A word about expectations

Your brand is, when it comes down to it, a way to set expectations.

Are you expensive or cheap? Convenient or hard to get? Cool or conservative? Will I save time, lose weight or make money by becoming a customer?

The generation born right around the Great Depression (aka, my parents, who are a bit older than most of my friends’ parents) expect: things to work if you pay for them (regardless of how much you paid), stellar service whether they are at the Ritz or the Motel 6, portions to be fair, human beings to answer help lines and walk them through a process and employees to be experts at whatever their conmpany sells (building materials, auto supplies, bikes, food, etc.)

My generation expects: better service at the Ritz than the Holiday Inn, that we get what we pay for, that a cashier at Home Depot may not know how to install a new door, and that sometimes it’s often easier if I can serve myself without any human interaction (ATM’s, self-service flight check-ins, online banking, etc.)

Millenials expect: Well, I haven’t a clue, but I have read that they expect to be praised heavily at work, instant responses to Tweets and texts, and technology to shift and adapt in new ways every year.

I’m generalizing, of course. But I’ve learned that I am less patient when it comes to poor customer service these days. That I expect people to return phone calls or emails (especially when I’m actually contacting them to help promote their business). I expect people to do what they say they will do, when they say they will do it (whether I’m paying them or we’re on a volunteer project). I expect honesty. I expect proactiveness. I expect that I may have to deal with ads or pitches, especially when I’m getting content for free – but that, if I like, I can pay to go ad-free. I expect that I should pay for content if its adding extra special value to my business or life. In fact, I expect that I will get more value when I make an investment than when I don’t – and that means I expect timelines, responsiveness, creativity, and responsibility.

Come to think of it, I expect all the things that I would be mortified if I didn’t deliver. My expectations of other brands seem to match my expectation of my own.

Do you expect more than you are prepared to deliver? If so, you might need to rethink things from your customer’s point of view.

Photo credit: Idiotsandgeniuses.blogspot.com

What types expectations do you have of companies you engage with? Please share in the Comments!


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