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Over Promising and Under Delivering: A Matter of Trust

Sales gets an order. The customer is excited that they will get their product before it is needed. One thing leads to another, and the product is late, there are errors in the data, or the piece is subpar.

Customer service communicates to the customer that their order will be shipped in 48 hours. Low and behold, 48 hours comes and goes, and the customer does not receive their product, nor are they informed.

These types of broken promises are all too familiar in the feedback we gather from newly converted customers that severely impacts their business negatively. So, what steps can you take as a business to ensure your customers clearly understand where you stand? Let’s address a few items that may alleviate these issues before they start.

Service promises

Your customers develop expectations through various interactions with your business. Whether these are receiving a call back after leaving a voicemail or getting their product on time. Service promises are the lifeblood of a company and should not be taken lightly.

Service expectations should minimally be known throughout the organization. Either through formal documentation or informal word of mouth. When a client encounters anyone at your business, they should expect to receive a similar experience.

A few examples of these expectations:

  • Call back time frame (specific number of hours)
  • Delivery time (on time or before)
  • Clear communications on all channels (everyone/everything should be saying the same thing)

Organizations assert that they are dedicated to customer satisfaction and making it a priority. However, you can say one thing, but if you are not emphasizing the importance of customer service throughout the organization, the customer suffers. That’s why having service promises is key.

Customer experience

The customer’s experience with you and your organization is the number one factor in keeping and attracting new customers. When organizations don’t deliver on their promises, they tend to make customers feel like they are not important. In today’s economy, going above and beyond the customer’s expectation is vital. Many other businesses can do the same thing you can, and customers are likely to move on quickly.

Also, it is important to remember that satisfied customers talk about their experience and may refer others to your business. Whereas unhappy customers will tell others, and unfortunately, with social media, one bad experience spreads faster than several good experiences. Ensuring a pleasant customer experience is critical to repeat/new business.

Building relationships

Your customers are more than orders. Your business should regard each one as a relationship, one that requires trust and reliability. As with any relationship, you must build trust by doing what you say you will and being helpful if something doesn’t go according to plan. In turn, the customer sees you as a trusted partner and will continue to work with you despite any future mishaps that may arise.

Under promise and over deliver. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Ensure everyone in your business is on the same page. Take responsibility for the entire customer experience and build relationships with every customer. And finally, listen to your customers. Ultimately, they are the ones that define expectations and how you meet them.

If you want to experience an organization that exists to make a positive difference in our client’s business as well as their customers, look no further. Give us a call, and let’s chat about how we can partner with you to ensure you get the customer experience you deserve!

Ryan Murphy
Vice President
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