A lot of business owners and service providers have the same headache when it comes to client satisfaction surveys; they receive feedback from clients about how the services rendered did not meet certain specifications and that can be a huge morale dampener. But what exactly are the reasons for the lopsided relations between services desired and services rendered in your business?
The abnormality in this, can be very hard to notice considering the fact that your clients usually tell you what they ‘want’ during the initial transaction or negotiations. So how come you still couldn’t deliver to precision? The truth is: majority of your clients will never be concerned about the minutest detail of the service to be rendered until you’re either done or half way through with the job; they will Itemize/describe the ‘basic need’ they want met, probably after they went through your service listing & cost quotations (assuming you already itemized your services into different customer friendly packages), picked a package, and then they start expecting nothing short of excellence from you.
A client to a photography studio once had complaints about the service rendered at his wedding ceremony; he described the job as ‘different (and poorly done) from what his brother got during his own wedding’. The camera angles in the photos snapped, pattern adopted in creating the photo album and video quality of the wedding coverage were on his list of complaints to this studio. Now check this: his brother’s wedding coverage was contracted to a different photography studio entirely and he didn’t even provide samples of what was done in that wedding to this studio he contracted, he could have presented that as a sample of exactly what he wanted, but he simply went through the brochure and chose a coverage package. So this client had strangely expected two different studios to provide the same pattern of job execution without initially demanding the exact replication of what his brother got.
Such a case (or worse) could occur more frequently in some professions than in others, but it’s always a clear indicator to the fact that your client will always expect you to know what he wants right down to the smallest detail, and at least 5 in 10 (probably more) will likely offer little or no conscious assistance in aiding your understanding of that tiniest detail (not because he doesn’t want to anyway) so you must evolve in your PR techniques and ensure you don’t allow your client back out those doors till he’s provided every detail he can offer or unequivocally accepted the details you provide down to the smallest part.
In business, the customer is always right; and they will always want the best value from you, so you must put them through the rigor of defining the things they absolutely want done, knowing that what you term ‘negligible’ can mean ‘everything’ on their books.
This scenario has, more often than not, created problems for start up businesses and upcoming entrepreneurs. If the first 10 visitors to a bar asked for ice in their drinks, it won’t mean anything in relation to what the next customer would want because he just might have an aversion for taking his drinks with ice. We draw easy conclusions on what we think our customers want because we sometimes rely needlessly on certain ‘survey statistics’. Don’t get me wrong, doing a market survey of what a particular target populace would most likely want from your business is the right way to get your resources channeled towards customer satisfaction, but you must never ignore the fact that no two people can be 100% alike in wants and taste. An entrepreneur/service provider must:
· Kick out Assumptions and attach no more than 70% importance to market survey results when trying to please individual clients, the other 30% focus must be given to the individual choices of each client down to the least detail.
· Attend to each client’s need with a knowledge that his/her taste/wants can change or evolve between the last time they sought your services and the next, so you must be sure to ask for details time and again, except you are instructed otherwise in your agreements with clients.
This problem is usually more frequent for apprentices, rookies, and basically anyone who has the audacity to start, run or work in a business. It can actually be a part of the learning process for many entrepreneurs because actually nobody is perfect, but if not consciously worked on; it can be the beginning of the end for your business.
Clients who take a chance on a service provider they are not used to will mostly never return if the service rendered is below expectation. Wise businessmen would say that the ‘best way to learn a task you have never done, is to do it’, therefore I agree that it’s basically unwise to tell a client that you cannot deliver on his expectations simply because you have never done such a task before. However, each time you accept a job from a client on a task you have never done before, you must:
· Set about the task with all the resources available to you, and definitely seek guidance from a professional who has executed such a task before.
· Never assume that this task will be a success riding on the ‘special skills’ you might have; your skills set may just be short of what is required to achieve precision. So you must make a deep research and find out if there’s something extra you need to acquire or learn.
If by any chance you are not so sure that you can deliver satisfactorily on what your new client wants, your best bet is to decline the job offer or refer that client to someone who can do it better, no use removing scores from your business reputation over a poorly delivered job.
Overall, the perfect customer satisfaction is always easily achieved when the communication channel between service provider and client is maintained and given priority.

Rukky Wordsmith is a freelance writer, content creator and author. My services are available for hire: officialwordsmith@gmail.com, +2348102623462.

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