So that your business can continue to chug along for the foreseeable future, you undoubtedly know that meeting the expectations of your customers is crucial.

That said you also know that some customers can prove quite fickle.

As the New Year unfolds, how confident do you feel that you are making your customers as happy as possible?

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In the event you are not doing what they ask (directly or indirectly) of you, you could see some of them head over to your competition. If that happens, your ability to continue growing your revenue stream could become murkier.

So, are you ready to meet (and hopefully exceed) customer expectations now and as far down the road as possible?

Going Out Of Your Way

So that you can say you are doing everything possible to meet customer expectations, remember these four pointers:

  1. Plan – First and foremost, having an effective plan in place to meet customer needs is essential. That plan can be drawn up in a number of ways, notably with input from the customers themselves. For example, do you make selling to customers easier than what the competition does? If not, you are setting yourself and your company up for trouble. For instance, millions of today’s consumers want their products and services sold and delivered yesterday, not today or tomorrow. That said part of your business plan should include mobile marketing, specifically selling goods and services to consumers over their mobile devices. If you’re a little slow to the dance when it comes to this, invest some time and money into mobile marketing this year and beyond. Be sure to allow it so customers can buy goods and services from you not only in your physical place of business and/or online, but also when you are out and about in public. There is no reason not to sell your items when you attend trade shows, community events etc. if at all possible;
  2. Service – If anyone ever tells you that customer service is not that big of a deal, don’t take them seriously. Think of your own experiences as a customer and how you like to be treated when you are out browsing and ultimately purchasing goods and services. You want to be treated like you’re special, so make sure you do likewise with your customers. Taking just a little extra time to make sure their browsing and buying experiences (see more below) were positive ones is important.

Is Customer Security a Top Priority?

  1. Security – Making sure customer security is a top priority for your business is also something you can’t overlook. For example, if you run an Ecommerce site, you should be checking it regularly to make sure it is as secure as possible. The bottom line is that cyber-criminals would like nothing more than to crack your site, giving them access to customer financial data etc. If they are successful at doing so, the trust many of your customers have in you can be eroded away in no time at all. Not only can that trust be gone, the money many of those customers have been spending with you can dry up rather quickly;
  2. Feedback – Finally, encourage customers to give you feedback on how you’re doing in trying to meet expectations. One of the ways to go about this is by offering them some incentives to do just that. For instance, you can ask them to respond to a short online survey about their experiences with you each and every time they purchase a product or service. In doing so, make them eligible for a discount on their next purchase. Not only does this give you the information you need to improve (if necessary) your services, but it encourages the customer to continue doing business with you. Before long, you have a well-established relationship that can bring you regular revenue.

Meeting customer expectations isn’t always easy, but it is a requirement if you want to keep an “open for business” sign up and around for many years to come.

As a business owner, what are you doing to meet customer expectations?