Customers come in all shapes and sizes and your customers are not my customers. That’s why I get frustrated when businesses want to "benchmark" their customer service against the guy down the street. Customers have different expectations of different businesses. A business-to-business company has different customer expectations than a consumer retail business.
You never know what people want or expect:
- Sara (who loves dogs) doesn’t want to talk to a human being.
- Laura would rather scrounge the retail aisle rather than buy the pre-packaged school supplies for her kid.
- Kathleen expects VFW posts to have medallions in the sidewalk outside.
- Sean expects companies to provide the best product or service possible.
- Matt expects Holiday Inn Express to let him have a cinnamon roll at 6 a.m, even though the breakfast isn’t scheduled to be served until 6:30.
You never know about people. That’s why it’s not a good idea not to assume anything about your customers. It is a good idea to get to know your own customers. Ask your customers what they expect. Find out what a "typical" customer of your business looks like, what they feel, and what they think. Perhaps a customer in one part of the country (or world) is very different from a customer in another part.
Only by getting good intelligence can you begin to make tactical business decisions that will position you to successfully satisfy your customers. And your customers’ satisfaction is what’s profitably important.