Managing Customer Expectations

Having spent some time in a small print shop a few years back, it always amazed me the expectation placed on our small team. We needed to produce work to an excellent standard, with little cost and in no time at all. Admittedly we marketed ourselves to provide this kind of service but in my opinion the model was flawed. 

We very rarely achieved all three of these expectations all at the same time.

And when we did produce work at record pace to spec and cheaply, our business lost money on the job.

Why was the model flawed? Because that's not how the world works.

The unmet expectation could have been resolved simply by communicating the process to the customer and quoting accordingly.

If the customer is worth keeping they will understand there is a process to follow.

I came across this 'customer service triangle' recently...and it makes perfect sense. (Above pic)

You can see by the image that there are always only two corners touching the ground at the one time.

Geometrically you can't have all three corners touching the ground at the same time.

The formula goes something like this:

  • If you want the job to be Fast and Cheap it will cost Quality.
  • If you want Quality and Speed it will be Expensive.
  • If you want it to be Cost Effective and Great Quality it will take Time to research the best priced solution.

Keen to hear your thoughts on this...