Exceeding Customer Expectations

As I referenced in the last blog post, John Maxwell told me several years ago that just five percent of the people we interact with are willing to put in the effort to truly EXCEED what’s expected of them. With the regulations we’ve seen in place over the last several months due to Covid, many businesses in the service industry have taken quite a hit. Times like this make it even more important to have a culture where each team member is willing to be in that five percent!

But before we can EXCEED anyone’s expectations, we need to have a clear understanding of what they really expect from us! And in many cases, we need to take responsibility for setting clear expectations of what they should expect from us... 

Cindy and I were recently on a Zoom call with Jeff Henderson, author of Know What You’re FOR, where he challenged us to consider three seemingly basic but extremely important questions:

  1. What do you want to be known for?
  2. What are you known for?
  3. Do those answers match?

With regards to creating an amazing customer experience for each person we serve, each of those questions really tie back to being sure the right expectation has been set to begin with so we’re playing from the same deck of cards as the person we’re interacting with. 

If I make a purchase at Walmart or Amazon because that’s the lowest prices I’ve found on the item I’m purchasing, I have a clear understanding that there won’t be much support available later on if I experience an issue, with the possible exception of being able to return the item. On the other hand, we have some good friends who own a company that supplies construction materials. They’re not necessarily the cheapest option in town but they provide the best materials a contractor can get in the entire Shenandoah Valley and they provide a level of expertise and service that surpasses any of their competition. And a large part of their business is with lifelong customers who gladly pay for that level of quality and service.

In either case, those companies never have a shot at EXCEEDING a customer’s expectation unless they’ve been clear about what they provide and are willing to look for ways to add value in other areas.

Just like the costs of attracting customers and retaining customers I covered in the last post applied to attracting and retaining employees, exceeding expectations is just as important when it comes to how we lead our team. And this usually isn’t that complicated, it can often be as simple as setting a clear expectation for performance then looking for ways we can empower and support each team member to fulfill those expectations… We’ll look at how this can make an amazing difference throughout the culture (for customers and employees) in the next blog.

In explaining the difference between a good communicator and a mediocre one, John made a simple but extremely profound statement “It doesn’t take a lot more to be interesting… But it does take more! That same thing applies to how we each serve our clients (and our team members)! With that in mind, what’s the more that you can do to exceed expectations for whoever you’re serving?

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