Expectation management is a vital part of any relationship that a business has with its customers/clients. Whether you sell a product or provide a service a large part of the goodwill you build with people can come from how you manage expectations.
It is not easy to manage expectations. It is a delicate balance of making sure you and your client/customer can get what you each need. To master the art form of expectation management there are some simple details to pay attention to. Four key considerations are:
- Clearly articulate what you will do and what you won’t do
- Clearly articulate what the client will do and won’t do
- Identify your precise terms of engagement
- Decide how success will be measured and when measurement will take place
For longer-term relationships it is not okay to talk about expectations once. You should revisit your agreement on expectations regularly to make sure that you and your customer/client remain on the same page. This can be done through dialogue (if you provide individualized services) or by having service standards on the back of invoices or on webpages (if you deal in less personalized products/services).
Like mastering any other art form, mastering the art of expectation management, requires attention to detail. What can you do to become a master?
Give it a try! Be prepared for the Acceleration that follows.