Client Expectation Management and how Fast Feedback Helps


If fruit is proof of a tree’s health in what condition is your business?
A strong client base is necessary for any business. Unfortunately—as with trees—it’s not only one factor that determines your customer service outcome. What changes must you implement to benefit this area of your business? Where do you start?
Currently companies are challenged with a changing business world. Technology evolved so much over the past few decades that customer service systems have transformed. What’s more is clients’ expectations changed.
Are you ready to engage with your clients in a modern way? You must if you want to stand out among competitors. It’s the only way you’ll see positive results.
Here’s what you have to contend with and the tools that will make you successful.

What Clients Want

Excellent customer service means you must tap into clients’ perspectives. Can you take an objective view of your company?
How do you rate yourself when it comes to client expectations?

Clients Hate Waiting
A payment gives people rights to make demands.
These days clients have easier access to more service providers. They can simply look for another one online. Will your speed of service match clients’ demands and beat the opposition’s performance?
Audit these areas if you want some excellent results.

Customer Care Centre
Clients hate being put on hold. You chase customers away when you don’t provide fast service:

  • Do your lines ring long before someone answers? This tells your customers you don’t care.
  • Do customers have to wait long while employees obtain accurate information for feedback? Your internal communication systems aren’t adequate. Your customer care employees are your representatives. They must have access to any necessary information instantly.

Service Department
What’s the turnaround time for:

  • Delivering quotations
  • Sending invoices
  • Handling payments
  • Submitting a tender

Does your staff receive adequate feedback from each other so submissions and feedback can happen fast?

Clients Want to Like You
Dynamic marketing tells clients you can offer them what they need. Can you deliver on this promise?
If a client’s expectations—based on your marketing—aren’t met they will feel cheated. This is your fault not theirs.
No, clients aren’t out to get you. Their complaints may be because of mismanagement on your side:

  • Faulty pricing
  • Damaged merchandise
  • Late service delivery
  • Unfriendly staff

A client who started out with a positive expectation is met by a disappointing reality. Can you prevent this or offer feedback to alleviate this frustration?

Clients want to Get it Done
Clients expect you to help them reach their goals faster. Whether you supply products or deliver a service you run the danger of two things happening:

  • You create unrealistic expectations that you can never keep to
  • Unforeseen circumstances result in delays

Clients Love Being Informed and Trusting You
If you’re contacted to provide products or services it already symbolizes trust. Are you worthy of this trust?
Clients expect service providers to fulfil their expectations. But they also want honesty
Many service provides try handling crises on their own. Have you ever considered consulting with the clients?
Excellent communication during a challenge can lead to more trust. A lack of information can be perceived as a lie. Don’t risk this.
Don’t let customers doubt you or think they’re wasting their money. Show them where their investments are going.
How objective can you be about your business? Be critical for a short while. Realize your pitfalls so can make adjustments.
In many circumstances it simply requires more effective feedback processes.

The Role Feedback Plays

Unfortunately different departments tend to function in isolation in many businesses. When this happens they can’t use synergy to meet client expectations.
One remedy is dynamic feedback.
Proper feedback systems act as connectors between all parties involved:

  • Management
  • Employees
  • Clients
  • Departments

Communication Between Managers, Departments and Employees
What is your worst customer care experience? Have you ever been frustrated by employees who can’t answer any of your questions?
Now the questions is whether this happens in your own company.
Customers usually have contact with employees not management. Most employees may have basic knowledge but not in depth knowledge. This lack of information is perceived as bad customer service.
This can be avoided when communication improves vertically and horizontally.
Can you think of ways valuable information can reach subordinates faster?

  • Product information
  • Schedule changes of job tickets
  • Updates on customer queries
  • Feedback on complaints from department heads or managers

With this information freely available your employees become better representatives. Customers won’t see them as barriers blocking the required information.

Feedback Provides all a Client needs
How much of what clients expect can you provide?
One simple adjustment alleviates much of the tension your clients currently experience.
Let’s look at how feedback relates to all clients expect:

  • Liking you:
  • Clients are more accommodating as long as they’re given answers. Most problems have explanations right? So make sure this feedback reaches clients who have queries. This requires easy communication flow throughout your organization.
  • Trusting you: A huge component of trust is communication. Fast feedback tells clients you care about their opinions. If they can trust you to supply feedback they’re bound to believe you’ll keep your commitments.
  • Waiting on you: When clients wait for feedback they feel neglected. Negative assumptions build. When you get around to contacting these clients they may be so negatively inclined that nothing you say will alleviate the problem. Prevent this with fast feedback before any generalizations or assumptions take place. Fast feedback keeps clients satisfied that they don’t start doubting your concern for them.
  • Being informed: Information empowers you and your clients. Supply them with updates on projects and timelines so they can plan accordingly. They don’t want to be at the mercy of an organization. Since they’re paying they must stay informed and in charge.
  • Reaching goals: Without fast feedback from all parties involved misunderstandings are bound to happen. This will prevent goals being reached.
  • Feeling cared for: Yes your clients want to know you’re not simply doing it for the money. Clients are only loyal to companies they feel safe with. They want to feel their needs are important to you. You won’t build a strong customers base without this belief. Offering feedback is the way you show this concern for your customers.

