Effective managers know that, to get the best out of your employees, you need to set the right expectations right up front. Doing this not only ensures that your team will be successful, it also helps you to build a strong relationship with your team also. The same advice also works to ensure that you client relationships go smoothly as well.
When your business is newer and you haven’t established rules and parameters for how you work with clients, it’s easy to create some bad habits in your relationships with your customers. These bad habits can be due to any of the following:
- You don’t anticipate the rules that need to be put in place with your clients.
- You are nervous to pay down the law with the people that you work with.
- Lack of organization.
- You don’t worry about problems that arise due to a minimal amount of business.
Setting expectations up front helps ensure that you are setting the right context for your clients up front and it reduces the amount of friction in the relationship. This leads to clients that are highly satisfied with the work that you do.
When I first started consulting, I would have issues with cancelled appointments and in some cases outright no shows. Since the majority of my income, at the time, was based on how I used my time, cancellations created issues for me that I knew I needed to get a handle on before it became a serious problem.
Since then I have been able to set expectations for my clients much more effectively. Now there are no surprises for my clients and they understand what needs to happen for our relationship to be as productive as possible. This has improved the following with my clients:
- Better attendance for appointments.
- Less friction with my clients over a lack of understanding of the policies.
- Better communication.
- More effective coaching.
- Better results.
Many times, issues with a client in our business is typically due to poor communication with that client. Particularly with setting expectations upfront. Here’s something we did recently in conjunction some work that we do with Freedom FastTrack to serve their/our clients better. You can check it out here. This simple page helps us to communicate up front and save time in the process. Want smooth sailing while working with your clients? Follow this one tip for setting expectations up front to ensure that it happens.
What are some ways that you set expectations with your clients?