Gain an insight into the expectations of your company

Analyse existing knowledge from customer service. And use one of the many market research methods available. That’s how to gain an understanding of customers’ expectations.


To be able to meet customers’ expectations, you must understand what those expectations are. And the fact is that many companies are actually sitting on the answers already.

“Customer service is a strategic goldmine for data. If a lot of people are talking about the same thing, for example, it means that there’s a problem that needs solving. When the data is analysed, you can find patterns in customers’ expectations and then improve the offering. The concern is that most companies are very bad at using their data,” says Nicola Millard, Customer Experience Futurologist at the telecommunications company British
Telecom (BT).

Which data is needed?

Apart from analysing the existing data, there is one easy way of getting to know the customer: ask. 

“Think about which data you need to be able to improve the business, and don’t ask more than two or three questions.”

As many customers are often asked to take part in surveys, it’s important to try and keep down the number of questions, so that the time when you have their attention is used as effectively as possible.

Nicola Millard, Customer Experience Futurologist at the telecommunications company British Telecom (BT). Photo: British Telecommunications.CES and CNES

CSAT, NPS, KPI – there are many different off-the-shelf methods that offer help in a market research survey. Nicola Millard likes to use CES, Customer Effort Score.

“CES offers fairly sophisticated opportunities for analysis within the customer journey so that you can take action in time to snap up anyone who’s dissatisfied and is at greater risk of stopping being a customer. That’s why it’s useful for the operational business.”

This survey method makes it possible to see which part of the process is failing, for example if the customer needs to contact the company twice about the same problem. It is also possible to measure whether you found the right fault, sent the right engineer, repaired the right thing and whether it went well.

Nicola Millard also likes to use CNES, Customer Net Easy Score, which is British Telecom’s own further development of NPS, Net Promoter Score.

“It’s a popular measure that many companies have started using. As the method asks the question ‘How easy was it to get the help you wanted?’, you can easily measure changes, for example customers’ experiences before and after a change on the website.”