Expectations play a big role in customer satisfaction. After all, what customers consider “satisfactory” will always be determined by a combination of what your company promised, what it delivered, and the customer’s own personal views.
As such, while making a strong sales pitch is always encouraged, it’s also important to make sure your company isn’t over-promising.
Especially if your ideal client is one who sticks around for the long-term through a subscription system or through recurring purchases.
1 – Fine-tune your message
Most of the people living in developed nations today are marketing experts, and they don’t even realize it.
The modern customer starts interacting with brands and advertising before they are even able to walk, so by the time they’re adults they have an instinctive talent for reading and interpreting marketing material, which is something you need to keep in mind when crafting your business’s message and marketing material.
This awareness means that everything from the colors used on a sales page to the style you choose for your homepage will play a role in setting your customer’s initial expectations of your brand and services.
So it’s important to make sure you don’t send the wrong message. For example, It can be tempting to make your solo-operated online store look and sound like a major retailer, but customers have different expectations when dealing with big companies compared to independent stores.
2 – Keep track of your audience
One of the advantages of modern marketing is how targeted it can be. By working alongside a marketing agency that offers data consulting services or running tests on your own, you can narrow down what type of customer your message appeals the most to.
And that, in turn, can help you figure out what you should place on your marketing material and on your home page in order to create the right expectations with that target demographic.
3 – Be consistent
There are many flavors of consistency out there, and they are all important when it comes to managing expectations. One of the main things you should do is make sure your business isn’t making promises it can’t keep.
Setting realistic deadlines and offering honest product descriptions will go a long way towards preventing issues and frustration.
The same client that would have been fine if you took 7 days to complete a job will be upset if you promise to deliver it in 3 days, and then end up only delivering it on day 6.
That’s one flavor of consistency: overpromising and underdelivering. But underpromising and overdelivering can be an issue too.
If for some reason a job for a client ends up being completed much faster than usual, it’s a good idea to let them know that such a quick turnaround is not the norm in order to prevent the creation of expectations that are impossible to meet consistently.
Transparency and clear communication go a long way towards preventing this type of issue. Especially with new clients.
4 – Stay in touch
Sending customers updates and touching base from time to time can be very helpful when trying to manage expectations.
Regular communication allows you to explain the various steps of the process and give them status updates.
And staying in touch will also encourage customers to ask questions about the process, which can also help guide their expectations to a more realistic place.
Of course, not every customer appreciates getting regular updates through email or other methods.
So it’s a good idea to make sure customers have a clear and easy way to opt-out of receiving such updates.