If we were to name one goal we aim for in each and every one of our projects, it would be “to always manage expectations”. Indeed, over the years, this has become one of Seauton’s key strategies.
The successful execution of this strategy invariably starts with building a solid foundation in the shape and form of a transparent and precise alignment of initial expectations. “Overselling” is a word that is not in our dictionary. 17 years of experience has taught us that things hardly ever go exactly according to plan: flights can be delayed, hotel rooms can be not quite ready yet, unexpected construction works can make for the fact that guests have to wade through mud before arriving at the event location, a congress hotel for 300 guests can be disapproved of by the ethical commission 4 weeks before kick off, … it happens. And it happens to the best of us! So clearly align expectations, right from the very start.
Work with top partners
Which is exactly what brings us to a second crucial building block of our strategy to systematically manage expectations: the undeniable need to work (together) with top partners and top products. Such as an excellent airlines company (missed flights or connections, strikes, luggage that ends up in the wrong destination). And a high quality hotel (overbookings, a fire alarm that goes off in the middle of the night, a wedding in the meeting rooms next to yours, …). And an outstanding caterer, of course (understaffing, poor quality service, wrong dishes being brought to the table). Working together with top partners always pays off! And, obviously, try to maintain good business relationships all along the way. Invest the time and energy to go to openings, drinks and networking events. It is such a luxury to know that you can always trust in the fact that your partners and suppliers will go the extra mile for both you and your client.
A final and last building block of our “Always manage expectations”-strategy that we would like to share with you: our in-house signature response to countering problems. “Chest out, head held high”, that is our slogan. Because, as John Lennon once wrote: “Life is what happens to you as you are busy making other plans”. Not everything will be smooth sailing, without the slightest of headwind – big or small. And what it then comes down to, is timely and correctly picking up on potential alarm signals and prepare for the unexpected – as perfectly as possible. Ignoring a problem, or conversely, blowing it out of proportion, is not our house style; neither is throwing in the towel. At Seauton, we take a helicopter view: we zoom out to keep the big picture in focus, and do our utmost to ensure that “the show can go on” as initially planned – with the slightest (if any!) of impact on the event and its participants. And yes, of course, we will inform our client – fair and square. But we will inform him of our solution, not of the problem. And then we always make sure to provide a little extra something, so our client feels confident he is getting value for money. It is really that straightforward. And it is exactly how our “Always manage expectations”-strategy makes for a 90% client retention rate. Because, at the end of the day, that is all we want: happy clients!