Dealing with Different Standards

Standards and expectations can play a big part in our customer relations. Even if we think we have high standards, we may very well be facing a different set of standards as we work with different clients and customers. Finding a common ground and having the tact not to offend anyone is one of the customer service and relationship issues that come with the small business territory.

I find that it does not matter how high I think my work standards are, there are always going to be those who have higher ones. AND, there are going to be those with much lower standards who cannot understand why I am wasting so much time, spending money on “extra” things, being such a stickler for schedules, etc. This is just the nature of working with other people. The trick can be to live up to our own standards, while not letting ourselves judge the others. It can also be a challenge to try to meet those even higher standards of those who expect more.

If someone complains that your standards are too high, you can simply explain that “you feel more comfortable” doing x, y, or z. Handling those who expect far more can be a bigger challenge. First, you should ask yourself if you are capable of meeting those higher standards without incurring additional or unreasonable expense. If it will cost you more to provide the higher standards of product or services then you will need to decide if this is a cost you will pass on to the customer. Secondly, I think it helps to clarify exactly what the other person is wanting and expecting. Coming to an open understanding can help prevent further problems.

Remember, you are not going to be able to please everyone all the time, but you can make adjustments and use care, tact and attempts at being nonjudgmental to cope when you and the other person have different ideas of standards.

Also: Focusing on “Performance” for Your Business

Coping with Moody Customers

Start with Something Pleasant