Customer expectations: How to know if you miss the mark

Sara Yonker


Customer expectations continue to rise. What customers would have begrudgingly gone along with years ago now can prompt them to look toward your competitors.

They want personalized experiences, exceptional service, and a friction-free customer journey.

You need to make sure you understand what your customers expect – no matter what products or services you sell. Then you must make sure you deliver on those expectations. 

Understanding customer expectations

What do your customers expect from you? Researchers dove into this question all across businesses to understand the shift in customer expectations. 

According to research from Salesforce, customers expect:

  • Customer centric connected journeys. This means they want to be able to reach out to you on any channel and have their needs met. 
  • Personalization: Customers want personalized offers. The research found that 66% of customers expect to be treated as an individual . However, the same percentage of respondents said they’re usually not treated that way. Using customer data to guide your customer support functions is one simple step that can help keep loyal customers. 
  • Innovation: Customers want digital initiatives and product developments. You can’t just sell them the same goods or services they bought for years without updates.
  • Data protection: Customers want to trust you – but often say they don’t. The Salesforce report found that only 48% of customers trust companies. Customers also said they don’t understand how companies use their personal information.

Why have customer expectations changed?


So where did these shifts begin? Researchers have pointed to technology innovations as a primary cause for the evolution of customer expectations. Customers face many options when deciding who to do business with. To attract and keep them, you need to ensure they have a positive customer experience. 

People got used to curbside service during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Everywhere from restaurants to pharmacies to retailers bolstered their online ordering capabilities and created mechanisms to bring customers their orders. Now, that became a standard service offering that many industries never dreamed of offering a few years ago. 

How do you know when you fail to meet customer expectations

Once you have a firm grip on your customers’ expectations, the next step is to make sure you’re meeting them.

If you’re missing the mark, how do you know? Short of navigating a major customer service crisis, it can be difficult to determine exactly where you fall short.

You can check for word of mouth on channels like social media as one step. To evaluate your customer feedback, you need a robust tool that works in conjunction with your customer experience strategy. 

That’s where conversation analytics comes into play. One of the many pieces of intelligence Tethr takes from your customer conversations focuses on frustration. Specifically, Tethr shows you what percentage of customers mentioned that you missed their expectations. Another metric shows you the percentage of customers that said your company broke promises – a more severe form of missed expectations.

What do you do once you realize you’ve failed to meet expectations?

Once you’re disappointed a customer, you need to recover. First, you need to repair the relationship with that customer. On a larger scale, you also need to prevent the same problem from recurring.

To do this, identify what areas you miss the mark. This is also something you can identify in Tethr, as well as all other causes for customer frustration.

Then, you’ll need to make business changes to proactively protect against those missed expectations. That can include better communication, clear product explanations, and omni channel customer support. 

Improve your CX strategy to improve brand loyalty 

You need a comprehensive strategy in place if you want to improve your customer experience. It often starts with understanding where you stand now – and knowing that by listening to customers.

Tethr can help you digest all the unmined intelligence from your customer conversations. Then, it distills it into simple pieces of information that make it easy to improve your business.

Want to know more? You can explore Tethr’s platform by signing up for a free trial or read about how one company revolutionized their CX department after implementing our solution.  

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