Have you ever over promised and under delivered? Well like this blog post title, you may do it to get your customer’s attention but ultimately you will fail to live up to the promise and thus, disappoint your client.

OK I admit that this may not be the most important post you will ever read (so please forgive me) but it’s still worth a read!

I was recently contacted by a subscription organisation to potentially sign up and become a member. They seemed quite interesting so despite the heavy sell (and price tag) I asked to speak to a couple of other members to gauge their experience. The friendly chap said he would email straight over some case studies and get a couple of contacts phone number sent over too. Fast forward a week and nothing is received. However, I do get the next sales phone call and remind the chap of our previous conversation and what he had promised to do. He exclaimed “Haven’t you received them? I will send them over again”. Nothing received. Fast forward a few weeks and I receive another call from this organisation (this time a different chap) and outline the previous conversations. He agrees that it is pretty bad, doesn’t know what happened but will send over the case studies and contact numbers right away – and yes, you guessed it, I never received anything nor heard from him again (yet!).

This is a classic example of over promising and under delivering, and based on this poor behaviour I am sure you can imagine that I have no intention of subscribing to their service. I am a big advocate of ‘current behaviour dictates future behaviour’ so if they are over promising and under delivering before I have even become a customer, just imagine what it will be like if I did subscribe to their service?

Whilst this might be an extreme example of over promising, we have all been guilty of it at one time or another. Yet it sets us up to fail and damages our brand reputation.

I have just been working with a client on their customer engagement process and customer journey. At all stages we are endeavouring to under promise so that we can exceed client expectations and delight the customer. This is a good strategy for building long term relationships as opposed to over promising to win business and then failing to deliver – resulting in short lived relationships. In order to do this we need to have the conversation with the client about their expectations tempered against what is realistic, the fee and how we measure the outcomes. Sometimes this is a challenging conversation to have but one that is vital to ensure you and the client, your product and the client’s business strategy are all aligned.

So whilst I definitely over promised and under delivered with my blog title, I hope this article provides you with some food for thought?

If this is a challenge for you and you want some support in matching service levels, expectations and outcomes, then please get in touch and let’s have a chat.

If you would like to learn more about managing client expectations, then download this free book on great client and account management.  Simply complete the form below and we will send it right over.

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