You Told Me This Was Regular Coffee!
Perhaps you have experienced this. You go to buy groceries and you see an item on sale for what seems to be a great price. You take it to the register, where they proceed to charge you full price for the item. You inquire about the sale price, only to be told that the same item in a smaller case was the item on sale. You probably wouldn’t have minded to pay the full price, but because you thought it was on sale, you are frustrated that you have to pay full price. This situation illustrates the importance of managing your customers’ expectations.
Managing expectations is important for tech companies. Tech companies are often selling new and innovative products. These products come to consumers without any expectations. The company is often the only source of information where consumers can learn what their expectations should be. This is great for tech companies. It is a fantastic opportunity for a company to be able to set their own customers’ expectations for the good or service they provide. However, if you screw this opportunity up, you have no one to blame but yourself. Take Netflix for example. $7.99 may be a very reasonable price for their streaming service, but when they set their consumers’ expectations to be that their streaming service only costs $2.00, they surprised their customers, which resulted in a rough period of time for Netflix, including plummeting stock and public apologies.
I try to go by the slogan “under sell and over deliver.” However, this is a very delicate balance. You don’t want to under sell so much that you never get any bids. It is important for you to be honest with yourself about what you can accomplish and what you can deliver. If you take advantage of the opportunity, you can consistently set your consumers’ expectations and then meet that expectation—tell them what they want, and then give it to them. And that makes for one happy customer.
The immortal Chris Farley demonstrates, in a way only Chris Farley can, the risks involved in not managing your customers’ expectations in the video below: