Despite Customer Experience Measurement processes, Net Promoter Scores, and Customer Satisfaction Surveys, there are several customer service and experience needs that remain unsaid. Marketers and service professionals alike are often baffled when research reports look great but don’t translate to sales. Could it be that we are failing to uncover the unsaid expectations?

As any relationship that needs effort, attention, and an eye for unsaid expectations, so does the brand-customer relationship. It is 2018, the signs are everywhere if you look closely and read between the lines. Here are some of them:

1) We are people, not ‘data’
The primary premise of marketing and service automation is to club customers in generic brackets and broad strokes of data. However, every customer is different and brings an entirely different set of expectation depending on his or her background, conditioning, culture, and other relevant demographics. While standard operating procedures and scripts are all great, they are not a speck on authentic, human-to-human conversation and the art and science of it. This is what brands’ frontlines must take most seriously in order to build a culture of service excellence. Eventually, it’s these conversations that will matter, whether they happen offline or on social media.

2) We demand responsiveness and a sense of urgency
We live in the times of instant gratification. A few years ago, 24 hours was a good timeline to respond to customer queries. Now though, the expectation is different. So whether you get a question on Twitter, an email enquiry, or a call at your service centre, brands need to be able to respond in real time. Even if they don’t have the answers, a quick response to set a timeline and acknowledge the communication is more important now than it has ever been before.

3) We expect you to anticipate our questions
Most digital natives believe in finding answers on their own rather than make that call or send that email or tweet. They expect brands to use digital media to make resources like purchase guides, terms and conditions, troubleshooting guides, and FAQs easily available and reduce the dependence on making that trip to the store or that call to customer care.

4) We switch brands quite easily
Millennials form one of the largest, most influential consumer groups for today’s brands. Born and raised in times of more choice, in brands as well as in life, millennials switch brands more easily than previous generations. This makes customer experience even more crucial, because one error and customers might be out of the door sooner than you realize.

Proactively listening to consumers and drawing big picture inferences from relatively small insights has never been more important for brands, or even more convenient. From social listening to generational studies, from mystery shopping to real time feedback tools, the options are yours for the taking. All you need is to be willing to hear more than what has been said and adapt purposefully and more importantly, quickly.