There are two things you should do to exceed a customer's expectations: Improve the quality of your product and service, and be sure that the customer's expectations aren't built up so far in the first place. If your advertising trumpets the quality of your service or follow-up, for instance, then you might attract more new customers with the message, but you'll also have to work harder to ensure that their expectations are met or exceeded.
Customers remain loyal for many different reasons, however, not just the quality of the product. They will be more likely to remain loyal if they think your offering is better than they can get from a competitive supplier. They will be more likely to remain loyal if they have invested in any kind of relationship with you -- a relationship that may be difficult or time-consuming for them to re-create with a competitor, even if the competitor has comparable quality.
Hear more in Creating Customer Value, a SearchCRM.com monthly podcast series with Peppers and Rogers.