Customer expectations – what’s changed, what’s the same


Share on LinkedIn

Do you know your CX, then and now?

Basic human needs

We hear almost every day that customer expectations are changing. How tech and digital trends have shifted what we all experience every day, and hence changed what we expect. But has everything changed? In fact many basic human needs and desires are very constant, and have changed little over different cultures, locations and long periods of time. It follows that expectations based on those needs are also constant or slow to move.

So – what has changed and what has stayed the same? If you’re designing or delivering customer experiences, you probably need to have an answer. Based on our research over the last 10 years, here is our summary.

basic human needs 2

Basic Human Expectations – these types of statements still appear today in customer research and hence still appear in organisations’ customer value propositions or charters. But they go back a long way. We’ve seen them all for 10 years at least in our direct customer research, and yet they run much deeper – for example, had you run a market stall in ancient Rome, delivering on these would have made you successful. These elements of customer experience expectations aren’t moving that fast and aren’t likely to, because they are much about the basic needs of human relationships than about CX specifically.

The New Tech & Social Expectations – what’s changed or at least layered on top is the range of expectations resulting from connectedness and the intelligent use of data, and their consequent implications on lifestyle. I won’t labour the point because we’ve all heard it already – whether it’s the global leaders (like Apple, Google or LinkedIn), or the rising standards from almost all local service providers (like your telco, insurer, bank, government, etc), we are led to expect anticipation, speed, ease, personal fulfilment and we want even more. By contrast to the first set, these expectations are new, transient, and heavily dependent on technology and cultural trends.

They key point for CX professionals today? Whilst we must lead and innovate in the new expectations, we have to retain the ability to deliver core expectations too. Next time someone tells you that customer expectations are changing, make sure they know which ones!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Chris Severn
Co Founder and Director of The Customer Experience Company. Expert in Customer strategy, and delivery of customer improvements in service, sales and marketing, and across online, call centres and retail channels.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here