Expectations are a must in every relationship, including client-artist relationships. They don’t only help you; they help clients walk in and out satisfied with the experience because it met their expectations. We’re forever fans of win-win situations, so let’s talk about how to create just that by setting expectations.
Define Your Expectations
The first important conversation to have is with yourself. As a business owner, what are your goals for yourself? Your business? What are your hours and availability for your clients? What will you and your team agree upon? Who is responsible for training and materials? All other expectations follow from these because expectations for yourself have to be met first.
Next, what clients can expect from you in terms of booking, communication, procedure instructions, etc.? How soon can they expect a response? What are their options for rescheduling or cancelling? How will you explain the procedure and aftercare responsibilities to them? These expectations should be standard and not on a client-by-client basis.
Write about how you set expectations and give examples of exactly what they look and sound like. Knowing what they are helps you to know what they aren't.
Now that you’ve defined your expectations, you need to communicate them to your clients and your team. The thing is they should get the same answer on all fronts, whether they access you by email, on social media, with your team or with yourself. Set it up so you don’t have to constantly say it. Develop forms and email confirmations then automate it so you are sure your clients have it in writing.
Needs change and so do expectations. How often will you revisit expectations and if you decide to make changes, how do you communicate this? It can be through a website update, newsletter, announcement on social or all of the above. Communicating your expectations shows your desire to retain clients, which is always a must in our book.
When someone doesn't listen to your expectations, it’s not a good sign for a long lasting, healthy relationship. Every exception you make weakens your policies little by little, and makes your rules appear flexible. Decide on what is negotiable and what are firm rules that you are willing to lose a client over. Honor the business that you have worked so hard to create.
What are your tips for setting expectations? Let us know in the comments!