5 Tips for Managing Customer Expectations
Will your customer be satisfied after their transaction with your company? If you cannot answer that question with a confident “Yes!”, you are not placing a high enough value on customer satisfaction. This is an area that has the potential of making or breaking your business. Superior customer relation practices are critical to the success of any company. Here are some tips to help you make an action plan.
Effective Communication. Effective communication is also “proactive communication”. Creating a visual structure of what the customer can expect from your company helps the customer understand what the transaction will look like, how often you will be in touch with them and why, and when the customer should contact your business. Having a set format for customer communication that requires each interaction to follow a who, what and what, when, where, and why will help both the company and the customer understand the content and purpose of each interaction. (Who am I speaking with, What is the purpose and What is being done about it, When it will happen, Where it will occur, and Why this is taking place).
Consistency. A surefire way to lose any trust gained by a customer is to not be proactive in communication or lack follow through. If you make a commitment, your company needs to follow through on that commitment as initially promised. Consistency reduces the chances that your customer will be left feeling confused, leading to an overall negative perception of the company’s abilities. The road to customer trust and long lasting business relationships relies on consistency.
Organization. Your company needs to stay on top of your customer’s needs by having an easy place to record, access, and remind you of upcoming events. When a customer first interacts with your company, the visual structure communicated to them should be broken down into progress goals including proactive reminders of communication with the customer. A disorganized company is very stressful and repelling to a customer.
Prioritize. Learn from your customer what aspects of the service are most important to them. This will help you prioritize activities in the customer transaction. This would also be a good time to ask the customer what they expect from your company and the business relationship. By doing this, you will learn what is most important to the customer and can follow through accordingly.
Don’t Under Promise or Over Promise. Under Promising with the expectation of surpassing expectations is just setting yourself up for trouble and letting yourself down by under estimating your company’s potential. Over Promising and not following through is a disaster that will harm your reputation for the long-term. Instead, be realistic in making promises. Only promise or offer something that you can actually deliver. It is okay to say no to a customer and you should learn how do it in a way that is conducive to the business relationship, like suggesting alternatives or other resources.
Following these basic principles of managing customer expectations and creating a structure in which your company can follow consistently will improve your customer relations and your success in business.
April Salsbury, MBA is a strategist, an analyst, an operational guru, a recognized leader and C-suite global healthcare executive with drive and focus for competitive markets. Co-host of The Business Forum Show and regular contributor to various business journals, she possess multi-functional and multi-national competencies with more than 15 years experience in business and healthcare. Her expertise is in invigorating revenue growth and infusing value of lean practices in growing companies through improvements to cash flow and operations management.
Fueling revenue, growth and profit, Salsbury & Co. is a consultancy firm focused on helping businesses and healthcare organizations achieve excellency. Our specialists have executive experience combined with deep functional expertise to provide our clients with services that drive real impact and results.
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