Your customers have developed certain expectations for your company, and if your business isn’t living up to them, you could be hurting your reputation, your brand and your sales. Expectations aren’t only based on what you deliver, they’re based on what your competition is willing to deliver, also. In other words, an email that was supposed to make your customers feel better about your company should be tailored to please your target audience. Coupon codes, discounts or special offers that are available to no one else, often have the effect of creating just the loyalty that you desired. How can you make sure your business is living up to expectations? Here are some steps you can take to help develop the loyalty that we all want as business owners. Watch what are other businesses in your industry doing, both big and small? If your product is selling for a certain price and everyone else is guaranteeing that price, it becomes the customer expectation and you’d better meet it. Do your competitors offer free shipping? Are they open on Sundays? You get the idea. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. When you buy products or services, what do you expect? Learn from your own expectations and also when those expectations aren’t met, and make sure the same type of thing isn’t happening in your business. Use online tools to conduct informal polls, or email customers to ask their opinions. Develop systems to regularly gather feedback during and after the sales process, whether that’s comment cards at checkout or when your restaurant check is delivered, or survey forms delivered with invoices. Make sure to always watch your customers, both in your store or office, and online, this is one of the best ways to know whether they’re happy or not. Check your reviews on rating sites, and check on your business name in various search engines so you know what’s being said about you on social media. That way, you can keep your customer’s expectations high because your company gave them high expectation and you keep meeting them.