Many people complain all the time that their customers are never satisfied no matter how hard they try. You hear stories saying that customers expect too much and hence are always disappointed by what they get.
I think that we (and by we I mean companies, suppliers, service providers,….) are responsible for this dilemma. We never work hard enough to manage customer expectations. Every company has to know exactly what they can offer and what they can not offer and manage their customer expectations to make sure no misunderstandings take place.
For example, you might find a small company that offers a low quality product that is selling and making profits and all its customers are happy. On the other hand you can find a huge organization that offers the same product but at an un-beatable quality having difficulty pleasing its customers and facing problems all the time. It is a simple equation! the small company managed their customers’ expectations. They sent the message that they offer a low quality product for people who can’t pay more and that they can’t offer support after sales and….they simply made it clear. This is why customers buy their products and never complain because they know they got what is worth their money.
On the other hand the other company either promised their customers too much or sent an open message that every customer interpreted it his own way. So customers, because their expectations were not managed, expect a lot and keep demanding.
Make sure that your company is delivering the right message. Don’t leave it open for your customers to expect whatever they want and then blame them for not being happy.
It is exactly the same as in project management. There is a section in each offer that explains the project scope and you write clearly what is inside the scope and what is outside the scope of the project. This is exactly how each company has to deal with its customers. Do not promise what you can’t deliver and do not send messages that can be interpreted in different ways. Be clear and direct and make sure your customers understand exactly what to expect.
If you do that, it is guaranteed that your customers will always be happy.