Every business wants to keep its customers. So why do we fail to set clear expectations? Why do we allow customers to have a vague understanding of what to expect from us and what not to expect from us? It is a recipe for disaster.
Several things can happen.
- The customer gets frustrated with us when we don’t perform the way they imagined that we would.
- They expect things we never intended to deliver, which upsets us and creates tension.
- We grow defensive and less willing to be helpful.
- The relationship becomes adversarial, and either the customer quits, or we fire them.
- Our business suffers.
So, when you are forming a relationship with a new customer, take the time to set clear expectations. Agree on what you will and won’t do and what responsibilities rest on the customer’s shoulders.
And when it becomes clear that you missed some expectations, address those gaps quickly. Don’t ignore them and hope that they will go away. They won’t!