You know that feeling when you are waiting for someone to come to your house for a service call. They told you they would be there between 8 am and noon. You took the morning off from work so you could make sure it was handled. You wake up early enough to make sure everything is in place in hopes they show up at 8. You find odds and ends to work on while you are waiting but you are prisioner in your own home. The clock turns to 11:45 am and you call customer service. The person on the phone tells you to be patient it’s not noon yet. You have no choice but to be patient and now it’s 12:30. No one has called or showed up. You start making calls again only to be placed on hold. You call work to tell them you won’t be in today and you really didn’t want to use a vacation day. Finally, someone shows a 1 pm without an apology or care in the world. We have all been there and typically the only reason we continue to use that vendor is because we have no choice and if we have a choice we cancel our servcies. Regardless, of the choice we post our anger on Facebook or Twitter and 50 of our friends chime in to talk about why they hate that company.
It always amazes me how many people forget one of the biggest things in business. Under Promise and Over Deliver. I have had so many “waiting” experiences in life waiting for a service vendor to show up on time that when they are early or on time I am so impressed.
You will lose most if not all crediibility from your clients if you tell them you can do something to find out you cannot do it or you miss their deadline. This includes the beginning process of the relationship. If I tell a client I will get them a proposal by Friday. I really try to get the proposal by Thursday morning. If for some reason you cannot deliver on your first intention do not panic, but you must communicate. Clients understand when things are explained. When you don’t meet your deadlines and commitments just remember how you felt that day when you were let down. They may seem like small trivial issues but people do not like when you don’t meet their expectations especially when you are the one setting the expectations.
Opportunities do not knock on your door everyday so make the most of them and let your prospects know they can depend on you.