Last week, I took my son to the orthodontist. While he has had countless cleanings over the years, he was experiencing quite a bit of anxiety over the unknown of a trip to the orthodontist. Would he need braces? Would they want to put them on right away? How long would he have to wear them? Would it hurt? As he expressed these feelings of frustration and anxiety, it made me think about how expectations (and the lack thereof) can really mess with your customer acquisition strategy and bottom line.
In my own business coaching firm, Maui Mastermind, we take prospect education very seriously. Many of our clients have never hired a business coach before and they have questions about how the process works, why they should hire one coach over another and wonder what a coaching session is really like. So, we make it a point to anticipate their concerns and questions and answer them over the course of a ninety day education funnel. Once a prospect signs up for a coaching session, we provide them with a video explaining what they can expect during the session and what information and prep work they should do before hand. No surprises = less anxiety.
By setting expectations early on, we are giving customers the confidence they need to pick up the phone and start a relationship with us.
Now, think about this in terms of your own business. Are you losing sales because your customers don't know what to expect?
Here are some tips on how to set expectations to increase sales.
1. Think Like a New Customer
As a business owner, you are intimately aware of the inner workings of your business down to the brand of toilet paper in the restrooms. There are no surprises, you know it all. But as a new customer, there is a lot of ambiguity. Let's use the example of a yoga studio. As a new customer, there are certain things that you want to know before your first class and it is your job as a business owner to answer them to satisfaction before signing up a new client.
2. Look for Frequently Asked Questions in Your CRM
In the example of a yoga studio, I would tell our client to go through their CRM (Customer Relationship Manager), and look for frequently asked questions.
What should I wear to my first class?
What should I bring? Water? A Mat?
How many people are in the class?
Are children allowed?
Can I watch a video of a sample class?
Is the class ok for beginners?
What if I am unable to perform the exercises?
Once they had a list of the questions and concerns, they should then go in and create a written FAQ, walk-through videos or email series to help their customers feel more comfortable prior to their first visit.
3. Review Often
Last but not least, review your customer expectations often to edit as necessary. Maybe your new instructor prefers students to show up 15 minutes early to class. A new customer unaware of this rule could be embarrassed when attending their first class and might not return. Small things make a big difference when it comes to making a customer feel welcome and at ease.
My son ended up needing braces, and we have since watched a handful of YouTube videos on the process to put his mind at ease. And the orthodontist? He now has a customer for at least the next two to three years.