Good customer service is paramount in order to ensure customer satisfaction. It is important to anticipate and meet customer expectations in a manner that is feasible and beneficial to both you and your client. Tools such as customer sentiment analysis and enterprise feedback management can be useful in gauging the overall impression of your company with relation to perception versus performance.
This guide is meant to help you address and handle the issue of client expectations head-on in order to minimize and deal with potential clashes at the onset of a project and create an environment of cooperation between you, your client, and your team.
1. Gauge Your Client’s Expectations
Meet with your client at the outset of business in order to assess what your client expects from their association with your company. This meeting should include key members of your team in order to address and resolve potential conflicts. It is the best way to identify and clarify unrealistic expectations and ensure that your capabilities and the needs of your client mesh.
2. Establish Clear Guidelines
Once you identify and address what the client expects versus what you can deliver, you need to establish clear guidelines at each step of the process to so that the client has an understanding of what is expected of them, as well as what they can expect from you and your team, at each stage. Refer to written specifications and agreements as needed if conflicts do arise.
3. Keep an Open Line of Communication
Work to educate the client at the outset of the process and at each phase, both verbally and in writing, so that there is no miscommunication or misunderstandings that can lead to problems. Try to foresee and eliminate potential sources of conflict before they happen.
Deal with negative events and circumstances that could not be foreseen or forestalled honestly and promptly. An open and honest communication with your client at every level of completion can mitigate the negative and increase the likelihood of a positive outcome if handled with speed and diligence. If all other aspects have been handled properly and the client has a realistic and balanced picture of what to expect, the unexpected can be dealt with more effectively.
Handling client expectations is a matter of clear and specific communication at every level. Anticipation of problems before they become insurmountable is a process that includes setting realistic goals and clearly communicating those goals to your client. Once you ensure that the expectations of your customer are in line with your initial goals, keep an open and ongoing dialogue at every step of the process. This makes it is easier to deal with any conflicts that occur down the line and facilitate a favorable outcome for all parties.