Managing Expectations for Destination Services
Experts in the relocation industry can point to several tools that are essential to successfully providing destination services. From people to software to processes, there are numerous tools that contribute to the desired result of world-class destination service. Among these, however, none is more effective than the intangible, yet valuable tool of managing expectations.
Over the years, my staff and I have used one simple definition for managing expectations that has guided, instructed, and kept us focused. Quite simply, we define managing expectations as: gently bridging the gap between what a client expects and what is authorized and available.
Of course expectations run the gamut. Some clients have specific desires that involve rental rates, amenities, and commute times. Others have specific desires for school systems, neighborhoods, and community conveniences. All have interests, preferences, and desires that vary in importance from “nice to have” to “absolutely necessary.” How these expectations are managed can make all the difference in the world.
As a complement to the tool metaphor, I advise my staff to also think of managing expectations as offering a road map. Using this imagery, it becomes clear that managing expectations is akin to navigating from point A to point B. Successfully accomplishing this means the cautioning of bends and turns and helping the client understand what he/she can expect from the relocation road ahead. While describing potentially unpleasant “road conditions” is not always easy, doing so can help associates on the move prepare and understand their full range of options.
Not only is managing expectations a valuable tool, it just may be the one thing that can reliably lead to successfully delivered destination services.
John Merriweather, Owner – Global Orientations (GO)