Omega Blog

Understand customer expectations to earn loyalty

Posted on 22 August, 2013

When businesses expand into new regions, they are met with challenges that can limit customer satisfaction. The customers within various countries or regions often have different expectations for pricing, services, products and more, making existing customer experience strategies less effective.

This is exactly what has happened with Target, according to a survey by Forum Research. The U.S.-based company expanded into Canada five months ago with a significant amount of marketing geared at capturing the new audience's attention and generating a large, loyal following. Unfortunately, the company has failed when it comes to customer service. CBC reported that just 27 percent of Target's Canadian customers were very satisfied.

"It is interesting to see Target dropping the ball on customer satisfaction after the big entrance they made into the market," Forum Research president Lorne Bozinoff told the source.

Canadians have different expectations that American consumers, which forces U.S. businesses in every industry to develop new customer retention strategies when they expand north. The survey showed that it is possible for American companies to succeed in Canada. Costco, also a U.S.-based company, had the highest customer satisfaction score, with 62 percent of respondents saying they were very satisfied with their experiences.

As businesses expand into new areas, it is important that they understand their target audiences. Making assumptions that the customer base in a different geographical location has the same priorities and expectations as existing clients can lead to lost sales opportunities. This is even true in the B2B sector, where companies face different obstacles and have various requirements set by government regulations. Being able to adjust services or product features will allow organizations to deliver better customer service to a variety of audiences.

Conduct surveys to understand audience
Financial Planning stated that continually meeting customer expectations often contributed to stronger performance through increased sales and brand loyalty. To fully understand client expectations, the source recommends conducting regular surveys. Tracking performance is a simple way to ensure that employees are making the necessary improvements to boost satisfaction. However, the surveys should extend beyond a simple pulse check and delve into specific aspects of service to gain insight into what really works to enhance customer experiences.

Businesses that consistently exceed customer expectations for service and support may be eligible to receive Omega Management Group's NorthFace ScoreBoard AwardSM. This industry award establishes recipients as innovative leaders in achieving service excellence based solely on feedback from their own customers.