October 19, 2010

Manage Expectations

After a long hiatus, I felt it was time to put pen to paper again and share a sentiment that is frequently quoted around the 1300 Web Pro office:

“Manage Expectations” 

As consumers, we have all been let down by businesses. Sometimes we struggle with how we had such a poor outcome when all our friends talk about how great the business is.

Conversely, every business owner has let down a customer from time to time. More often than not, the customer that ends up being unhappy is one that the business has well and truly gone above and beyond for.

The root cause of these issues is quite often not that the seller is a “bad business” or the buyer is a “bad customer.”

The root cause is often that the seller did not manage the buyer’s expectations properly.

This process of “managing expectations” is not a negative one. It is simply making sure that everyone is on the same page.

It doesn’t necessarily mean every gory detail has to be spelt out in overwhelming detail, and it certainly isn’t referring to the infamous “Fine Print.”

It doesn’t have to be written down, although having good literature to leave the buyer with can ensure the entire team is communicating a consistent, clear message.

When developing new products and services, the Pareto Principle (a.k.a “The 80/20 Rule”) tends to kick in. In the sales spiel, marketing collateral, and terms of trade, the business owner is concerned with addressing the 20% of situations that cover 80% of the sales.

To properly manage expectations, the business owner must address the other 80% of situations in order to keep the other 20% of customers happy. Trust me, the extra effort in properly documenting things and educating your team will be worth it in the long run – “short term pain for long term gain”.

Oh, and on the odd occasion, when we kind, generous business owners decide to go the proverbial extra mile, we must “manage expectations” by ensuring the customer understands he or she is getting an extra few inches. If they know they got three inches for the price of one, they’ll likely be happy!

James Deck
1300 Web Pro
Web: www.1300webpro.com.au
Facebook: facebook.com/1300webpro

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