Manage Your Customer’s Expectations

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Manage Your Customer’s Expectations

As sales professionals we all know there are times where customers are dissatisfied with our products or services. While we all strive for a 100% satisfaction, but let’s be honest; that seldom—if ever happens.

One of the main ingredients in high customer satisfaction is to manage your customer’s expectations. If we do that correctly, many times we can minimize or totally eliminate their dissatisfaction with a particular situation.

The key is communication.

If your customer thinks delivery of their product will be Tuesday and you know it won’t be until Thursday, by all means tell them ahead of time. Bad news does not get easier with time—it gets harder.

We’ve all heard, “under promise and over deliver”. Again, that requires communication for you to under promise in the first place. It is far better to be ahead of a deadline than behind.

If you know a price increase is coming, notify your customer as soon as possible. The worst thing that can happen is to have that information come from the market—or worse: a competitor.

Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

I’ve seen salespeople at the point of a sale (or shortly thereafter) have a customer ask for something that is impossible. But, afraid their going to lose the sale—they promise it or agree to it anyway—thinking they can deal with it later.

Wrong. Manage the customer’s expectations at every turn—including and especially at the time of the initial sale.

If you know your production department is going to take 48 hours to complete an order, tell the customer 72 hours. Remember, it’s better to be early and give yourself some buffer rather than sweating that last half day waiting…hoping…praying it’s going to work out.

Never lose a sale to a competitor because of mismanaged customer expectations. It is one thing you have complete control over.