Does Your Organization Deliver Fantastic Customer Experiences?

In November, Daniel Lafrenière published an interesting book -- entitled Delivering Fantastic Customer Experience: How to Turn Customer Satisfaction Into Customer Relationships --
about what customers now expect from their service providers and the importance of developing loyalty.

When I spoke with Daniel this past month, I asked him: What has drastically changed regarding customer service and customer expectations?

Well, the world has changed… drastically!

Today’s customers are connected. They have access to information: product specifications, experts and people reviews, videos, etc. They can buy everything anywhere at anytime, without leaving the comfort of their home.

Gone are the days in which businesses could simply offer an "OK" experience and get away with it. Today’s customers have high expectations because they have experienced great service elsewhere. It is hard to drink cheap wine after tasting a great one! 

When customers like a brand, a product, the business culture, they can be amazing promoters. However, when they feel depressed, abandoned, confused, disappointed, exploited, frustrated, humiliated, ignored, incompetent, misunderstood, irritated, taken for granted, ridiculed, unjustly treated, treated like a number, or unpleasantly surprised, they can be severe critics and spread the word all over social media.

Studies have shown that people compare your company’s customer experience with those of others that are not necessarily your competitors, either in a brick-and-mortar store or online. They will not understand – nor care – why you are not able to offer a stellar frictionless customer experience similar to that of Apple, Amazon, Starbucks and Nespresso.

Customers want to feel welcomed, helped, appreciated, understood, heard, happy, important, cared for, reassured, acknowledged, respected, and pleasantly surprised.

They also want great products/services, information and added-value content, great advice, reviews from friends, lightning-fast checkouts and easy-peasy returns. Whether you are a small, medium or large company, customers expect a flawless experience, nothing less. And these business-to-consumer (B2C) expectations are now migrating to business-to-business (B2B).

Beware! It was said before that the customer was king. Today, the customer is God!

Do you agree with Daniel's perspective? How do you think customer expectations have changed during the past decade?