When your business was created you made an implied promise to your customers – that you would give them products or services that would meet their needs. Once the customers started to purchase from you they had expectations based upon your implied promises.
If you made baby food, customers expected that it not only tasted good, but that it was free from even one iota of harmful ingredients. If you were an airline, passengers expected to get from point A to point B on time, according to your published schedule – in comfort and with no hidden fees. If you manufactured automobiles, your customers expected that their new purchase would be reliable transportation for at least five years with absolutely no recalls. If you made clothes, your customers expected style, years of wear, and easy to clean. If you provided a delivery service, your customers expected on time to your promised delivery time and intact. If you prepared taxes, your customers expected total accuracy and to owe the least amount of taxes possible.
Now, as the business, where did you go wrong? You did not engineer perfection into the product or service before you launched it. You said to yourself, nobody is perfect. The problem is we’re not talking about an impossible perfection here. We’re only talking about you absolutely doing what you at least implied to the customer that you would do on day one. You unwittingly created an expectation in the customers’ minds and it’s those expectations that will drive their purchasing decisions.
The only way to right this ship is to go back to square one and ask yourself, “What did we promise to do?” Form focus groups, send out surveys – find out what customers are really expecting and then fine tune your operations to meet these expectations at a 100% level.
And further, engineer back up plans and escalation processes so that when exceptions do occur you can proactively correct the problems before customers even have time to complain.
Always make sure that you and all your employees are in full awareness and alignment with customer expectations and that all of you are driven to no less than performing, 24/7, 100% to those expectations.