It is your job as a service professional to manage expectations. Are you actively managing them?
Managing expectations is one of the most important (*most* important in my book) aspects of doing any type of business with other people. When you successfully manage expectations, both parties are mutually satisfied and eager to continue doing business with one another.
I don’t think I can stress enough how critical it is that you set proper, reasonable expectations for any work that you do. By setting up expectation boundaries, you prevent incidents from creating more havoc than they should.
Under promising and over delivering is not managing expectations. That is setting yourself up for failure when life decides to show up at your front door. It is more important, rather, to ensure that expectations are set in a way that satisfies both parties to the extent that each is satisfied and fulfilled by the other’s offering. Consistently meeting expectations in this regard communicates present and future reliability as opposed to fanatical and unsustainable overachievement.
Slow and steady wins the race when fanatics crash and burn in precedents that they cannot uphold. Manage expectations well and you will be well on your way to building lasting client relationships that are cordial, collaborative and profitable.