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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

What Do You Expect?

As a butcher is shooing a dog from his shop, he sees $10 and a note in his mouth, reading: “10 lamb chops, please.”

Amazed, he takes the money, puts a bag of chops in the dog’s mouth, and quickly closes the shop. He follows the dog and watches him wait for a green light, look both ways, and trot across the road to a bus stop. The dog checks the timetable and sits on the bench. When a bus arrives, he walks around to the front and looks at the number, then boards the bus. The butcher follows, dumbstruck.

As the bus travels out into the suburbs, the dog takes in the scenery. After a while he stands on his back paws to push the “stop” button, then the butcher follows him off.

The dog runs up to a house and drops his bag on the stoop. He goes back down the path, takes a big run, and throws himself -Whap!- against the door. He does this again and again. No answer. So he jumps on a wall, walks around the garden, beats his head against a window, jumps off, and waits at the front door. A big guy opens it and starts yelling and scolding the dog.

The butcher runs up screams at the guy: “What are you doing? This dog’s a genius!”

The angry owner responds, “He’s hardly a genius. It’s the second time this week he’s forgotten his key!”

Expectations, when it comes to business are a pretty black and white situation– the customer is either pleased and will come back again or they are not pleased and will look to find another solution next time they are in need.  Unfortunately a lot of businesses (especially new ones) over promise and under deliver- this obviously disappoints customers. Creating a simple shift in expectations to under promising and over delivering, businesses can usually boost sales and start to create a positive differentiator between them and their competitors.

In developing such a strategy, it helps to understand how a customer buys. Research shows that after their first successful purchase, there is a 70% chance of customers returning to buy more. This rises to 85% with the second purchase and 95% with the third and beyond. Looking at the data all businesses should aim for four (4) satisfactory ‘touches’ with each customer. This can go a long way in developing an ongoing customer relationship and in turn make a dramatic difference in the long term success of the business.

If you own or operate a business in Tama County (or work for one) – it is time to think about what your customers’ expectations are. Are they getting what they expect? Could it be better? Contact our office and we can provide information on how we can help clarify and deliver on your company’s expectations. Contact us at (641) 484-3108, or info@tamacountyiowa.org.

Remember… whether you want your dog to do your shopping or your clients to be happy, it is all about one thing….expectations.


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