We’ve all been there: buyer’s remorse.

What looked so good in the store, on the lot, or on the Web site, doesn’t look so good now that I’ve got it home or in the office.

What was I thinking?

Chances are I wasn’t . . . and if you find yourself in a similar pickle, that your weren’t either. Most likely, you made your buying decision more on emotions and the “promise” of what you were being sold, rather than cold, hard facts.

In other words, what you were expecting wasn’t what you got. You’re not happy and, chances are, the seller is about to become unhappy after you lodge a complaint.

Who wins in this sort of scenario? Nobody—at least not among reputable sellers who are in the business of repeat business and positive word-of-mouth.

Successful business relationships are all about aligned expectations—the buyer’s and the seller’s. Here’s a blog from yesteryear on the topic. Enjoy!

It’s All About Expectations

(Originally posted on September 21, 2011 by Paul June)

Setting proper expectations is often be the key to customer satisfaction, and customer satisfaction, we all know is the key to referrals, retention, and repeat sales.

Case in point—your client thinks he or she is getting a Cadillac, but what you’re able to deliver is a Ford Focus (my apologies for the analogy to all you Focus owners out there). Who’s going to be satisfied in that kind of scenario?

Dissatisfied customers will most likely take their bananas and go elsewhere, and they’ll tell many others about their bad experience. That’s’ no good. Plus, you won’t be satisfied either. Whether you provide a product or a service, your lifeblood is having satisfied customers (and if you’re anything like this King Monkey, you have an
innate desire to do a good job!).

Any customer satisfaction survey expert will tell you that you want as many “excellent” or “exceeds expectations” ratings as possible. These are the customers most likely to spread the good word about you and/or come back for repeat business, not the merely “satisfied,” and certainly not the naysayers. Good enough, in most cases, is simply not good enough.

A cynic might say, “Ok then, I’ll just make sure my customers have low expectations. Then when I deliver, they’ll be thrilled.”

Aside from the obvious—that’s a really bad way to run a business—if your customers have low expectations of you, well, quite frankly, you’re not likely to have very many customers in the first place . . . or for very long.

Setting expectations is all about communication and authenticity. Communicate what you can do and by when. If things change, keep your customers in the loop (are you listening Netflix?). Be upfront about deliverables and timing and price. After all, your customers will come to expect only what you lead them to believe you can deliver. It does no good to over promise.

The best results—happy customer, happy you, repeat business, and positive word of mouth—occur when your expectations and the expectations of your customers align.

Sound too simple? What’d you expect?