Where Have Customer Expectations Gone? | Brand Education

Has a more educated and informed costumer translated into managed expectations? Or are customer expectations just being managed better by brands? We are in the information age, consumers know more about your restaurant brand, product or service before they even contemplate making a purchase decision.

The power of the internet offers both brands and the consumer advantages. By utilizing a Content Marketing strategy brands can share information about their product, service and their experience. When this is executed correctly, customers are more knowledgable and prepared thus limiting the number of poor customer experiences.

Two questions all brands needs to consider in the age of digital and the increased power of the individual consumer’s voice:

  1. Has the individual consumer’s voice and the power of expression made things better or worse for your brand?
  2. Are good brands the one’s that listen or the one’s that get it right the first time?
  • Are Your Customer’s Expectations Kept in Check?

    I was flying pleasantly on my favorite airline Southwest, when I read about a British Airways passenger so annoyed that he paid to promote a tweet complaining about the customer service. Wow, talk about the potential power of a pissed off customer.

  • Does the type of industry effect a customer expectation? If that’s the case is the food industry held to a higher standard? Have airline industry expectation fallen so low that a promoted complaint makes international news? Have expectations gotten to the point where all you care about is arriving along with your bags? Are consumers programmed to be comfortable with rising ticket prices, additional fees (on almost everything) and bad, sometimes even non-existent customer service?
  • Or just like Ryan Holmes CEO of Hootsuite suggests, “Will Social Media Help Kill Bad Customer Service?” Now with the power of instant, spreadable feedback from consumers, a customer has a platform to fight back for their rights.
  • The culture of Southwest Airlines has been built on respecting both their customers and their employees. No one is perfect, but @SouthwestAir has created a culture that matches its audience’s needs. If you only fly First Class then Southwest might not be for you. Unless you are comfortable with being part of the team, while being swept up by an infectious culture and brand experience. This is why Southwest is literally loved by their customers while others are despised.
  • Is there a brand in the restaurant industry that is equivalent to Southwest?
  • Casual dining is the largest growing sector in the restaurant industry. The challenge within this mid-tier dining experience is that there is fluctuation in service, food quality and atmosphere. Does the dining category or the cost define the experience? It is natural for customer expectations to be raised equally with higher menu prices. Should customer expectations always include higher quality food and a matching quality of customer service? 
  • All brands should be realistic and aware of how they are viewed in the eyes of the consumer, especially their target audience. Consider these marketing obstacles to overcome when marketing your restaurant brand. Keep in mind that your restaurant or marketing agency no longer completely controls your brand’s reputation. You and your staff need to be on point to deliver positive First Impressions.
  • Lesson? You better be paying attention to social media. It’s no longer a luxury to be active on social media, it’s a matter of how successful you can be on social media. While you are managing your customer’s expectations stay on top of what they are saying about you. You just might learn something important.   

Are your restaurant’s customer expectations in check?

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Stop and Listen. Your audience is talking to you. Human beings are emotional people. We do not see things in just black or white. There is often more to an