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Beware! Customer Expectations Never Go Backward

Beware! Customer Expectations Never Go Backward on Marketing Horizons featuring Jay Baer

Some changes are so subtle you don’t recognize them when they are happening, but then – BAM - you get a wake-up call. That is what our guest, Jay Baer, says about the customer experience. Today CX is all about how you make the customer feel and brands who succeed in the future will excel at understanding, meeting, and exceeding the expectations of their customers. Join us as Jay lays out the roadmap for what you should be doing now to meet the future needs of your customers. Jay is a marketing and customer experience expert and 7th-generation entrepreneur. He is the author of 6 best-selling business books and the founder of 5 multi-million dollar companies. His newsletter, is also chock full of tips and insights on the convergence of marketing+CX.

Ruth Stevens: How do you define customer experience, and why is it so important?

Jay Baer: There are dozens of definitions of customer experience which I guess is both good news and bad news. I think the easiest way to define it is, it's how you make your customers feel. Those feelings are driven entirely by what I like to call the expectation equation. There's no inherently good customer experience and there's no inherently bad customer experience — it's all driven by the expectations. Essentially customer experience is the difference between what you think will happen and what actually occurred.  The art of customer experience is the art of understanding, meeting and exceeding customer expectations.

Ruth Stevens: How do we possibly execute on customer experience when it’s not just a marketing function, it requires focus from all over the company and even business partners or others involved in the touch points around your product or service?

Jay Baer: It's a real challenge. There are hundreds of different decisions and circumstances that happened in your business every day that help dictate those customer expectations, and your ability to meet or exceed them right now can be challenging. For example, a lot of people have supply chain challenges. It’s not their fault at all, but the customer doesn't have their product so they're still unhappy. It doesn't matter whether it's a shipping issue or a manufacturing issue or any other kind of circumstance, the customer is still unhappy. It is a very difficult problem to solve ,and it's made more difficult by the fact that most customer experience work over the last couple of decades has been primarily rooted in attitudinal change. Most businesses are customer-focused, so to keep customer experience attitudinal doesn’t really help or make a difference to the organization. What matters is changing how you run your businesses to get a better customer experience. Customers care about three things. They want you to be quick, clear and kind.

Ruth Stevens: Customer expectation only rises over time. What can we do to meet it?

Jay Baer: Customer expectations never go backwards. There's an interesting statistic that 73% of customers change their expectations for all other businesses based on an experience with any given business. The Amazon effect is a great example of that. I can buy something from Amazon with one click and it’s at my house. I go to buy something else, and I’ve got to go through seven clicks to buy something. Why can Amazon do it and you can't? It’s like when you have kids and you mark their height in the door jamb with pencil. You don't really notice your children getting taller because you see them all the time, but when you look backwards, you're like wow two years ago the pencil mark was only here. Customer experience and customer expectations work the exact same way. In the moment we don't realize how much the expectations have ratcheted up until it does take five days to get a sweater and you're like this is unconscionable.

Key Takeaways/Three Little Piggies

  • We should focus on how we have made our customers feel. How we make our customers feel leads to measurable outcomes.
  • Customer experience is a process, not a project.
  • Marketing is being given the mandate to execute customer experience, and this can be a challenge.

Marketing Communications Today presents Horizons, it’s forward-thinking, looking ahead, through the front windshield and beyond, into the marketing future. Join Cyndi and Ruth bi-weekly for new ideas, technologies, tools and strategies that are emerging to help marketers navigate over the marketing horizon.

Meet our guest

Jay Baer

Jay Baer is a Hall of Fame keynote speaker who teaches business growth through customer experience and marketing innovation. He is also a popular virtual emcee and event host, New York Times bestselling author of six books, and founder of five, multi-million dollar companies.

Filled with real-world case studies and examples, Jay’s entertaining and engaging programs teach companies how to turn customer experience, customer service, and marketing into their biggest business growth advantage.

Jay has advised numerous iconic brands such as including Caterpillar, Nike, IBM, Allstate, The United Nations, and 32 of the FORTUNE 500. He is the Founder of Convince & Convert, a strategy consulting firm that owns the world’s #1 content marketing blog and the world’s top marketing podcast.

Known for his fun plaid suits, meeting planners can select the very suit Jay will wear to their event through his custom app!

Meet the hosts

Cyndi Greenglass

Cyndi W. Greenglass is a founding partner and president at Livingston Strategies, a data-informed, strategic consulting firm that helps clients develop, execute, and measure their customer communications with a close focus on results. Cyndi has razor-sharp strategic skills matched by impeccable on-the-ground savvy and tactical abilities. She is an Adjunct Instructor in the Data Marketing Communications online master's degree program from WVU.

Greenglass has twice been named into the Top 100 Influential BTB Marketers by Crain’s BtoB Magazine and was the 2012 CADM Chicago Direct Marketer of the Year. She is a member of the Board of Advisors for BRAND United and has taught, trained and presented at over 50 conferences throughout the world.

Ruth Stevens

Ruth P. Stevens consults on customer acquisition and retention, for business-to-business clients. Ruth serves on the boards of directors of the HIMMS Media Group, and the Business Information Industry Association. She is a trustee of Princeton-In-Asia, past chair of the Business-to-Business Council of the DMA, and past president of the Direct Marketing Club of New York.

Ruth was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing by Crain’s BtoB magazine, and one of 20 Women to Watch by the Sales Lead Management Association. She serves as a mentor to fledgling companies at the ERA business accelerator in New York City.

Interested in growing your career with a master's degree in Data, Digital or Integrated Marketing Communications? Request more information today!

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