—or accept inferior products and services from other competitors. Which means that if you want to create an incredible financial future, you’ll want to make a lifelong commitment to remarkability."

I hope that helps.  If what you offer isn’t remarkable, you’re in trouble because your customers already know what remarkable looks like!

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One Response to “Ever Wonder Why Customer Expectations Rise?”

  1. Larry T 10 December 2005 at 11:51 am #

    I understand where you are coming from. Two years ago I won a radio contest to pick seven songs to be played and have my business get a plug. The contest now includes a “nice” prize. I won again this Friday and hustled down to claim my prize. My “Christmas Stocking full of CD’s” turned out to be three CD’s. No stocking. I got in my truck and looked at my winnings. Two of the three were used, one even had property of record label stamped on the jewel case. I was happy two years ago just to get the plug. My expectations were increased this time only to be underwhelmed with the results.

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