Exceeding customer expectations: an online and offline perspective

Today’s competitive business environment is one of the reasons why companies have to put more effort into always having the customers in focus when conducting business. Research has shown that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer compared to keep a present one. In order for companies to keep their present customers as well as attracting new ones demands that they differentiate themselves from competitors and keep customers satisfied. Satisfying customers can be achieved not only by delivering to them the value they expect, but learning to exceed such expectations. The purpose of this study is to gain a deeper understanding of how companies handle customers, from an offline as well as online perspective, in order to exceed their expectations. To reach the stated purpose three research questions are stated on how companies are handling service, complaints, and value. To be able to answer the research questions, a qualitative approach was used with multiple case studies of the home- appliances retail chain stores ONOFF and El-Giganten in Sweden. In order to collect data, observations and interviews were used. Our findings show that long waiting times is a problem for companies and an issue which creates dissatisfaction, both offline and online. Regarding customer complaints we found that companies often use a standardized complaint process instead of treating every customer as an individual. Concerning the value provided to the customers, our main conclusion is that companies do not make the most of their websites. The Internet offers many possibilities which need to be recognized and utilized by companies in order to differentiate against competitors and exceed customer expectations. To summarize our findings within all research questions we concluded that service, complaints, and value are all connected to each other and, if handled right with the customers’ needs and wants in focus, customer expectations can be exceeded.

Customer service satisfaction can be a struggle for a business, consider a third-party logistics for your business’s  efficiency.

Source: Luleå University of Technology

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