So feedback is important. How do you handle it right?

How can You Improve Feedback Structures?

Yes technology made the market more competitive. But there are positive results of technology too.
Speed is a key feature in the quality of your feedback. With technology you can handle feedback faster. You must implement it correctly. While your clients wait on your reply they may get answers from your competitors. You won’t easily get them back so prevent it from happening.
Here’s what you need to do.

Does your problem lie in how your clients are treated? Train your employees to do it right.

Technical Training
Many modern feedback systems require software and technical devices:

  • Do your employees know how they work?
  • Can they optimize all features?

Motivational Training
Help your employees understand the impact of their actions. Do you employees perform tasks simply to obtain a salary? They’re not motivated to deliver excellence.
When employees realize they play a role in a bigger picture they find purpose. This is when employees start showcasing their companies well. Much of this relates to treating customers better. Employees will go the extra mile to provide better feedback because they know this implicates the entire business

But what if you employees don’t have the means to showcase your brand?
It’s all about empowering your work force. Do you supply them with what they need:

  • A clear line of authority so they know where to request information.
  • Guidelines to obtain information from the correct source such as product experts or site managers.
  • A platform to obtain information. When leaders are busy employees can’t book private meetings. Is there an easy way your employees can request information required by clients?

These tasks all become easier and faster when you implement the correct tools.

Feedback systems are complemented with modern tools such as software and other technology.

Internal Communication
Keep all your employees informed by using management software. Tasks can be allocated and feedback posted online.
When customers require feedback from any employee relevant information can be drawn:

  • Progress reports regarding services
  • Updates on when deliveries will take place
  • Managers’ feedback on complaints

These online tools can usually be accessed via Smartphones. Your employees are now empowered even after business hours and off site.

Talking to Customers
Even the way you talk to customers can be revolutionized. Your ultimate goal is:

  • Saving time
  • Handle more queries

Software and technology offers you many options to reach these goals:

  • Let customers submit questions and receive feedback via your business app. You don’t have to set up meetings but your customers still get necessary attention.
  • Correspond via email. Everything is in writing so there’s no chance of misunderstandings. Still working on the matter? Let your email state you’re still busy reviewing it. The customer knows you haven’t forgotten about him or her and will stay positive.
  • Telephone conversations can be recorded. This serves as reference and quality control
  • Software captures everything related to a particular customer. It can also send automatic updates:
    • General updates to clients can alleviate a waiting client’s frustration. They know they’re not forgotten.
    • Reminders to employees ensure the problem is tended to. This way no matter is overlooked.

These methods work because your employees save time. They don’t have to make phone calls that result in endless discussions.

What About Feedback from Clients?

Don’t get stuck on giving clients what they ask for. Ask them what they haven’t even thought of.
Feedback from your clients is a dynamic tool to improve your functioning.

Change in Plans
Long term projects invariably contain changes. These can be on your part or the client’s.
Ask your clients for feedback and make it easy for them to supply it:

  • Create an app on which they can communicate with you
  • Supply a specific email address so information reaches the right manager instantly

Now you’re one step ahead instead of situations getting out of hand.

Handling Challenges
When problems arise your clients should become your partners not your opponents.
Ask for feedback during challenges such as adjusted timelines. The information helps you manage the situation better—for everyone’s benefit.
Handling your clients’ concerns while you face the challenge means you’re not left with angry customers afterwards. Happier clients—that feel understood and considered—tend to be more helpful. They’re also more willing to bear with difficult situations.
But you have to ask for their feedback. Not all clients verbalize their thoughts.
As mentioned above this can be done efficiently through a number of feedback tools.

Your current projects contain valuable information for your future ventures. Your clients know exactly where your strengths and weaknesses are.
Ask for these insights and use it to your benefit. If you can fix something now future clients won’t be implicated by it.
Use online review systems or business apps to ask for feedback on rendered services so you know what to improve:

  • Customer service
  • Punctuality
  • Product quality

The Ultimate Goal – Word of Mouth

Why is the feedback aspect of your company so important?
Yes you want a loyal client base. This proves you deliver excellent service. But when these supporters start talking to others about your company you’ve reached the ultimate goal.
Word of mouth is the best manner of branding, marketing and communication you’ll ever acquire. You won’t achieve this without proper—modern—feedback between management, employees and clients.
How well do you rate yourself today?

About the Author:


Povilas V. Dudonis is a serial entrepreneur and likes to dig deep into methods and processes of business operations to find ways to reach maximum performance