Expectation Management.

Customer service is really all about expectation management.

I remember a time I was waiting for a return flight from Atlanta Georgia, when the customer service representative announced that the flight to Salt Lake City had been delayed four hours and alternate arrangements might be necessary for many customers. The dismay of the disgruntle passengers could be heard throughout the gate terminal… About 30 minutes later, the customer representative made another announcement that proclaimed they had worked to expedite the problem and the delay would only be an hour longer. The crowd erupted in cheers. I smiled to myself as I thought how many people still missed their connecting flights but by suddenly exceeding expectations the angry mobs were appeased…

Let them know what to expect: risks, worst case scenario, and more. I’m not saying dwell on it, but mention it as a potential part of the package and if things do go wrong everyone will be more prepared to handle it. When things go smoothly, (which they most often do) your customers are even happier with the goods or services.

Online retail, brick and mortal service retail or door to door sales, the key to long term customer satisfaction remains: let them know what to expect. Manage that and customer service improves, employees are happier and management is happier.

One thought on “Expectation Management.

  1. prowebpromo

    The corporate move towards minimal customer service has set the bar very low. There is no excuse for any company that puts SOME effort into customer service to fail at this measure. The amazing thing is that very few companies put any effort here. Those that do (Southwest Airlines is a good example) stand out.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *