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Set Buyer Expectations, Then Exceed Them!

Setting and meeting customers’ expectations is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. Customers are the lifeblood of any organization, and they expect to receive value, quality, and satisfaction from the products or services they purchase. However, customers’ expectations are not static; they vary over time depending on the context and the competition. Therefore, businesses must constantly monitor and adjust their strategies to meet customers’ needs and wants.

These tips are based on my experience as a business owner and consultant and on best practices from various industries.

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Tip 1: Know your customers.

The first step to setting and meeting customers’ expectations is to know who your customers are, what they value, what they need, and what they want. You can do this by conducting market research, customer surveys, interviews, focus groups, feedback forms, social media analysis, and other methods of collecting data and insights. You should also segment your customers into different groups based on their characteristics, preferences, behaviors, and goals. This will help you tailor your products or services to each segment and create personalized experiences for them.

Tip 2: Communicate clearly and consistently.

The second step to setting and meeting customers’ expectations is communicating clearly and consistently. You should establish a clear value proposition for your products or services and communicate it effectively through your website, marketing materials, sales pitches, customer service channels, and other touchpoints. You should also set realistic expectations for your customers by being transparent about your capabilities, limitations, delivery times, prices, policies, and guarantees. You should avoid making promises you cannot keep or overpromising and underdelivering. You should also inform your customers of any changes or updates that may affect them.

Tip 3: Deliver on your promises.

The third step to setting and meeting customers’ expectations is to deliver on your promises. You should ensure that your products or services meet or exceed the quality standards you have set and communicated to your customers. You should also ensure that you deliver your products or services on time, within budget, and according to the specifications that you have agreed upon with your customers. You should also provide excellent customer service throughout the customer journey, from pre-sale to post-sale. You should promptly, courteously, and professionally respond to customer inquiries, complaints, requests, and feedback. You should also follow up with your customers after the sale to ensure their satisfaction and loyalty.

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Tip 4: Seek feedback and improvement.

The fourth step to setting and meeting customers’ expectations is to seek feedback and improvement. You should constantly measure and monitor your performance against customer expectations and satisfaction. You should use various tools and methods to collect customer feedback, such as surveys, reviews, ratings, testimonials, referrals, social media mentions, etc. You should also analyze the feedback data and identify the strengths and weaknesses of your products or services and the opportunities and threats in the market. You should then use the feedback data to improve your products, services, processes, systems, strategies, and communication. You should also communicate the improvements to your customers and show them you value their opinions and suggestions.

Cleaning & unpackingSetting and meeting customers’ expectations is not a one-time event but an ongoing process requiring constant attention and adaptation. By following these four tips, you can set realistic and achievable expectations for your customers, deliver value and satisfaction consistently, build trust and loyalty with them over time, and grow your business successfully.

SiteOne provides the technology tools to create digital manuals and content, an inventory of the installed products with maintenance and care information, maintenance and DIY videos, and a request for service workflow that connects buyers, builders, and partners.