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#CXDay: You Gotta Understand Expectations if You Wanna Meet Them

By Mandy Reed, Global Head of Marketing

Last week my neighbor sent me the image below with the caption: How to ruin Trick-or-Treat!

trick or treat

Is there anyone who has gone Trick-or-Treating who doesn’t remember that house that always gave a crappy “treat”? For me, it’s the woman who ran a little hair salon in her basement and always handed out combs – and insisted on chatting with each kid forrrr-ever, slowing you down from getting to all the houses with the good treats!

So, what’s wrong with handing out combs or mini salad bags on Halloween? Why do those kinds of treats get a bad rep? The problem is that they don’t meet the expectations of Trick-or-Treaters. If you are going house to house in your costume, you are expecting a sugary piece of candy, a salty snack, or a fun little toy or gadget. When the Trick-or-Treat experience doesn’t match with your expectation, you are left disappointed.

Today the world is celebrating CX Day, as we do on the first Tuesday of October every year. This celebration is an opportunity to recognize the professionals who create and deliver great customer experiences and to share insights into how to make our CX strategies better. It also happens to be the second day of Customer Service Week, which is fitting since customer service is an important piece of a customer’s experience.

Creating and successfully implementing a CX strategy that delivers consistently positive experiences is hard. It requires a team effort across the entire company. It requires the right processes and procedures. It requires properly integrated technologies. But most importantly, it requires a true understanding of your customers’ expectations.

Understanding the expectations of your customers has to be at the core of your CX strategy or you’re doomed to fail. Implementing the latest technologies, conducting training workshops for your employees, or launching cool new product updates can be great for your customer experience, but only when they are approached with your customers in mind. Defining customer expectations – of your digital tools, of your staff members, of your products – must always come first.

For most companies, the digital experience they provide has now become central to their overall CX. It can be tempting to think that throwing a new technology at a digital issue or pain point will provide a quick fix. Unfortunately, this approach often fails to resolve the underlying problem or creates an unnatural, frustrating, and disjointed interaction. The reality is that unless that technology is strategically selected and deployed, it can actually make the experience worse for customers.

Before you implement a CX technology, be sure you can:

  • Define how it will meet the expectations of your specific customer base.
  • Explain the ways it will improve the experience for customers and employees.
  • Identify your own internal expectations and goals for the solution, both short-term and long-term.

When it comes to CX, there’s no shortcut to success. You gotta understand your customers’ expectations if you wanna meet them.

That is why I always aim to give the Trick-or-Treaters who come through my neighborhood what they expect – and that means no mini salad bags at my house! In fact, this year my costumed visitors will be greeted by a big basket of fun rubber duckies, back by popular demand after overwhelming positive reviews last Halloween from kids of all ages.

This CX Day, ask yourself: Does my business really understand our customers’ expectations?