3 Things Your Business Can Do To Shape Customer Expectations

By Andrej Suskavcevic, president & CEO, Craft & Hobby Association


The conversations I have with the craft community provide real insight into member needs. It interests me to hear what people expect of a business, their association or other people. I took a moment to reflect on expectations, their source and how it shapes our thinking.

By definition, expectations are a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future. Derived from our past experiences, we make a comparison with some experience and out pops our expectation. Most of the time we don’t stop to think about the implications of a point of view. Meaning is it positive or negative, does it empower, is it comparing apples to apples, or is it fair.

A recent example I encountered is our upcoming Paper Arts Show. I have heard many people refer to it as the Summer Show or a regional show.  Naturally, such references carry with it expectations about its size, attendee diversity, etc. When I share that the focus of the Show is paper arts, and its complementary products, people understand that this is not a renamed Summer Show. When I talk about the fact that registration is approaching 200 attendees in just under two weeks of being open, and that attendees are coming from 28 states in the U.S. and seven countries worldwide so far, the expectation that this will be a regional show no longer exists.

What does this all mean for businesses? We have a say in shaping people’s expectations. Things to consider when shaping your message:

  • Context – Help people understand the circumstances that generated the idea, event, etc.
  • Audience – be clear as to whom you’re speaking to and speak in a way they understand.
  • Tell your story – Skip the jargon and be authentic. It’s not about you it’s about the customer. It’s your chance to articulate what’s in it for them.


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