Earlier this week I had a not-so-pleasant experience interacting with a certain company online. What happened? Well, to summarize, they mismanaged my expectations. What I thought would be an easy process where all I needed to do was provide an email address, turned out to be an attempt by the company to have me continually provide more and more information.
Now, I understand that the more information you have about your customers the better. I don’t have a problem providing information. The problem comes in when this EXPECTATION is not set. As a business, we need to be aware of what expectations we are setting for our customers and (this is the important part) DELIVER on those expectations CONSISTENTLY. Why? because you never know when you will make the first impression. This is important so I will repeat you never know when you will make the first impression. What does that mean? It means that you make the first impression, not necessarily when people first interact with you or your product/service, but rather when they are REALLY paying attention and are focused on you. That may not be the first, second or third time they interact with you (or product/service). And, here is the catch, you never know when that moment will be.
This is why its important that you are always managing expectations and are consistent in what you (or product/service) do (does) or say or promise. This is how you build a strong brand. You build trust with your customers by being honest and authentic. Building a relationship with your customers based on trust is far more valuable than anything else. That is what will make your brand stand out in the market place and stand up to the test of time.
Trust is a fragile thing. Hard to build, easy to break.