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Do You Really Know What Your Clients Expect?

Updated on June 18, 2013

Do you really know what they expect?

I just read an article about website development and the common angst that developers experience with their clients when it comes to giving the client what he/she really wants (expects to get). Having been heavily involved in acquiring sponsorships, selling radio, TV, Cable and/or print advertising over the years; expectation versus reality seems to be a common challenge in most service oriented businesses.

The reason for the disappointment that a customer feels when the Radio advertising fails to drive thousands of new customers through the door is very simple. The client and/or your expectation dilemma are a constant variable. You have done a great job of selling your client on buying an on-air advertising schedule on your station on hiring you to do their website. This is the time to make sure you know what results are expected as a result of this consummated sale. Your job is to determine what they expect, review that with them and make sure their expectations and what you are doing for them are completely understood. If the customer expects to see thousands of new customers come through their front door because they thought that buying a two week 2 commercials per day ad schedule then that is YOUR fault because you failed to determine that expectation. If you had determined that they expected to see this kind of response then you could have discussed the reality of realizing that degree of anticipation of their media buy. You have a great opportunity when dealing with prospective clients and can talk with them about what their perspective and hopes are on doing business with you. If you take the time to explain exactly what you would like to do for them and then ask them what they expect from this performance you can bring their expectations to a realistic balance with what you are doing. Down the road as your relationship builds with this client you will find that because you were honest and took the time to explain the reality of what your partnership with them can accomplish, they will be more understanding, empathetic, cooperative and anxious to recommend your services to others because you told them upfront that the way to use radio advertising was to do so many commercials day for at least 3 -6 months with a consistent message, etc. They also would have to understand the value of one new customer. A lot of business people just do not understand that although that live radio broadcast from their business might only drive a few people, how much will each, as a repeat customer, spend at their business over a twelve month period and how many new customers will a satisfied customer bring in during that same year. All of a sudden you have taken the expectations of thousands of new customers coming into their business as a result of that radio advertising and the reality becomes just as exciting to them and when that remote broadcast and radio commercials begin running, you have a customer that realizes that it will bring in new customers, not as many as he/she may of expected when you first met with him/her but they will not be upset with you because there are not thousands rushing their business. Your job is to educate and help that business grow. It all starts with determining expectations.


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    • John1892 profile image

      John1892 5 years ago from Edgewater, Florida

      Thanks so much for the positive feedback. The info is pretty common sense and we all probably know what we should be doing but like football teams in a slump, you have to get back to basics. Thanks again.

    • Gamerelated profile image

      Gamerelated 5 years ago from California

      Hello John1892, I think your advice is sound. In the service industry it really is important to make sure that the client has realistic expectations of what your services can do for them. Your advice is very useful and informative.