Setting clear expectations

Setting clear expectations

2000 1080 Thumbtel Team

Having worked in customer facing roles for around 15 years I have found that one of the greatest causes of issues from a customer’s point of view, could have been avoided if their expectations were set correctly. Whether it’s the date for a project to be completed, features to be added in a new software release or simply when they can expect to speak to you and what your response times will be.

I have been guilty of managing this poorly myself, so I have left myself in a positions where I was still on a customer call whilst climbing the steps to board a plane for a romantic break in Venice with my husband, or answering customer texts at 10.30pm whilst in the middle of watching a film and supposedly relaxing.

You can easily avoid these situations. They become stressful for you, those around you and your customer who gets frustrated if you are not in a position to speak or help them in that instant.

This does not mean undermining the provision of excellent service and communications, it simply means that you are clear about your working hours so your customers know what to expect from you.

Larger organisations have set procedures and SLAs that their customers are aware of and sign up for but this can be more difficult when you are a small business or work for yourself as there is often nobody else to talk the strain. However, as long as you can offer guidelines on when you’ll be able to respond, I think it is fair.

If you have been clear about this from the outset they should not be shocked and it will train both of you to behave differently.

another number offers a Do Not Disturb function so that you decide on your work hours and as soon as the clock passes 6pm for example, anyone who calls you or sends you a text will automatically receive the voice or text message that you created. In the message you can state your working hours and when they can expect to hear back from you.

The DND setting will only apply to your work number so you’ll still receive calls and texts from your personal number so if your family and friends get in touch they will still get through.

You won’t receive any notifications about the work contact until you switch the app back into work mode the next day or at your chosen time, so you can enjoy your evening, weekend or holiday.

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