Setting Customer Expectations: One Small Moment At A Time

Your customers aren’t just customers of your brand. They’re customers of many brands, products, and experiences. Every interaction they have, with your brand and others, helps set expectations.

Smart leaders understand that each moment builds the journey. So they invest in understanding and delivering on customer expectations for every step of that journey.

Understanding the Customer Decision Journey

Your customers are constantly making decisions to move forward or not, based on factors like having enough information to feel secure. They need to feel confidence in both the next step and about the brand. People make decisions based on both hard facts and emotions.

An emotion like delight drives a customer further in their journey. A feeling such as doubt will create a reconsideration of moving ahead, possibly abandoning the experience. Delight can be created by simple considerations like letting the customer know what’s ahead. 73% of customers 1 decide how they will pay BEFORE checkout, so letting them know their options well in advance can create both delight and a feeling of security in moving forward. It’s a small moment that matters.

Personalized Shopping Moments

Each moment builds on the next. A customer receiving a personalized greeting or a friendly “welcome back” will feel recognized and welcomed. Personalized product recommendations feel convenient and relevant, building on that feeling of “they know me.”

Those judgments create contrast for other experiences. If one site feels easy and fun, it makes a different one feel hard to navigate. Every interaction is really a comparison to the best experiences they’ve had. That’s what sets their expectations.

And today’s customers want MORE. They want more choice in both product offerings and how to shop. They want easier ways to find what they want and how to pay for it.

How can your brand stay ahead of these rising expectations? It’s time to think in moments!

These moments start early and each step counts. Consider all the choices a customer makes when finding, shopping, and buying a product.

First, your customer doesn’t know you yet. They might not be aware of your brand, or your products. Perhaps they’re researching online, or maybe something catches their attention as they scroll through their favorite social media. They feel excited to find something they’re seeking or even finding a product they didn’t know existed.

Next, they have to research and select what they want. First impressions are great, but customers today are savvy. They want to compare prices, product features, delivery times, and yes, payment options, too. Every step helps confirm a decision.

Each step along the way, from exploring product choices to delivery time, is a chance for a customer to feel emotions like excitement, relief, or hesitation. It’s up to brands to reinforce and reassure their customers with easy options and clear, trusted methods for payment and delivery.

A striking coral raincoat catches their eye. They didn’t know they needed it, but now they do!

That beautiful coral raincoat might just look beautiful in the photo. Your customer wants details. How long are the sleeves? What is the material? Can I throw it in the wash? Today’s customer seeks out details as they shop.

And then the big moment. A decision is made and that coral raincoat will be theirs! Into the cart it goes. Easy as a click. Moment by moment they are building trust with your brand.

But first, there’s a moment to consider - what if it isn’t quite right? What’s the return policy and is it free? Can I trust this brand enough to buy? Will this be delivered promptly?

Reassure your customer in these moments of questioning. Customers want to know what comes next. Before they checkout, they want to know about the return policy, the payment options, and delivery estimates.

It’s easy to overwhelm the customer. Make it simple by following best practices like asking only for the essentials - payment, billing, and shipping information - one step at a time. Or simple adjustments, like increasing the size and contrast of your Call-to-Action buttons, can boost conversion rates because it’s easier for the customer. (For all 10 ways to help drive conversion, check out the E-book!)

Each moment matters. When checkout is a simple, familiar, and trusted process, it feels like the right next step in the journey.

Your customer sees the trusted PayPal logo and knows this is a safer, easy way to checkout. They are happy to see they have choices here during the payment process, too! Buy Now, Pay Later is a great option for a beautiful coat. And because it’s PayPal, this customer is less likely to hesitate.

Today’s customer is looking for more in each moment. Look for ways to reinforce and reassure customers along each step. You can deliver that trusted experience with PayPal.

Article sponsored by PayPal

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