Managing Expectations

Author: Notre Dame ESTEEM

Entrepreneurs managing expectations

When it comes to owning your own business, you'll find yourself occasionally with upset customers - it's a part of the game. However, the majority of those upset customers are probably upset because they didn't fully understand what the service or product you, as an entrepreneur, were offering. And most time, whether we want to admit it or not, it is because we have set people expectations higher than we can truly deliver. To solve some of these conflicts it is important to understand how to manage a customers expectations. 

Understand your limitations 

Few people understand your companies abilities better than you, so make sure you know how much you can offer. Customers will always appreciate knowing what you are able to do, and if they choose to go somewhere else it might be for the best. The level of stress that comes with constantly working with a customer who expects more than you can give is very high. They'll never be satisfied with your service and you'll never feel fully comfortable with the service you're offering. 

Know what you are being measured on

Keep in mind managing expectations isn't about lowering expectations, but making sure that the client expects the same thing you have the ability to offer. For example, if you're in a product industry, make sure you know what your client expects from you in terms of both inputs and output. For example, if you are making widgets for a client and you are focused on quality and the client is focused on quantity, you will probably not meet in the middle. Make sure you understand explicitly what the customers goals are, and make sure you have the ability to achieve those goals. 

Be sure to push yourself, but don't oversell

When it comes to your business and you, as an entrepreneur, it's extremely important to grow. In some cases, managing expectations too much has stifled growth because entrepreneurs are not willing to try new things. Be sure that you are willing to expand your abilities but keep client's expectations in check and always have the ability to find someone else who can complete the work if you are not able to. 

Be sure as you grow that your expectations for yourself grow. We should always be learning new things and be ready to test new ideas, but make sure your customers are ready too!