Recently one of my business partners got an email from the yoga studio she’s been patronizing for three years. This place isn’t cheap and she has spent over $2,000 on classes. So when she saw an email from them saying “Happy Anniversary,” she excitedly opened it, expecting something like a $100 gift certificate, a discount on her next year’s membership, or at the very least a free class.
What did she get? Nothing but a message saying “Happy Anniversary! As our client you are very important to us and we greatly value your business. We truly hope that you have enjoyed your experiences at [business name] and will continue to in the future.” “I would have even been happy with a free water bottle,” says my partner, who describes her feelings as going from shock to disbelief to disgust.
In other words, an email that was supposed to make my partner feel better about this business had the exact opposite effect—and I don’t blame her. After all, when we sign up to get emails from a business, we’ve grown to expect that we’ll get something out of the relationship—coupon codes, discounts or special offers that are available to no one else. If you tell a restaurant your birthday, you usually get a free meal or appetizer—not simply an email saying “Have a great birthday!”
Customers have developed certain expectations, and if your business isn’t living up to them, you could be hurting your reputation, your brand and your sales. Expectations aren’t only based on what you deliver—they’re based on what other companies deliver. How can you make sure your business is living up to expectations? Here are some steps.