Weekly Business Idea

February 2, 2018 – What Do Your Customers Expect From You?

Posted on | February 2, 2018 | No Comments

Main Idea:

Are your customers raving about what you do?  Do your products and services consistently exceed what they expect?  Do you know what your clients expect?  Are you sure you know what they expect?  Or, are you meeting their expectations from 10 years ago?

Expansion of the Idea:

Spring training is just around the corner for baseball fans.  In St Louis you cannot listen to the radio or watch local television without references to the Cardinals.  Every year the Cardinal’s fan base expects that they will not only get into the playoffs but will do well.  Is this realistic?  Probably not.  But that is the nature of expectations.  They exist and we need to pay attention to them if we want our customers to be delighted with our products and services.

Customer’s expectations are a very hard thing to quantify.  Every customer has a slightly different and nuanced expectation.  Expectations change over time, sometimes slowly and sometimes rapidly.  Some expectations are realistic and some are completely unrealistic.  (I can’t make a client’s tax bill go away permanently.)  The point is that we can never delight and wow our clients unless we exceed their expectations.  If we do not know what the expectations are, it is very hard to exceed the expectations.

Every business is different in what to consider as far as expectations are concerned.  My clients don’t care too much what the tax return looks like.  They are much more concerned that they don’t have surprises and know what to expect.  If you are a marketing company, the quality of the print product is absolutely critical as well as the creativity of the concepts.  When you are selling a product, quality can range from decent to great as long as it matches price points.

The key point in expectations is that you should have a general idea of what the expectations are.  Then you must decide if your product and service delivery will at least meet them and preferably exceed them.  If it will exceed the expectations, then go out and execute.  If it looks like it will fall short, then you either need to reengineer your product and service or you need to educate the customer on why the expectation is unreasonable.  When there is an expectation gap, you will create unhappy customers which will mutate into lost customers.  It might not be immediate but it will happen.  And just as importantly, you will not get the positive referrals that you would otherwise get.

All of us fail to hit expectations at different times.  We are not perfect.  By consistently meeting or exceeding them, we will build up some goodwill that will carry you through a rough patch.  More importantly, we will build great businesses that will continue to grow.

Here are some questions to consider:

  1. Do you know your customer’s expectations?
  2. Have you brainstormed with your team to identify the expectations?
  3. Have you asked your customers what they are looking for?
  4. Do you get feedback on your customer service?
  5. What do you do with the above information.


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    These weekly ideas are brought to you by FitzGerald & FitzGerald P.C. For more information about how to use these ideas with your small business contact Tim FitzGerald at trfitz@fitz-net.com.