By Avelyn Austin
Jun 29, 2010
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If your company provides a service, it can be difficult to manage and fulfill your clients’ expectations. What you’ll find is that some clients are easy to serve because they don’t ask a lot of questions. On the other hand, some clients may be very difficult to serve because they ask questions above and beyond your service. What often results from difficult clients are unhappy overworked employees or even worse unhappy “under-served” clients. So how do you make sure neither scenario occurs in your service company? Easy, you manage and fulfill client expectations from the beginning through the end. Want to see the 3 easy steps?
Setting your client’s expectations is the foundation for providing a successful service for both your business and your client. When negotiations for an engagement start, it’s imperative that the service details are clearly outlined.
Clearly outlining the service may be done by creating a checklist of tasks/items that the service will include. This will give your client a “tangible” view of what they should expect from your service. If your client asks for additional services, you (the service provider) may consult the checklist when telling them that the additional services are not included with the engagement that they signed up for. The checklist will not only help your client understand the boundaries of the service, it will help you and your employees supply a consistent service to that client.
*When creating the checklist, be sure to use the correct wording and reiterate to the client what that wording means. For example, if part of your service includes monitoring, it’s important that you reiterate to the client that monitoring does not mean managing.
When servicing your client bring out the negotiated checklist. There they are, your client’s expectations for your service. This is what you promised them, so you better get to work fulfilling and checking off these tasks/items.
The final step to managing and fulfilling client expectations is the easiest one, but arguably the most crucial one as well. Once you’ve fulfilled the checklist of expectations it’s time to show it to your client. A great way to do this is by creating a report that shows what the expectations were and how you fulfilled them. Reviewing the report with your client face to face or over the phone is yet another way to show them how you fulfilled their expectations. It’s amazing how comforting a paper report can be to clients that are paying good money for your service.
As a service company it’s often hard to manage and fulfill client expectations. However, by setting clear expectations from the beginning, your clients will know exactly what they will be receiving with the service and you will know just how much service you should be giving to each client. In the end, by managing and fulfilling client expectations you will have happy fulfilled clients, happy worked-just-right employees, and a profitable client list that adds value to your business.