Setting Client Expectations – Why It’s Important (And How to Do It)

Setting Client Expectations – Why It’s Important (And How to Do It)

By Janita Kapoor

As a business leader, you know that all your clients, even the easy-going ones, come with preexisting assumptions, which is why it is essential to set and manage expectations.

A key brand differentiator is providing high-level experiences, which should be one of your firms’ top priorities and this cannot be achieved without considering client expectations.

By shaping your client’s understanding of the service you provide, you are better equipped to ensure that they have a positive experience right from get go and help them feel confident throughout the process of working with you.

Each client is different, so creating a company culture that addresses all wants and needs can be a real challenge. The key is to set and manage feasible expectations. These expectations need to be based on your clients’ definition of success. To achieve that you’ll need to find balance between the safe and the impressive, consider the team’s capacity and avoid over-promising.

Here’s how you can make your clients feel like they’re in great hands.

Set clear and realistic deliverables from the start – The scope of the project, the timeline clients have in mind and the project requirements need to be clearly set up at the initial stage itself to ensure everyone is on the same page. Always leave some wiggle room because it’s better to under promise and overdeliver than vice versa.

Communication and Transparency – It’s essential to know how to communicate efficiently with the clients from onboarding. This is the only way you can understand and meet their needs, which strengthens your brand’s reputation and may even result in new business opportunities.
Always keep clients in the loop and be transparent whenever serious concerns arise, this helps build trust.

Documenting agreements and deals – It is imperative to document all deals made by your firm, making the specifics of each situation very clear. Documents should be unambiguous in stating what the initial terms of agreement are, besides clearly indicating whether both parties agree on them. Doing this relieves you from any future liability.

Feedback and Reports – Having feedback sessions with the team helps you track your milestones, deliverables, and any other activity related to the project.
It’s important to keep clients apprised of what exactly you are working on. A detailed report of what you have been doing for them, assures them that your time (and their money) is not going to waste. It also allows them to feel like they are part of the process.

Using the right tools – When it comes to managing client expectations, technology tools can help you to keep track of all stages of a project. This way, it’s easier to focus on managing client expectations.
At The dot HQ, our proprietary workflow management software ‘dotKris’ allows clients to have a finger on the pulse of all the jobs.

Setting expectations is about being confident in your ability to deliver. If you begin a project by biting off more than you can chew, you’re bound to be less satisfied with the results.

So, the next time you take on a new client or a project, make sure to manage client expectations and let them know you’ve got it all under control!