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Satisfaction is Based on Expectation: 7 Steps to Closing the Gap

Do you know what your customers expect when they walk into your location?

It’s a simple question, though for most the answer to that question can be quite difficult. That’s unfortunate because in many ways the level of success that a business can achieve is limited by how close they can get to truly delivering on those customer expectations.

I was listening to a radio presenter introducing singing sensation Adele recently, what he said stuck with me:

“There’s nothing quite like the feeling, when you’re listening to a song, written by someone you don’t know, who you’ve never met, who somehow manages to describe exactly how you felt at a particular moment in your life…”

What a wonderful introduction to a great artist, and in the context of business a simple yet lofty goal to strive for. As a business, is it possible to have such a deep understanding of your customers that you can create and deliver an experience so exceptional that it feels almost as though your store or restaurant was created solely for them? Segment leaders seem to be able to deliver experiences for their customers that are so in tune with expectations that the vendor/customer dynamic achieves an almost emotional level.

It’s this ability to separate oneself from the competitive pack with truly exceptional experiences that has started to put business leaders in all markets on notice. Products and services may become commodities, but fully satisfying a customer’s expectations can build a more robust level of loyalty. So the next question is how do I get there and where do I start?

When implementing CEM it’s important to think beyond simply the products and technology that will be in play, and look at what your brand is trying to accomplish from a programme standpoint.

I like to look at programme development in 7 steps:

1. Business success modeling

What do you really want to accomplish with the programme?

2. Questionnaire development

What are the right questions to be asking to gather the right data to make informed decisions?

3. Data acquisition

Gather customer feedback through whatever channels or technologies are most appropriate.

4. Report delivery

Report on the initial findings as a first phase of analysis.

5. Solution identification

Perform a deep dive analysis of what drives loyalty to your brand, and what factors can be adjusted to improve on this.

6. Solution implementation

Put the improvement plan into action.

7. Brand advocate mobilisation

Enable your best fans to share their great experiences.

Seven steps to help uncover the formula for delivering exactly what your customers are looking for.

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