No such thing as meeting expectations

The case for marketing lagniappe

This past summer I was in New York City with a colleague. Brad and I were at a rooftop bar waiting to meet a few people before heading over to a networking event.  I noticed a guy sitting on his own for over 15 minutes. It was obvious that he was waiting for someone. I struck up a conversation about waiting.  I offered my standard line:

Do you know that we spend 10% of our life waiting? [It’s true . . . I read it online]

We started talking about waiting and the importance of being on time.  Right then this guy said something that was a paradigm shift for me [a true ‘knock you in your tracks’ Tyler Durden moment].

I’ll paraphase it:

There is no such thing as being on time.  Being on time is a fallacy.  You either are early . . . or you are late.  No one is ever on time.  On time is a myth.

I immediately starting thinking about how this applies to business and the idea of meeting expectations.  I’ve always thought the idea of meeting expectations is a surefire recipe for losing business.  It’s similar to playing prevent defense in football . . . the only thing it does is prevent you from winning.

This new paradigm has only made it clearer for me.  Meeting expectations is a myth.  Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and Meeting Expectations.  Sorry kids . . . they are all myths.

You either fall below expectations or you exceed. It bears repeating:

‘There is no such thing as meeting expectations’

In a world where 60-80%* of customers describe their customer satisfaction as satisfied or very satisfied before going on to defect to other brands, ‘meeting expectations’ is no longer an option.

The Solution:

Make it a practice to always overdeliver.  Find ways to give a little extra . . . find your purple, green or golden goldfish. Simply set your bar higher than the expectations of your customers and employees.  Provide a little something extra for good measure. Your goal should be to strive to bring unique value to the customer.  Never settle for being seen as a “commodity.”