Setting Expectations

2861575686_146752a32e_zOne of the best ways to improve your business is to manage the expectations your customers have with you.  This is easy to do.  You just tell your customers what you are going to do, and then follow through while communicating often about the progress to meeting those expectations.

The best way to develop and sustain these in a business is to create systems to ensure that all customers receive the same experience.  If you just wing it with every customer there will be times when you forget to follow up or fail to mention something important.  A system can be as simple as a calendar reminder to send an update email, or a template.  These systems reduce what would be decision making and turn it into something that can be outsourced, or done very quickly.

Once your system is in place you have the opportunity to iterate and improve it.  Can emails be automated?  Can you pre-empt objections? Are there opportunities to ask for feedback, provide more information, or request referrals?  With a good system you can track and monitor these messages to make sure customer communication is regular and up to a given standard.

With templates it becomes worthwhile to invest just a little bit of time to make the messaging visually appealing.  Providing reports as a PDF that include some personalization and graphics will make you stand out among competitors who are less organized.

Taking the time to to create a system for communicating and managing customer expectations is one of the lowest cost and highest reward things you can do for your business.  Emails and phone calls are cheap but can be used effectively to multiply your business.