Once upon a time, a guy needed a new suit, pronto. The business event was the next day and he had less than 24 hours to ensure he looked the part. So, he headed over to his local mall to make a selection. But once he found the right one, the situation stopped going so smooth. The suit would not be ready for pickup until the next day, during which time he would be stuck in his office, swamped with work and unable to pick it up.
And then: a customer service miracle…
The next day, a store employee hand-delivered the now-ready suit into the guy’s apartment building for him while he was at work. The store arranged to do this even though rush home delivery is not one of their services. When the guy returned home from work in a hurry, the suit was already there, neatly laid out for him, just as the store had arranged.
That guy was our CEO, the store was Nordstrom, and that is a true example of what Exceeds Expectations means to us: We Never Let You Down.
Going above and beyond for your customers is something that, for some, comes as second nature, and that is why it holds an important place in our company’s Core Values. It’s about coming up with workable solutions for your client even when no immediate answer is available. It requires collaboration, cultivates teamwork, incorporates diverse talents, and produces a well-deserved feeling of accomplishment and pride once the job is done.
And now more than ever before, with the overflow of advertisements and marketing content fighting for consumers’ attention, it’s important to not only meet your customers’ expectations, but to far surpass them. This is best explained by a consumer study recently posted by ClientHeartbeat, which explains that customer expectations have two levels: desired and sufficient. The desired level is the service the customer hopes to obtain while the sufficient level is the service that the customer finds acceptable.
The takeaway from this is that client “satisfaction” is not always something to brag about. For example, if you offered a product at a too-good-to-be-true price, your client is probably expecting just that, a below-average end product. When you provide them with that, then yes, their expectations were met, but it’s because their expectations were low in the first place.
In order to reach that desired level, you must clearly outline and understand your promises to your clients, because this is what makes up their expectations. Moreover, these promises must hold true to what makes your services unique, or there is no way their expectations can be met. Do you promise the freshest ingredients, quickest turnaround, or perhaps the coolest animations in PowerPoint?
Define what you do best, set realistic expectations for your customers, and keep that promise to them. Then go beyond that and never let them down. Go ahead, exceed their expectations for an unexpectedly amazing experience (which by the way, is next week’s core value!)