Set Goals that Exceed Customer Expectations

Set goals and expectations for yourself and your employees that build a thriving business.
Photo Credit: ATA

Author: Taylor Walston

Measurable goals help businesses succeed, but it’s hard to move forward if you don’t take the necessary steps to grow. If you’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, break your goals into smaller actions and goals to make them more attainable for you and your staff. Specify a staff member to lead each goal and hold everyone accountable, including yourself.

Break your goals down into manageable segments. Photo Credit: MilelQ

Set Reasonable Goals

It’s important to set reasonable business goals that are achievable and productive. Reach for the highest bar, but divide the goals into manageable steps that help you reach them. That means starting with smaller tasks and steadily working your way closer to the final step.

If your goal is to increase revenues from archery lessons, start by increasing awareness about them. Craft an email marketing campaign for your lessons, and monitor how many get opened. Offer pamphlets about your lessons at the checkout register. Measure your marketing efforts’ success by asking new attendees how they heard about the lessons. As demand grows, hire more instructors and include more scheduling options for lessons.

Once you reach your goal, reevaluate your business and create a new plan. What do you want  next? You can always do something to develop your business, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. ATA members can use the “Creating a Business Game Plan” document on the Resource Website to assess and organize business goals. Any improvement, no matter how small, makes you better. An evolving business has evolving goals.

Monitor and respond to any online feedback. Photo Credit: X10 Archery

Measure Your Goals

Ask your customers and employees for feedback, and use their ideas to determine and set priorities for your next goals. Ask customers if your changes were effective and, if not, ask what they’d prefer to see. Provide surveys at the register, and ask customers to fill them out before leaving. Post surveys on your website to gather insights from online sales. Encourage customers to leave comments on your website or social-media accounts to inform others about their experiences at your store. Ask them to mention specific staff members so you have firsthand reports on how they’re performing. Thank them for their feedback and answer all questions.

Highlight your staff in bios so customers know each employee's specialties. Photo Credit: Pacifica Archery

Be Open with Customers

Be transparent on your website and social-media pages. Clearly state what customers can expect when visiting your shop. Post pictures of your range and retail space. Share which brands you carry so customers can do their homework. If you have policies on services and tuning, share them. Do not overpromise on service timeframes. Don’t mislead customers and make them think you’ll finish their work faster than what’s reasonable. Be as accurate and honest as possible about how long it will take to complete their work.

Post staff bios on your website to introduce your people, or post introductory videos on your social-media. Staff bios should be short. One paragraph or a short video explaining their expertise and strengths will suffice. Provide a link to the bios in your website’s menu. Also create a section for staff videos on your Instagram page by saving videos to the “highlights” section. You can also pin videos atop your feed on Facebook or create a collection on your YouTube channel. Knowing each staff member’s specialty makes it easier for customers to know who to request when visiting.

If you’re open with customers, they’ll feel comfortable using your services, and feel more comfortable with you. Seize every opportunity to exceed your customers’ expectations. If you don’t have the specific product a customer requests, discuss options in stock or help them consider their next steps. Never turn folks away at the door empty-handed. You can always do something for the customer, even if it’s just minor advice.

Questions? Contact Kurt Smith, ATA’s director of industry relations, at (717) 478-5919, or

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