Are You Reprogramming Your Customers’ Expectations?


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Tuesday’s decline marked the Dow’s largest percentage drop since October 1987 and the second-biggest point drop ever. As a result of market downturns many financial advisers are trying to “reprogram” their clients. Reprogramming occurs when the advisor is able to reshape their client’s attitude as it relates to risk and return. The process also involves a refocus on “need, not greed.” It’s not easy though because the big question on the mind of every investor is: “Will I end up with enough money to meet my needs and desires?” In short, closing the gap between what we need and what we desire has always been a challenge.

When it comes to customer satisfaction, how much is enough? You want to beat your competition by delivering an experience that exceeds your customer’s expectations – but what about reprogramming your customer engagement model? You know, just lower the expectation bar. After all, with the financial markets in the tank who can still afford to be thinking in terms of customer delight? OK, I’m not really suggesting that you lower the bar, but let’s take a quick look at a challenging situation. In the software industry a complaint regarding the application is sometimes added to the list of “feature requests” to be included in some future release of the software. If a software company has one release per year the opportunity to resolve the complaint can take 12 months – or longer, depending on the priority assigned to the issue. When the recovery to a feature request is months (or years) away it’s easy to see why end users get frustrated with this type of reprogramming process. The concept of quality customer experiences as it relates to innovation within the software industry is a challenge because software users expect applications to continuously evolve to meet their ever changing needs and desires. On the other hand, software development faces constraints around three factors – generally known as the iron triangle:

* Scope (features and functionality)

* Schedule (time)

* Resources (cost and budget)

A common concept within the project management community states that of the three factors of resources, schedule, and scope at least one must vary, otherwise quality will suffer. In today’s market you may feel like you are facing constraints around all three factors. Which means that if you deliver at all, your product is likely to be late, over budget, and of low quality due to shortcuts took during development. To avoid that situation the secret is to understand your specific constraints, identify which factors can vary, and then act accordingly.

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Alan See
Alan See is Principal and Chief Marketing Officer of CMO Temps, LLC. He is the American Marketing Association Marketer of the Year for Content Marketing and recognized as one of the "Top 50 Most Influential CMO's on Social Media" by Forbes. Alan is an active blogger and frequent presenter on topics that help organizations develop marketing strategies and sales initiatives to power profitable growth. Alan holds BBA and MBA degrees from Abilene Christian University.


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