Expectations vs Experience

So far, we’ve discussed the importance of meeting the ‘customer need’ if we want a high-quality product or service.  We’ve also touched on customer expectations, so let’s explore that a little further.

The customer expectation tends to be based on a combination of many factors: marketing, prior experience, price, brand, other customer reviews, etc.  Brand and marketing are two we haven’t touched on yet, but are quite important.

Think of a major car manufacturer, such as Porsche.  If you heard they were bringing out a new vehicle, what would your expectation of that vehicle be?  Fast?  Expensive?  Reliable?  Your perception of the brand will influence your answers, but they’re already setting your expectation, even with no information on the new vehicle itself. 

Similarly marketing can have a major impact on customer expectations (as it should really, it is one of the purposes of marketing).  However, if the marketing oversells the product/service, then the customer will be disappointed, even if the product is excellent for what it is.  Therefore, if we want happy customer experiences, organisations need to ensure marketing is realistic otherwise they risk setting themselves up for a fall.

So, the two main tasks an organisation needs to manage are:

  • Understand what your customer needs and expects
  • Ensure your organisation can deliver that expectation