We’ve all experience a moment were we felt let down by someone. Or we felt frustrated that they didn’t do something we wanted. Maybe the person that you expected something from was your child, friend, a parents or most commonly your partner. You’ve probably already guessed where I’m going with today’s episode…I want to discus with you about expectations. What they are, why we need to be aware of them, how we can actively manager someones else expectations of us when running a service or product base business.
What Are Expectation? Why Do We Need To Be Aware Of Them?
You might not know it but we walk around with a lot of expectations. Expectation are your strong hopes or beliefs that something will happen or that you will get something that you want.
We all carry different exceptions. I can remember when I was 18 or 19 years old and my parent left the house to go do some shopping. When they came back I could feel tension in the air, I wasn’t sure what was wrong first of all. But then one of them made a comment about how the dishwasher hadn’t been emptied. I felt that horrible pang in the pit of my tummy asI felt bad to let them down. But also felt a little annoyed because I didn’t know they wanted me too. This was an expectation of something that should have been done. It was a pretty logical and sensible expectations to have, but to me I felt blind sighted. I had no idea I wasn’t doing something they wanted me to do. I was obliviously unaware probably watching Friends on tv.
They didn’t tell me to unload it before they left, they just believed that it would happen because they were out. I think I said sorry you should have to tell me too, which they responded probably along the lines of we shouldn’t have to tell you to. Unknowingly we do set up other people to fail without them even knowing it with our expectations. I think we need to be aware of that expectation can sit on a spectrum from reasonable to ludicrous. Unloading the dishwasher is a pretty reasonable and sensible expectation to have, but an expectation that your friend or partner is going to like all the same music artists or movies you do is a bit ludicrous. Expectation aren’t always a good thing, they can hinder and cause a lot of arguments and resentment towards someone. Therefore we need to be more aware of the expectation we put on the people around us. Because sometimes they just own’t be able to met them, plus should we even of had that expectation from them in the first place?
Expectation With Your Customers & Clients In Business
Miss managed expectation can be detrimental in business whether you work with clients or sell products to customers. There are expectation at play here, from both parties. I you’re a served base business listen up. Client usually have a bunch of expectation before working with you, these could look like
“I paid for you’re services you should be available to answer me 24/7”
“They can just answer me over WhatsApp”
“They should of responded to that email by now it’s be a couple hours”
If you don’t manage these expectations you are walking on a very thin tight rope. And some point bound to disappoint that client by not meeting their expectation. Remember that to them, they sort of have this idea that they are your only client. Obviously you don’t want to make your client feel not special or unheard. But you do also need to put boundaries in place so that they know what to expect. So if avoiding conflict and letting someone down we must manage these expectation a the that start of every project or even purchase. For service based business this would include a friendly project manual or code of conduct, Name it whatever you like, but it must be something that you give to your client to read and make sure they accept the way you intent to work with them.
For example include,
The days you are available to work are Monday to Friday.
Or Monday to Thursday maybe you have a non-client day to do deep focused work every week? Let them know this.
Tell them the ways in which you intent to communicate and the way in which you will not.
Manage the amount of hours your client might have to wait for a responses too.
If you get this all out the way at the beginning of a project you won’t have as many hick ups. Get all the horrible nitty gritty bits out the way and maybe even resolve a few issues that might of arise half way through and prevent from deadlines being pushed back. You might have a client that prefers to use WhatsApp, maybe they are always on the go and never checked or hate email. I can sympathise with clients on this and can see how WhatsApp is far more easier on the go. It’s your decisions to stand by your work boundaries and it’s good practise. So if you do have a client that pushing on an expectation you’ve set up, make sure you talk through and don’t just ignore it. You could say to this particular client, why you made communication email based. Open up and explain with honestly, maybe you have one phone and it is for personal use only. You only like to use WhatsApp as a form of communication with friends, family etc. You previous had clients on WhatsApp and never felt like you were away from your desk and because you work from home you needs to create some healthier work life boundaries.
Hopefully your client will understand where you are coming from and hopefully agree. If not then it’s time to find a solution you’re both happy with for this expectation to be resolved. Starting a project knowing your client not happy with the process isn’t really how you should proceed. Iron out all the kinks before you start. A solution to this problem might be you could find another messaging app she can use from her phone and you can use from your laptop. There’s usually always a solution out there, just got to be open to find it and discuss!
If you sell digital or physical products your customers are still going to have expectations. Usually these will include, delivery times, refunds and warranty. Most businesses already have these expectation set up on their site. But if you sell digital product you need to explain how they should expect it to be delivered via email, dropbox and even what files etc. You might know how they’ll receive but do your customers?
Expectation Your Customer Will Have About Your Brand.
Your customers and clients expectation don’t only apply to your business process. But also with your branding – when you positioning your brand in a specific way, for example: Luxurious or sustainable good etc. Your customer will create this expectation of you in their minds. If your brand is luxury with higher price points and you post products in cheap packaging they might feel cheated because you didn’t met their expectations. So a reminder that the brand you build and what you say you value creates expectations in your clients and customer minds. Make sure all your touchpoint match up with your brand values. Not just the design aesthetic looking the part.
I’m going to leave it there for today I’ve chewed your ear off about expectation for far too long enough. I hope you enjoyed todays episode if you missed last weeks do go check it out, I discussed what affirmation and branding have in common, it might just surprise you! Also you don’t have to be an affirmation queen to enjoy it!