Expectations Modelling

In a previous post, I explained that one of the keys to providing a quality service is ensuring that customer expectations are met. I also explained that in order to meet expectations, an accurate understanding of what they are, based on research, is vital.

In this post I’d like to share with you a tool that we use to help organisations explore, set and meet customer expectations throughout the customer journey. Importantly, it’s a tool that can be used to zoom in on a particular activity or interaction and understand how effectively expectations are being communicated and delivered.

Focussing on activities this way is helpful because user expectations vary depending on which stage of interaction a user is at, in addition, expectations can be influenced by previous interactions and impact upon subsequent interactions.

As this example shows, expectations modelling involves exploring each expectation in turn and answering the following questions:

  • Does the organisation need to communicate this expectation to customers?
  • Is the organisation currently communicating in such a way that sets this expectation?
  • How is the organisation currently communicating this? (It could be that this expectation is being set at another point in the journey or through a variety of communication channels).
  • How should the organisation be communicating this? (It could be that the communication would be more effective at another point in the customer journey or through different communication channels.
  • Does the organisation need to deliver on this expectation? (They may not need to, or be able to due to business strategy, regulations etc, however, if a decision is taken to not meet a customer expectation there is still work to do in resetting that expectation so customers are not disappointed).
  • Is the organisation currently delivering in line with this expectation?
  • How are they currently delivering around this? (If the organisation is not currently meeting the expectation, describe how it is not met.)
  • How should they be delivering this to meet the expectation, or do they need to reset the expectation somehow? (This recommendation could include process and resourcing changes, for example, that need to be made to allow the organisation to deliver in line with customer expectations.)

Want help understand your customers’ expectations and how you can best deliver on them? We would love to help you.

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About Bunnyfoot

We are psychologists, interaction and design experts, researchers, usability specialists. We cover Web, software, mobile, print, service design and more.
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