Customer expectations: once set, you may not take them away

by Ashvini on June 4, 2012 · 4 comments

in My Personal Thoughts

Employees leave and go to work at other places. That means that they also take a certain amount of certainty that your customer expects from you.

Customer Expectations

A new employee may take old employee’s place. However what cannot be totally replaced is the fact that the customer has developed a certain way of dealing with your organization. If you go at a restaurant often, you will probably know how the restaurant works.You know what you like or dislike about it. You make an assumption and then go with it.

Unfortunately things don’t stay the same. A new employee who has replaced old one is probably not aware of the routine that you are used to. You may thus feel a loss of connection to the place . People often complain about a shop or restaurant “the place is not like before”. The situation may lead to business losses. A long time customer may  now be thinking of moving to someplace else.

These are following ways to handle this

1. Do not provide any special experience  at the start itself. ( A recipe for business downfall)

2. Provide good services. By doing this you have set the bar for yourself.You may never be able to go back on reducing any experience without losing customer’s confidence.

3. Whenever an employee who is in-charge of customer care is about to leave, the one replacing him needs to be trained to take his place. The transition needs to be seamless.

Hotels in India in the time of recession , cut down on complimentary breakfast for customer staying with them.  As a result cost conscious public started avoiding breakfast preferring breakfast in room or completely skipping it. On the downside,the customers never learned about restaurant in hotels. The hotels lost on the revenue and customers lost on hotel experience.

Customers do not like the shock of loss of good experiences they are familiar with , even in times of recession. Once you have set the bar you have to keep it that way. If you cannot do that for any reason, you have to be prepared for dealing with unpleasant outcomes. If you wonder why passengers hate airlines with full gusto, you know the reason now.

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Aswani June 10, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Hi Ashvini…interesting post. Well, I have had the same experience in the past but mostly with the tiffin centers from where I used to get my lunch and dinner both. Initially, everything appeared good but all of a sudden, there was a severe degradation in the quality expected. This has been very common with most of the tiffin centers/mess. Finally, I had no other options left other than to look for the alternatives. I think my experience could be related to any other experience which a person may face with any other service. In the end…it affects both, the customer as well as the service provider..!

Ashvini Kumar Saxena June 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Hi Aswani,
Service degradation may often be the result of good business success(ironically). Businesses feel that upon success, they can take customers for granted. However the moment customer finds a better option, he switches over provided the original business provider was really bad. It takes a lot to move from one business to another and customer will take the decision after experiencing a lot of pain.
The key point is never to ignore the customer.
Thanks for your comment :)

Steve Hippel June 5, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Hi Ashvini.
Well I’m glad to say that it has been a while since I had to worry about employees. I used to own a medium sized business in South East England and we employed several people. Running your staff is definately one of the harder parts of being self employed.

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