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The key to managing customer expectations in times of uncertainty

At a time of steep pricing hikes and supply chain issues, how are consumers managing? Today on Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome back Jeff Shore, sales trainer, keynote speaker, author, and founder of Shore Consulting, to discuss consumer behavior and customer satisfaction.

Early on in the pandemic, consumers were very patient with businesses about delays and shipping issues. However, now that patience is wearing thin. According to Shore, customer experience scores are declining across the board partially out of consumer frustration and lack of communication from suppliers.

From Shore’s perspective, consumers are losing patience because they feel victimized by current market conditions like higher prices, inflation, lack of product availability, and long delays among other things. 

“It’s human nature,” says Shore. “When we feel like we’re a victim, then we look for a villain.”

The tension between consumers and retailers often boils down to a lack of transparency. Customers simply want what they want, and retailers have to communicate with them to set reasonable expectations.

Shore explains that in Paco Underhill’s classic book Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping, he realized that the first five minutes customers wait to be served feels like five minutes. However, for each minute after the initial five, it feels like two more minutes to the customer.

When retailers have to give consumers bad news, i.e. delays in shipping or long wait times, they shouldn’t wait to deliver that information. They have to let the customer know as soon as possible and reset the expectation.

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