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Revealed ? A Simple Formula For Success! Exceeding Expectations

Delight = Customer Expectation plus 1. This was the simple formula for delighting your customers that Ken Blanchard informed us of in his book "Raving Fans"

For me this is a great formula, but in itself it also raises a number of questions. For example, to deliver a plus one, to exceed something, you must know what that something is in the first place? so do you? Do you know what your customer expectations are at each moment of contact? I am constantly surprised by how many of our clients don't. They have their own personal opinions of what their customers' expectations are, they believe they know, but can they show me evidence, no! They perhaps show me a survey they conducted over 10 years ago and say "I'm sure it's the same now"!

If you want a clue as to what your customers expectations are then just listen to the words they use. Customers say, "I didn't expect to be treated in that way". People use the word expects a great deal??..when they do they are referring to their inner expectations???which they then use to measure your performance against those expectations.

On our seminars and conferences, I frequently ask the audience to close their eyes and think of landing in an airport in a foreign country they have never visited before. I ask them to look around and tell me what it is like and how they feel. People begin to tell me, they normally say they feel anxious, confused, they are concerned and worried as they have landed in a foreign country and are not certain what to do and where to go, they are defensive. What are they describing here??..They are describing emotions, they are describing their emotional expectations, they are describing how they EXPECT to feel. Therefore we tell our clients that there are two forms of expectation, physical expectations, i.e. how quickly a product will be delivered, how many rings it will take to answer the phone and emotional expectations, what people EXPECT to feel.

If you are to meet your customer expectations you need to understand both! So do you?

Do you know what your customers' physical and emotional expectations are? When they come into your store? Or when your salesman calls around? Or when you put them through 7 layers of voice menu systems? ??And if you don't, how in the hell do you expect to meet, let alone exceed, those expectations?

So what are emotional expectations? Let me give you an example. The other day I walked into a store and the woman was stacking bags behind the check out. As I stood in front of her she totally ignored me. I thought, how rude! I was hurt, I felt snubbed. My emotional expectation was that she would have at least acknowledged me; asked me to wait a moment, but no she chose to ignore me.?.?another example, last week I brought something from a store and it stopped working. I decided to take it back. I was expecting a row. I emotionally prepared myself for an argument; I had played it out in my mind; what they were going to say and how I would respond. The person behind the counter couldn't have been nicer and more apologetic. They replaced the item without question. That exceeded my emotional expectations.

My advice for this month is to find out what your customer emotional expectations are. It is only when you understand them that you and your organisation can set about planning how to achieve or exceed them. Without this understanding you are leaving it to chance!

? Beyond Philosophy 2003

This article may be reproduced with the express permission of Colin Shaw, Founding Partner of Beyond Philosophy. Contact Colin Shaw at colin.shaw@beyondphilosophy.com (use Ref#QR in subject for quick reply)

Colin Shaw is the Founding Partner of Beyond Philosophy and guru of the Customer Experience Management. He has also produced two most successful books on customer experience which are now available in market. His first book, Building Great Customer Experiences sold out within just eight weeks, is on a third reprint and available in paperback.

Colin's second book, Revolutionize Your Customer Experience released in September 2004 and considered as Bible in Customer managment business world.

Colin has enjoyed over 20 years of experience working in blue chip companies, including Mars Ltd., Rank Xerox and BT. Colin's final position was Director of Customer Experience for one of the world's largest global companies. In his career, he has held senior positions in a number of different functional areas including Sales, Marketing, Customer Service and Training.

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