Want to Build Trust? Don’t Always Exceed Expectations

expectationsIt seems pretty ironic. If you want to build customer trust, you should not always exceed customer expectations. Common sense would say that if you provide a service and then exceed expectations, the customer will be very impressed and want to come back again and again. But actually the opposite is true. Exceeding expectations breeds mistrust.

How does it work? When you make it a habit to under-promise and over-deliver, you are actually misleading the customer. They’ll see it as something underhanded instead of a great service to them. They may become demanding and even start haggling and bargaining on service or price.

It also raises the customer’s expectations and soon you will be hard-pressed to deliver. You can’t give more than 100%. Many customers instead of showing gratitude for your services will feel entitled, much like Dudley in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when he threw a fit because he only got 38 birthday presents (in which his mother promises 2 more).

So how do you build trust with your customer? Honesty is the best policy. Tell the truth. Let them know exactly what to expect and then deliver. That is the best way to start a good track record of credibility and reliability.

Want to learn more? Check out this article from Charles Green at Trusted Advisor: http://trustedadvisor.com/trustmatters/dont-always-exceed-expectations



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