"From the very beginning of the relationship, the client needs to be told what they can expect and when they can expect it." -- Ben Silverman, Publisher, Dotcom Scoop
When your customer knows what to expect from their interaction with you, they meet fewer surprises and are more satisfied with the results. Consistent interactions that are predictable, more likely to produce a positive outcome, grow business relationships because the customer can come to depend on what you provide.
After all, aren't you hired to save your customer time and money? If your customer can count on you producing what they expect (even if you establish that expectation), then your company can be trusted to help customers reach their objectives. Position your company early for the customers desired results.
One reason you establish expectations upfront is to make sure expectations are realistic and achievable.
Realistic expectations are those most likely to be achieved and that contribute to mutual objectives in a positive manner. It is realistic to land a craft on the moon, but if your mutual objectives are to only bring it into orbit a common medium must be established before design. Both activities are achievable, but only one is desired.
Help customers know when they can expect certain deliverables by establishing a time table. Realistic expectations are supported by a predefined time frame, either established in advance or created by individual parties involved in the measured activity. When you first sit down with a customer to lay out expectations, develop some time table based on mutual experiences.
Constancy is measured by time. Customers will want to know if your results are reproducible in both quality and time. The time aspects allows them to plan around your implementation. Any deviations in time or quality changes the desired outcome-- something you can prepare customers for in advance.
Various factors contribute to customers expectations including: marketing, how past services were delivered, other peoples experiences, and even errand concepts created by an uninformed customer. To make the most of each customer relationship, establish and verify expectations prior to any new project. You'll find customers will appreciate your consideration and your company will be less likely to disappoint them.
By Justin Hitt at September 20, 2003 1:44 AM Subscribe in a reader