How to Set Clear Expectations with Customers - SmartKarrot Blog

How to Set Clear Expectations with Customers

Is setting customer expectations an essential part of the customer success program? Well, read on the blog to delve into 7 such tips that second this point.

setting customer expectations

Relationships are important and you know it – be it professional or personal. To get your working relationships set on the right track, it is vital to put parameters upfront and honor them time and again. Meeting and sticking to these clear expectations could lead to future complications, if not straightened out in the beginning. Here in this blog, we will talk about 7 such battle-tested tips for setting customer expectations right from the first page. 

Table of Contents 

  1. Educate your Customers about your Niche 
  2. Align the Customer Expectations with Reality 
  3. Keep a tab on the Competitors 
  4. Being Transparent is the Key 
  5. Base Expectations on your Customer’s definition of Success
  6. C for Communication 
  7. Pay Heed to the Customer Feedback
  8. Documentation is the Key
  9. Get your Customers involved in the creative process
  10. Form a roadmap derived out of their goal
  11. Establish realistic boundaries

1. Educate your Customers about your Niche 

When you begin a professional term with your customers, it is important to teach them about your products and offerings. This is where education comes into play and transforms you from a nominal vendor to a lasting partner. When you educate and empower them about you as a brand and your services, in a way, you make sure that both of you are on the same page and strive towards the same outcome. When you do that, the customers understand and acknowledge your stance in a better way, as before, when they were ignorant about you. 

2. Align the Customer Expectations with Reality 

It is no fun to overestimate your aspirations and give a dreamy blow to your customers which is far away from reality. Nothing disappoints a customer more than over-promises and under-deliverables. They want you to give it to them straight and simple. When your brand’s customer perceptions stay in accordance with the expectations that they actually have, you stand a good chance to meet and exceed their set expectations. Knowing the hair-line difference is crucial for the benefit of you and your business. One of the best strategies for surfacing reality is by understanding the company’s mission and vision as a team. Only then, will you be able to achieve this objective. 

3. Keep a tab on the Competitors 

Whether you notice it or not, your competitors indirectly influence the expectations of a client. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to that too. When you start to ignore your competitions, you actually pave the way to hop onto their brands. Know that before finalizing a particular product, a customer will try several options before he or she says – this is the one. Your brand will be compared to that of your competitions along the bars of pricing, facets, and a multitude of other features. Make it a point to keep track of your peers before you launch a product or service live. 

4. Being Transparent is the Key 

A professional relationship is no different than a personal one. All the fundamental basics of a relationship need to be maintained, such as trustempathy, and transparency. In fact, 53% of the customers will consider a brand for their next purchases when met with optimal transparency. It is vital to be transparent from the get-go itself. This means that you must explain your company’s policies and rules right from the beginning so that your customers know what to exactly expect out of you. This way, you both are on the same page. 

Consumer reactions to brand transparency
Source: sproutsocial

5. Base Expectations on your Customer’s definition of Success

When you are starting a business, it is ideal to let your customers speak more than you do. Practice active listening and know what is success for them. Evaluate your brand’s performance from what the customers want from you. Having a clearer understanding of what your prospect is looking for will help you in setting customer expectations in a better way. Is their focus on the rankings, the conversion rates, or the brand awareness – start figuring out now itself. 

6. C for Communication 

Early on, start to communicate clearly with your customers on what they want and specify what they do not want from you. Jot down a communication plan and talk about your cadence. Keep things clearer from the first interaction so that the customer does not get confused and eventually churn out in the end. Every client of yours might have a preference on email or call, quick reports, or in-person meetings – similarly, customize the interactions. This will help your teams be successful in this partnership and will put up back on the right track, even if you go out of tethers. Communication can solve a ton of issues, naturally. 

7. Pay Heed to the Customer Feedback 

Start valuing the feedback that an agitated or satisfied customer has got to share with you. Note that it is your customers who use your products and services on a regular basis. They might know more about your product than you do. Therefore, when you receive a piece of feedback, make it a point to imbibe that into your plans as and when required. This will also show your customer feel more valued and special. This is exactly what they want from you. 

8. Documentation is the Key

One of the best ways of setting as well as managing expectations is by documenting it as and when required. The second you are on a video chat or a phone call, make sure that you start taking notes and email them to the ones involved during the meeting. That way, you get to keep a track on outlines, goals, expectations, time frames and upcoming challenges too, With documentation, you make sure that everyone is literally on the same page and aligned.

9. Get your Customers involved in the Creative Process

It is a great idea to let your customers be aware of the goals and outcomes of your project. Rather than displaying it all the end like a big reveal. It is always better to co-create ideas with them from the beginning, brainstorm, and workshop ideas that go both ways and benefit the customers as well as the company. This will in a way give rise to honest customer feedback and reap better benefits at the end of the day.

10. Form a Roadmap derived out of their Goals

With a constructive roadmap, start to know what are the objectives and aims of your customer in their 30 days, 60 days and 90 days with you. Once you understand this, build a roadmap and walk them through the timeline between signing the dotted line and hitting each milestone along the way. This is a good way to note and stay aligned with the milestone together. When the client understands the components that contribute to success, they will focus on the process, not instant gratification.

11. Establish Realistic Boundaries

Always, keep your boundaries with your customers with a reality check. Know when you will be able to deliver it to them and just in case, you will not be able to do so, inform them on a priority. First of all, keep your response time as fast as you can. Make sure that you instantly accommodate your availability as and when required by your customers. Stay socially active in your social channels as well. These options will make it a point that you and your customers are on the same page with expectations from both parties.

Parting Thoughts 

Setting clear expectations from the start will save you from a ton of embarrassment and confusion in the longer run. You can always peruse these seven tips discussed here that will help you in setting, meeting and exceeding the customer’s expectations. When a customer sees that you as a brand stick to your words and do not slander around, they will tend to stay loyal to you more and take a second thought before churning away. 

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