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The Importance of Aligning Promise and Expectation

Customers expect consistency. If these expectations aren’t met, a hostile relationship can occur between a customer and brand. Meeting expectations consistently, across all platforms and channels is, therefore, key to driving trust and loyalty with customers.

Understanding Expectations

InMoment’s 2017 CX Trends Report highlights that brand and customer perceptions are beginning to align more closely in some areas, such as personalisation and feedback responses. However, it also reveals some significant disconnects. One such disconnect is that brands do not fully understand customer expectations, or the positive and negative emotions that can arise from meeting, or breaking, those expectations.

Our Trends Report shows that satisfaction tops the list of emotions customers associate with brands with which they feel most loyal. At the end of the day, customers aren’t asking for much – they want the brand’s promise to be delivered and, most importantly, they want to be satisfied.

Alignment

A company may have multiple platforms of communication with its customers. On a daily basis customers may interact with a company through different media channels, different devices and even through visiting brick and mortar locations. Whilst these channels are all different, customers conceive a company as a single entity. If they have a bad experience with one channel, this could impact their experience with the wider business. No matter how many channels a company has to communicate with its customers, if there is no alignment between these channels, the overall experience is diminished.

Before brands divert resources in an attempt to delight customers, they must master alignment of both promises and expectation. The key is in knowing what customers want from each brand touchpoint, using CX data, and ensuring the brand promise is being delivered accordingly.

In addition, with many companies looking to use customer experience as an important differentiator, getting every employee on the same page should be a top priority. Employee alignment is key in order for this to happen. Brands need to foster an environment where all employees are focussed on helping customers succeed if they are to create a consistent experience regardless of product, location, channel or platform.

Building trust with your customers

The ultimate goal of most companies is to build trust with customers (as trust can lead to loyalty). Trust, however, doesn’t just happen – it must be earned through a series of good experiences, over time.

Understanding customer expectations is just the starting point for most companies. Aligning the brand promise and messaging comes next. Then, and only then, can a company start to build customer trust.

About Author

James Bolle VP Head of Client Services EMEA

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