What do you expect when you do business with someone? You expect good service and good value, right? You expect to be treated fairly and honestly, and you expect to go away feeling good about transaction.
Think about that for a second. Maybe that's NOT what you expect after all. Yes, that's what we all WANT, but it isn't necessarily what we expect. Why is that? Why is it that we don't necessarily expect to get what we want to get?
I maintain that businesses we deal with shape our expectations in many different ways. If it is an online business, website design gives us a clue as to what we can anticipate. If there are garish headlines, obnoxious colors, outrageous claims, etc. we get feeling that we had better be careful.
If we are talking about a brick-and-mortar business (you remember those… they used to be called "stores") our expectations are formed by cleanliness, orderliness, lighting, and smell. The employees' attitude and grooming make a big impression as well.
I'm not saying that we should be forming expectations based on these somewhat superficial clues. In a perfect world, we would anticipate our transaction based solely on value and quality of goods and/or services offered. But it's not a perfect world, so we go into most transactions with some sort of anticipation based on how we feel about business due to these external clues.
I've said this before and I'll say it again: things tend to happen way we expect them to happen, and I believe strongly that we will do things subconsciously to make sure of it. That means that if our expectations are low, we probably won't have a very good experience and won't be back.