Managing Customer Expectations During A Time Of Change

Sign that says time for change

Maybe your company is updating its branding. Maybe the entire world’s economy has to pivot because of a worldwide challenge. Regardless of the cause, your company is facing changes. Change can lead to innovation and improvement, but for your business to thrive while everything is up in the air, you’ve got to focus on managing customer expectations. 

So how do you manage a customer’s expectations? It all starts with fast, convenient communication. You need a channel that will empower you to answer customer questions quickly, relay operations updates in a flash, and automate simple, repetitive (yet important) tasks. Business SMS is an effective option. 

But before we can answer the question how do you manage a customer’s expectations, you need to understand the importance of managing customer expectations. 

The Importance Of Managing Customer Expectations

Customers—especially those who are loyal to your company or know your business by reputation—have certain expectations when they order from you. If those expectations aren’t met, they may have a negative experience. Negative experiences can lead to negative reviews and fewer word-of-mouth recommendations.

If you can do a good job of managing customer expectations, you can prime your customers to expect exactly the level of service that you are able to give at the moment. This is particularly important during a time of change, when almost all of your operations might be different from usual. 

Now that you understand the importance of managing customer expectations, let’s dive in. Read on to learn how you can use business SMS for managing customer expectations during a time of change. 

Step 1: Answer Questions Quickly

If your region is experiencing a stay at home order, you need to ensure customers feel confident that your business is operating. They also need to know what changes you have implemented. To begin with, you can expect a lot of incoming customer questions. Prioritize answering these questions as quickly as you can. 

First, set up an auto reply for all incoming messages—not just those arriving after hours. Your auto reply should outline any recent changes, current operating hours, and expected response times. This auto reply might answer many of the questions your customers were going to ask in the first place, saving your team much-needed time. 

Answer customer questions as soon as your team is able. Since you’re using business SMS, you’ll be able to resolve queries quickly. Business SMS has an open rate of 98%, response rate of 45%, and average response time of 90 seconds. As soon as you text your customers back, they’ll be likely to respond within minutes. 

Step 2: Send Regular Business Updates

You don’t just want to share business updates with customers who text in. Be sure to proactively connect with loyal customers who might have assumed that you are operating as usual. This is a great path to managing customer expectations for all of your customers. 

Each time you make a new change to your business, create a template and send your list of opted-in customers the update. Let them know about new:

  • Business hours
  • Operations changes
  • Policies
  • Products or services

Be sure to emphasize what has remained the same to provide a sense of normalcy. For example, an update template might look like this:

Hello, {{first name}}, this is Jenine’s Books here. We’re still fulfilling online orders as per usual, but we’ve added a free local pick-up option! Just select “free pick-up” and a time that works when placing your order. 

Step 3: Communicate Quickly Regarding Orders

During a worldwide challenge like COVID-19, managing woman in grey managing customer expectationscustomer expectations regarding orders can be difficult. Customers are used to prompt shipping and fast deliveries. However, if the entire world is experiencing change, deliveries simply will not be that predictable. 

With business SMS, you can keep customers informed as they wait for their deliveries. You’ll want to send texts:

After Purchases

Be sure to confirm orders immediately. Text a templated message that restates the order number and contents, plus the expected delivery or pickup dates/times. This is a great place to let customers know about potential limitations or delays. 

Post-Shipping

Customers are often eager to know when their product or service is on the way. Send a text letting customers know when your product has shipped or your service is ready. This will set their minds at ease and decrease the amount of questions you receive in your inbox. 

During Delays

In any time of change, unexpected delays might arise. Whether they are due to internal challenges or external holdups, it’s important to let customers know where their order is, and what you expect the new delivery date to be. Customers should never be left guessing. 

Right After Delivery

Sometimes customers don’t know to check their front porches or mailboxes until you let them know their products are delivered. It’s critical that they know as soon as your product has been delivered so they can get it safe inside. Business SMS is the best way to catch their attention immediately. During times of change, like when orders might have increased worldwide, bad actors know to be on the lookout for packages. 

A Week After Delivery

Reviews are more important than ever before. Fresh reviews will reflect how well your business is responding to the current challenge. Use business SMS to send your review requests. Reviewers might mention your responsiveness and willingness to communicate clearly—encouraging more people to place orders. 

Managing customer expectations for deliveries can take a little extra effort. With business SMS, it shouldn’t take much extra time—and will leave your customers pleased about your business continuity. 

 

Still asking how do you manage a customer’s expectations? Read this blog post about managing customer expectations with business SMS.

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