Customer expectations are influenced by a number of factors, many of which are out of our control.
For example previous experiences with different products or service providers. Think about how Apple have reset expectations when it comes to technology retailing or how Starbucks have changed expectations around coffee and the cafe experience in the United States.
Companies that set the bar high recondition customers to expect that level of service and quality from other businesses they frequent.
The challenge is to keep up with those expectations or to manage them by clearly communicating how you will engage with customers.
Spelling out a customer service charter is one way to do this, it should be used to clearly set expectations around how you can be contacted, when you can be contacted, how quickly to expect a response and policies related to returns or service disputes etc.
Making these elements crystal clear up front and communicating them multiple times will help reset expectations in a way that matches your strategy and ability to deliver against them.
A great expression to keep this top of mind is “under promise, over deliver”
How do you manage your customer’s expectations?