Delivering products and services to meet expectations is a constant demand for today's businesses. Managers who know how to manage and exceed expectations better meet client needs and improve their business climates.
The first step is to establish realistic expectations. This is done through early communications and documentation if required for the product or service you are providing. You have to ensure that the expectations are realistic and achievable. If they're not, you can--and should—stop and institute expectations that meet reality. The key here is to balance your team's abilities with the client’s needs. Being clear and honest about what can be delivered and what the plan goes a long way in instilling confidence and creating satisfaction when the job is complete.
As can be seen in the attached graphic you can visualize the expectation environment delivery as to concentric circles.
These are the expectations that a professional will reasonably deliver. For instance, if you are providing an oil change service. You will be expected to drain and dispose of existing oil,replace the oil filter and refill with new water.
To operate in the circle, assuming you have established the expectations, is to provide more than agreed to. One should strive to always operate in this circle
. This will result in clients that feel they received more than they expected. In the oil change example, you could refill the window washer, check the air filter, and put paper floor mats. This will be seen as going above and beyond and will create an atmosphere of client satisfaction.
You will not be able to always operate in this circle. But when you do you will hear you delighted the customer. As time goes forward and the competitive environment increases you may find that item in the inner circle actually move out to the Center Circle. In our example, it might include, washing the windows, cleaning the tires, or providing a discount to a partner provider such as a cash wash provider.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
The key to this simple management concept is communications. Through early communications and reasonable expectations are established. There is no confusion on what you are delivering, and the client has a complete understanding. So this communication should be consistent and repeated throughout the process. Reinforcing what is expected and highlighting what is given on top of the normal delivery to please the client.
Following this approach will eliminate 75% of the problems businesses experience when dealing with customers. Customers are reasonable. When they know what they are buying and then receive more the vast majority will be pleased and help you promote your business.