My blog on ‘expectation management’ got many people talking. Numerous conversations and comments flowed from that blog and I guess it got me thinking a little more on the topic of ‘expectation management’. Specifically, all the discussion and commentary suggested that I consider how client expectations can be exceeded. How can you service the client and go beyond the satisfactory state in service delivery?
Great value is placed on having a satisfied client. This is plainly obvious. What is not so obvious is how we can provide service that is simply extraordinary.
Ask yourself whether you would have a satisfied client if you provided satisfactory service. If you did everything that the client asked of you and if the outcome met with the client’s expectations, then you probably would have a satisfied client. Then ask yourself whether your competitor could do the same thing. Could they do everything the client asked that would inevitably lead to a satisfactory result? Of course they can. So where is your point of difference?
Your competitor might just be trying to do things differently to get a competitive edge. In doing things differently, they can easily heighten the expectations of the client. This results in the client no longer wanting service with a satisfactory outcome. The client now wants to be ‘delighted’ by your service offering, an offering that exceeds their expectation.
Ian Elliot, speaker, author and past CEO and Chairman of advertising agency, George Patterson said to me last week that:
“A satisfied customer is a worthless asset. Today, ‘customer delight’ is the real asset. ‘Delight’ must be the new standard in service delivery.’
Elliot contends that you now need to be ‘extraordinary’ and to be extraordinary you need to be the deliverer of ‘wow’ moments. For Elliot, your wow moments need to be viewed in the same light as 5 star hotel wow moments. You need to focus on little things. Little things matter and they make all the difference.
After listening to Elliot, it is my contention that we are all capable of delivering service that goes beyond the measure of satisfactory. Every service provider has the capacity to deliver wow moments on a daily basis.
So set yourself the ‘wow moment’ challenge. Everyday must produce a wow moment for a client. Keep a journal of those wow moments and over time you will see a pattern that will help you deliver exceptional service day in and day out.
To get things started, ask your staff and clients for their opinion on wow moment service delivery. This will provide you with an interesting and fresh perspective on what truly matters to those you work with and to those you service.
By including your staff members you will gain team support in your effort to produce extraordinary outcomes. It will also allow you to discuss the expectation that you have around the standard of their work – their timeliness, accuracy, attention to detail etc. This discussion should be recorded and circulated under the heading “Our guide and commitment to 5 star service delivery”.
Finally, people all have emotional needs that are significant and capable of recognition. Clients are no different in this respect. For those that see and meet the significant needs of their client will ultimately be rewarded for their efforts. In the words of Marianne Moore, “The heart that gives, gathers”.
Please feel free to share your wow moment challenges with me. They should make for very good reading.