Setting expectations is a powerful tool for setting your business up for success. However, if not used properly, things can backfire and completely undermine your customer’s trust in you.
Our recent experience with Logoworks offers another lesson in customer relations. Their automated project management site indicates when your next logo revisions will be ready for your review.
We found on more than one occasion that when we would check back at the designated time, that the deadline was magically updated and moved a few hours later.
That new time would arrive and once again, the deadline had moved.
Missed Deadlines and Customer Perceptions
How do shifting deadlines make you look to your customers? Customers will think that:
- You can’t be trusted.
- You don’t know what you’re doing.
- You give poor estimates.
- You are probably rushing to finish the job.
- Your quality may be poor since you did it at the last minute.
All of these factors combine to completely destroy any trust your customer had in your business.
The Power of Early
Now imagine that you set a deadline and deliver your project ahead of schedule. What does that make your customer think?
- You can be trusted.
- You know what you’re doing.
- Your estimates may be off, but hey, you delivered it early!
- You do what you say you will do.
What if you can’t make a deadline?
If you know that you are going to miss a deadline, tell the customer. Notify them as early in the process as possible. You want to avoid any surprises, especially near the deadline when a customer’s expectations are highest that you are about to deliver on your commitment.
Setting proper expectations will allow you to underpromise and over deliver. This sets you up to “wow” your customer with a great experience.