I recently had an unhappy client. That’s never good, no matter what the reason, but what’s more interesting is that all my other clients have received the same service with the result being exactly the opposite. The other clients were totally happy, with most referring me business.

So how can two clients get the same program, features, and benefits with two totally different outcomes of satisfaction?

Easy…it’s all about expectations.

It may be fair to say that some people will be unhappy no matter what. And, I’m sure we’ve all had a customer that seemed impossible to please, but there is a way to drastically put the odds in our favor of achieving greater success.

Here are 2 Steps to Making Almost Every Client More than Happy:

  1. You have to sell them on reality. Clients need to buy what you can really do, and you should never sell more than what you can really do. I actually try to down play what I can do when it comes to marketing and all my PR contracts, literally saying we guarantee zero media features. You can’t just set expectations once either. You continually have to set and reset expectations to make sure everything is based in reality. (Things have a way of sneaking up on you too. We call this scope creep in the world of websites, books, and icon building projects.) Know what is in your control and what isn’t in your control, and make sure your clients accept it all too.
  2. Always exceed expectations with unadvertised bonuses. Clients need to see you go the extra mile, but that can never happen unless they first know where the finish line is. Doing more than what is expected is extremely important. And you can’t hope they see it you have to communicate it to them. You have to say it or write it out clearly. Communicate things like… “This is outside the scope of work that we agreed to, but I want to do this for you”, “I want to go the extra mile for you here”, or “Would you let me do a little more for you free of charge?”

Clients wont be happy if they don’t get what they expect, and they won’t be the happiest unless they get more than they expected. Find a way to always go an extra mile or two. And, don’t be surprised if, occasionally, no amount of extra miles will ever make a difference.


You see, there are givers and takers in this world. The more you give to a giver, the more they feel compelled to give back. Some won’t even want you to give to them because they don’t want to lose sleep trying to find ways to give back.


Then there are takers. They will take and take and never lose a wink of sleep. Give them what you promised, but don’t die running extra miles for them. The distance will never matter, no mater how far you go.

Play the odds, manage expectations, and always go the extra mile.