Managing Expectations

by Sharlyn Lauby on May 7, 2009

One of the key elements to delivering good customer service is setting expectations.  Customers want to know what to expect when they buy and use your product or service.

I’ve come to this realization since my entire career has been in the 24-7-365 world.  When you’re open for business and servicing customers, you need to be available.  And, if your employees work around the clock, then HR needs to be available.  Simple as that.

It doesn’t mean you literally sit at your desk all of that time. But if the needs of company and its employees demand, then you make yourself available.

Now, if you don’t want to be available 24-7-365…then don’t operate your business that way.  Look at Chick-fil-A.  They aren’t open on Sunday.  And, I don’t expect anything from them on a Sunday.  In this respect, Chick-fil-A does a fine job of managing customer expectations.

In contrast, look at the recent incident with Amazon.  They operate a 24-7-365 business.  They will happily take your money at any time, day or night.  But when the recent AmazonFAIL incident occurred, some folks supported the excuse for Amazon not to respond since it was Easter Sunday.

There are a lot of businesses out there that should realize they are 24-7-365 businesses…but they don’t.  I think that’s a mistake.  If you’re willing to take a customer’s money any day, any time, then you should also be willing to take care of them…any day, any time.

As the economy rebounds, customers will be paying attention to those businesses that live up to their promises.  One way to do that is by managing customer expectations.

Not that concerned about your customers’ level of expectation?  Okay . . and good luck with that.  Well, managing expectations also applies to your employees.  But that’s another post . . .

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Shannon AIOPosters June 3, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Great advice. Businesses need to stay consistant and maintain customer expectations with their services, customer care, and hours available.

shannon

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