I am always pleased when something good happens that I did not expect.
When you are first talking to clients about what you will do for them and when you can do it, are you always realistic? Do you ever lead them to believe you can do something better, faster, cheaper than you can actually deliver? If so, you are in danger of not meeting your client’s expectations. And that disappoints people.
On the other hand, are you careful to create realistic expectations and then work your tail off to meet or beat those expectations? Even if you must at first disappoint a client by saying: “It will take a full six weeks to have this completed," you will win them over when you perform within the expected time.
I’ve seen independent professionals promise things that the client wants to hear just to get the job. Then the disappointment happens when reality sets in and things aren’t as promised or as expected. It can sometimes take courage to tell a client the reality about timing or pricing, but it is never a mistake to be realistic.
Happy clients are those who experience us as doing things as expected, and sometimes just a bit better. Managing client expectations is an art and a skill we all need to learn.