Properly Setting Customer Expectations

Turkey Yacht

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: customer experience

There is nothing more maddening than inappropriately setting customer expectations.

  • A year ago, I learned I actually needed double the miles I had been quoted and needed to pay nearly $700 (not mentioned during my inquiry call) to book an upgrade on an international flight. I found this out days after calling to confirm what I needed in preparation for booking a flight.
  • You ask about a policy and get different responses as you move through the process. And, while the responses may have significant material impact, the best you get for prior responses is, “I’m sorry.” As I’ve written before, “I’m sorry” doesn’t cut it.
  • Yesterday, I called a financial services company for a fourth time and learned the first and second agents I spoke with had advised me correctly while the third agent was flat out wrong. The fourth person’s response aligned with the responses of the first two agents and I am now proceeding as previously discussed. The third agent’s response was both a deal and relationship killer had I not made the fourth call.

Are agents who respond incorrectly held accountable for their misinformation? I’d be willing to wager they aren’t.

Make no mistake: agents who get it wrong undermine relationships with customers and negatively impact the lifetime value of the customer relationship.

What are you doing to ensure your employees are properly setting customer expectations? Is there friction being created in the relationships with your customers, dealers and channel partners? If so, that’s no way to accelerate growth.

Thought for the week:

“Your outer life is the mirror of your inner life.” – Robin Sharma
What do you think? I welcome your comments!

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

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