While sitting in the drive-thru last week, my husband grew increasingly frustrated at the over 20 minutes wait to get our food. This was at a restaurant that offers customized food options, but should probably NOT have a drive-thru option.

Here’s why: When you think of a drive-thru, you think of a 5-10 minute wait. I mean it’s supposed to be fast food, right? So when you’re customers are expecting 5-10 minutes, but actually end up waiting 20+ minutes, you’ve inevitably got some disgruntled customers. These angry customers generally don’t return and, at the very least, complain about it to others. And it all could have been avoided. How?

Well, for this restaurant example, the answer is simply do NOT offer drive-thru service. How does that help? Simple: It implicitly sets and manages the client’s expectations. Think about it. Without any acknowledgement or warning, we know instinctively that if we go inside a restaurant, we are going to wait longer than 10 minutes. It comes from years of dining in at our favourite locales. Our expectations have been clearly set, so there is no complaining when we go inside and have to wait a minimum of 20+ minutes to get served. If it’s a Friday or Saturday night, we’ll wait longer because we expect to.

We all know how important it is to take care of our clients. Not just because they are the best, but also because they are our warmest leads. We need to be servicing the crap out of them regularly…not just when they reach out to us…and in ways that are meaningful to them. The first step to doing this should always be setting expectations when you first start working together and then following through to manage them as you continue to work together through a thorough and sincere client servicing program.

Good businesses know that it’s about more than the sale. What happens after the sale is what is going to make or break you.

So let me ask you: Do you have a thorough and sincere client servicing program in place that you are following regularly?