Never Leave the Client Guessing – Call to confirm every appointment. Arrive before your appointed time and debrief when leaving. Never leave without an acknowledgment from the client. Follow up the next day.
In every instance we participate in the receipt of services, we all have pre-service expectations. Sometimes our expectations are met, sometimes they are not met to our satisfaction. Sometimes our expectations are “reasonable” based on prior experiences. Sometimes our expectations are unreasonable. While we may have experienced a comparable service, certain components of the service may not have been included in the current service scope leading to our disappointment in the service received.
Our customers view us in the same fashion. They have expectations of our service delivery based on their prior experience and from conversations held with both our associates and with our competition. In order for us to ensure our customers are not disappointed at the conclusion of a project, we need to make sure our customers’ expectations match the services we believe we have been asked to deliver. By reviewing with the customer our scope of work, our project plans, timelines, and our methodologies we should be able to synchronize the customers’ expectations with our plans for delivery.
In addition, frequent communications regarding our progress and next steps are essential. For each contact, we should first review what has been accomplished,what we will attempt to complete during the current appointment and what assistance or information we may need. Often this should be done when confirming the appointment so the customer can be prepared just as well as we are and we do not surprise them with new requests. Once the work session is concluded, we should confirm with the customer what we have completed and what will be require, if we could not finish all of the expected tasks. Finally, we should set expectations for the next step in the project.
By always confirming our customers’ expectations and clearly communicating the plan, we make sure everyone is striving for the same end result. By defining required assistance from the customer and confirming each new task, the customer will feel comfortable the project is progressing to its expected completion. By protecting the customer from surprises, we greatly increase the odds of creating raving fans.