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Managing Expectations

Have you ever done something for a customer and been disappointed by her reaction?

I mean, something really nice, quite special and unexpected, yet she didn’t respond in kind? She didn’t say thank you or decide to buy more, or promise to bring all her friends back to shop with you?

She didn’t even acknowledge that you did something nice for her.

Now you’re pissed. Now you’re in the back room bitching and moaning about the ungrateful customer. Now you’re griping and complaining about how customers don’t care and are rude and don’t get what you have to sacrifice to be there for them and don’t understand how slanted the playing field is against you and don’t realize what it costs for you to be in business and have no idea what you have done for the community and…

Whew. Working up a sweat back there.

I would hate to be the next customer through the door.

The problem here is one of managing expectations. We need to realizes that unless we tell the customers up front how we expect them to behave, we cannot get upset when they don’t behave the way we expect.

I am not actually suggesting that you tell them how to behave. I’m suggesting you give up your expectations. I’m suggesting you continue to do nice things, special things, unexpected things for your customers every single time but without any expectations in return. I’m suggesting you continue delighting customers whether they acknowledge it, whether they tell you, whether they even seem to care.

Give up the expectation. Just do the right thing. Time and time again.

We all know that customers who have a bad time likely won’t tell you, but they will tell their friends. Why would you think that customers who have a great time might be any different? That customer you bent over backwards for might not tell you how grateful she is, but she’ll tell her friends.

It’s all about managing expectations.

-Phil Wrzesinski

PS Yes, this even applies to showrooming. I’ll talk more about that in future posts.

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