When you work in a customer-facing role or business, it can be tempting to promise your clients perfection. After all, that’s what most of us want out of a professional partnership –– perfect results for both parties. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
When you guarantee your customers that everything will be perfect, it sets their expectations at level that removes any room for unintentional error or mistakes. And fact of the matter is, we’re all bound to make mistakes here and there, but it doesn’t have to be the end of a relationship if expectations were appropriately set. Too often, businesses are fearful of acknowledging their mistakes which in turn means that they can’t learn from them. Using your mistakes as a learning or development tool will only help you improve.
An important piece of forming a business relationship is understanding that you are in control of what promises are being made to your customer. If you promise perfection, it’s likely that they’ll be unsatisfied the moment something goes awry, no matter how big or small. Make sure you and your team are on the same page about what your clients expect when fulfilling their needs so you can create a consistent message. Rather than promising perfection, consider making these commitments to customers:
- Transparency. Keep clients updated on projects, requests, etc. They shouldn’t be left wondering what the status of their needs are, otherwise they may seek someone else to fulfill them.
- Honesty. It’s important to be honest with customers even if it feels difficult because they need to manage their expectations too.
- Communication. While you can’t promise perfection, you can promise to prioritize good communication, which goes hand in hand with transparency and honesty.
Managing a successful customer relationship takes work. We all wish it was as easy as snapping our fingers and saying, “I promise, it will be perfect!” While some matters are out of our control, prioritizing the aspects you can control like transparency, honesty, and communication will lead to satisfied customers who can trust in your business.