What Happens When You Set The Right Customer Expectations?
What determines the quality of your business relationship with your customers? The easy answer to this question is the value of goods you produce or services you render. While this answer is fair enough, there is more.
As a customer to several businesses, my loyalty is to the ones that create value. The ones that create value with the least friction or stress. Businesses that don't make room for service failure are top of mind for me.
Service failure occurs when a service rendered doesn't meet a customer’s expectations. Have you ever noticed an upset customer at the check-in counter of an airline or at a restaurant? A service failure must have caused it. With many customers to serve, flaws are almost inevitable. Keeping the number of occurrences low is the way to go.
Navigating the business terrain is tricky. As tricky as it may be, businesses that are smart thinkers excel. One major focus of such a business is ensuring they set clear expectations. This step will reduce conflict with your customer. It'll give you the opportunity to grow your connection with your customers.
I once read about a man who went to a coffee shop. As expected, a waitress took his order and returned to serve him coffee, but something went wrong. She started pouring the coffee into a mug, and the mug soon overflowed with the hot black liquid. The accident made a mess on the coffee table, the floor and the customer's outfit.
The customer became irate. He expressed his dissatisfaction with the restaurant and the waitress 'inexperience'. The waitress was also upset. She told her manager that the client should have raised his hand as a stop signal. She said she continued pouring the coffee because the customer didn't ask her to stop.
What could the waiter have done better? was the customer feeling entitled because he had paid a couple of dollars for a cup of coffee?
This is a clear example of not setting clear expectations and how it can result in a conflict. The business should have stated if the customer was to instruct the waitress or not. Businesses shouldn't let their customers make assumptions or guesses. The implications could be serious. Being in business is not only about making sales. Smart thinking and efficiency in customer relations go a long way. These are crucial to preventing unnecessary fracas, customer loss and bad reputation.
What Happens When You Set Customer Expectations?
Setting customer expectations is compulsory for businesses that want to thrive. While a business is out to maximize profit, it must protect itself. The consequences of not doing so could be expensive as some conflicts become court cases. It's not advisable to let your customers assume or develop their yardstick to measure you. A business has a duty to state its expectations. The customer, in turn, takes the expectations and holds the business accountable.
You do the following when you set the right customer expectations:
You Build Stronger Customer Relationships
All relationships have an emotional component. This is also the situation with the relationship between customers and businesses. When customers engage with your business, they begin to make conclusions. They have an interpretation for every interaction, including the attributes you embody.
An attribute such as efficiency builds a positive impression of your business in their minds. Negative attributes that breed conflict do the opposite. A business builds its relationship with its customer over time. This relationship gets nourished by experiences along online or offline interactions. Your customer's experience grows roots from the way you meet their expectations. This is a reason you should strive to make all experiences pleasant, seamless and simple.
Your Business Stays Focused
A business with well-stated terms of service will have no need to firefight. It takes a lot to calm an upset customer. Make your offer to customers simple and clear. It’s best to manage customer expectations as you start interacting with them. When you do this, the business controls the narrative. You would also not need to react to unrealistic cutomer expectations.
Customers will not stop at your chicken shop to demand fish if your sign says "We sell only Chicken'.
You Prevent Waste And Loss Of Income
When a customer flares up, the first thing that comes to mind is incentives to pacify. In a bid to compensate most times, businesses overcompensate. While this helps service recovery and customer retention, it's an additional expense to the business.
Upgrades, free vouchers, extra samples. Throw in free products and discounts. These giveaways work, but they all come at a cost to the business. This is why conflicts create a downward spiral for a firm's income and profits. Remember, a business has a duty to state its expectations. The customer, in turn, takes the expectations and holds the business accountable.
Say What You Mean And Mean What You Say
At Heroshe, we understand the importance of setting clear expectations so our customers can hold us accountable. When we ship packages from the U.S. to Nigeria customers can expect:
* Free U.S. Shipping Address.
* 10 - 14 days delivery time to Nigeria.
* Shipping Insurance against Theft, Loss, or Damage.
* A shipping rate of $8 per pound.
Every business should set the right customer expectations to build stronger relationships with their customers. Also to keep their business focused and prevent waste and loss of income.
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Can you think of any customer expectation management tips? Share with us in the comment section.