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The Importance of Customer Expectations
Customer expectations are a key ingredient to the success or failure of a business or organization. To begin it is important to identify who is a customer. A customer is an individual or organization who buys a product or service in the typical sense from a company or organization. In the non-traditional sense a customer in an organization or business is one department supplying a product or service to another which eventually becomes a final product for sale.
Customer expectations in the true sense may be difficult to determine in some respects while in others it is not so difficult. Market trends can play a role in determining customer expectations by the type of products or services individuals buy. Those businesses or organizations who can supply that need or desire accurately will be successful if they have a quality product and provide a quality service.
Customer expectations can also be determined somewhat by the reaction individuals have if they cannot find a product with their specifications and/or price located either online or a physical business location. The interaction between a customer service department and their analysis of what a customer wants or needs can also have an impact. If they either do not understand or do not pay attention to statements made by customers, the opportunity to fill that need may or will be lost by the organization for which they work.
Within a business or organizational environment the aspect of customer expectations can be more easily identified. An example which best suits this aspect is a manufacturing environment. There are various functions and processes involved in creating a finished product for sale. Each has their own function and responsibilities. The expectation from one department to another is that they expect the material they are receiving from another department to meet the specific requirements as defined by the product specifications for their function or process.
In a business environment we all have responsibilities in terms of our job duties. We typically interact with other workers and functions even in our own department. When we interact with others our customers and their expectations are the individuals are the ones who expect certain responses in relation to our responsibilities. Another aspect of customer expectations though it is not widely recognized is the fact that our supervisors are our customers who have certain customer expectations. Both of the scenarios in this paragraph are not widely recognized as such but they are in fact customer expectations.
In the beginning I mentioned that it is important to know what your customer expectations are so your business or you as an individual can be successful. Having the right process in place to determine how to obtain the customer expectations for your product or service can be critical for your success or failure. As an individual in a work environment it is easy to know what the expectations are for your specific job function as it is typically identified in your job description. Knowing what is expected of you as an individual is a plus in meeting the expectations of those who are your customers. Success in any respect or environment will be determined by the successful identification of customer expectations and the ability to supply them.