Customer Expectations – An ever evolving catalyst for innovation
While the fundamental concepts of customer service remain constant throughout the years, consumer expectations do not. Consumers today have high expectations from the brands which they regularly use. While the idea of customer expectations was previously limited to providing great service at a reasonable price, it has significantly evolved in recent times. These expectations can now include a variety of other elements and touchpoints that make customers feel as if the service has been customized to meet their needs.
Technology, like all other aspects of our lives, affects customer expectations too. Customers have been empowered by this new and emerging technology. They seem to have limitless access to information about the businesses they work with, as well as emerging channels via which they can communicate their thoughts with them.
In order to keep up with these changing expectations and demands, businesses feel the need to be constantly innovating their technical offerings. This might entail anything from creating new programmes to upgrading products’ looks or even just making your website more user-friendly. No matter what it is, technological innovation is essential to staying competitive and fulfilling customer expectations.
The Importance of Customer Expectations
As the world progresses, customer expectations progress with it. This is especially true in the generation of technology. In order to stay ahead of the curve, companies must always be innovating and pushing the boundaries to meet (and preferably exceed) customer expectations.
When it comes to technical innovation, customer expectations play a vital role. It is only through understanding what customers want and need that companies are able to develop products and services that meet those expectations. This process of constantly striving to improve based on feedback from customers is what drives progress and keeps businesses competitive. Simply put, without customers setting the bar, there would be no incentive for companies to keep advancing technologically.
Of course, meeting customer expectations is not always easy. With constantly increasing customer demands, it can be difficult to stay ahead and provide exactly what they want, even before they ask for it. But that’s the challenge all businesses need to overcome to stay relevant in today’s ever-changing times.
What happens when customer expectations are not met?
When customer expectations are not met, it can lead to a number of negative consequences. For one, customers may become disgruntled and may choose to take their business elsewhere. For instance, according to a report published by Beyond Identity, 49% of Android users who are contemplating switching to Apple are doing so because they believe Apple offers stronger security and privacy. This expectation of security is not met by Android for them. Similarly, with a lot of alternatives now present in the market, it is not hard for customers to consider switching to other options. In such a case, this can lead to a loss in revenue for the company.
Additionally, unmet customer expectations can also lead to further damage to the company’s reputation. These situations can often leave a bitter thought regarding the business in the customer’s head. In order to avoid these negative outcomes, it is important for companies to ensure that they are at least meeting the bare minimum customer expectations.
Technical Innovation in the Face of Customer Expectations
Evolving customer expectations directly affect the technology that businesses use to meet those expectations. Customers today expect an ever-increasing level of convenience, speed, and personalization from businesses. To meet these expectations, businesses must continuously develop themselves technically.
One area where technical innovation is particularly important is in the field of payments. Customers expect companies to accept their preferred payment methods because they want the flexibility to pay how and when they want. This has led to the development of new options like mobile payments and other contactless payments. As customers’ payment preferences change, they want businesses to adapt their payment systems accordingly.
Another area to witness this change is consumer tech products and services. Users today expect all their devices to be connected and in-sync. One big and commonly seen example here is the connectivity of laptops and smartphones to other devices like smart watches and earbuds. Consumers expect maximum productivity on these devices with a minimum effort to use a separate one.
It’s clear that customer expectations play a major role in shaping technical innovation. As customers demand more convenience, speed, and personalization from businesses, companies have to continue finding new ways to keep up with these.
By constantly improving their products and services, businesses can ensure that they are providing the best possible experience for their customers. This can lead to repeat customers and good word of mouth for businesses.
In addition, technical innovation can give businesses a competitive edge. A business is likely to be more successful if it can provide a better product or service than its competitors. Technical innovation is therefore crucial for companies that wish to keep one step ahead of the competition.
As customers’ expectations continue to rise, it is necessary for businesses to innovate in order to meet those demands. This has led to some of the most impressive technical achievements in recent years. When what customers want and what they get don’t align, the stakes for businesses that fall short are very high. To avoid this, businesses have to constantly innovate and evolve. And as that happens, we all get one step closer to a future where anything is possible.
(The author is Mr. Meet Vij, Co-founder, Lyne and the views expressed in this article are his own)