Exceeding expectations breeds retention

There are some aspects of customer service that consumers tend to take for granted.

There are some aspects of customer service that consumers tend to take for granted. For example, it should be a given that an employee will provide a lost customer with directions inside a store, or an article of clothing will be sufficiently refunded if the tag is still on and a receipt is provided.

However, according to Retail Customer Experience, customer satisfaction and loyalty is more likely when companies are able to exceed a person's expectations. That person may then spread the word about the exceptional service he or she received, increasing a store's overall traffic.

Because no one shopper is the same, it's important to set a goal to simply exceed every individual customer's expectations. These actions should not only differentiate a store's experience from that of its competitors, but also remain consistent over time. Customer Service Manager explains that businesses should try to establish differentiation in an area a competitor is deemed weak at.

RTE adds that stores shouldn't ask permission to wow customers. "Intent doesn't exceed a customer's expectations ... action does," the news source notes.

What stores should ask for, however, is feedback. CSM explains that offering to receive reviews on sites such as Yelp or Twitter allows a business to take responsibility. And when inquiries or complaints are sent, it's important to respond to requests in a timely manner.