The Internet, mobile phone technology and an ever-expanding array of media options has transformed the way we connect, communicate and do business.

The knock on effect is that people’s expectations of how, where, when and from whom they buy their products and services has changed significantly in the past few years.

Ask yourself, are you in tune with what your customers expect from you now?

Your customers are likely to want:

  • More choice. The Internet has opened up the world. We can buy books from England and t-shirts from America. We can connect with experts in any country. We can easily compare prices for any product or service. We can make more informed decisions because information is readily available.

    Do you know who your competitors are, what they offer and how they offer it? Do you present what you offer in a way that makes the benefits clear – price, service, quality, uniqueness, availability?

  • More control. We are no longer happy to passively take what we’re given. We want products and services tailored to suit, and delivered to us in the way we prefer.

    Are you offering one-size-fits-all products and services or do you tailor to meet specific needs and requirements? Do you offer a range of purchase and delivery options?

  • Fast, easy access. We are much less tolerant of ‘business hours’ these days. We want information quickly and we don’t want to work too hard to get it.

    Are you making it easy for people to do business with you? You don’t need to be ‘open all hours’, but you do need to ensure it’s easy for people to find out who you are, what you do, when you’re available and how to contact you.

  • Individual attention. We expect to be recognised and acknowledged. We expect our preferences to be noted and acted on.

    Do you know who your best customers are? Are in touch with them often with relevant information or offers? Do you reward them for their business?

Have you noticed that what your customers want has altered in recent years? And what have you done about it? Share your thoughts and ideas with other readers – post your comments below.