If you want people to meet your expectations, you have to communicate what you expect. Otherwise, you could fall victim to a miscommunication. As author of the book, Managing Expectations, I’m my own best case study.
Here’s an example. A faraway friend named Jack and I wanted to discuss some ideas while at a conference we were attending. (Jack’s not his real name; I want to spare him the ignominy of being the butt of my miscommunication.) As the conference got underway, he said, “Let’s do a meal together.” Good idea.
A while later, as I passed Jack during a break, I said, “Dinner?” He said fine.
It was customary at this conference for dinner-mates to meet in a first floor lounge and leave between 5:30 and 6:00 in order to be back in time for the evening events. At 5:30, I went to the lounge to wait for Jack. I wasn’t in any rush. I had a book to read, and I knew he’d show up by 6:00. Except that he didn’t. Continue reading
Have you ever had customers who want the universe, gift-wrapped and delivered yesterday? Was that a resounding YES I heard?
Fortunately, most customers don’t demand the impossible. In fact, what they want is exceedingly reasonable. And what’s that? Well, switch for a moment from your service provider hat to your customer hat. When you’re a customer, what matters to you? What matters when you’re at the car dealer, the doctor’s office, or the airport? What matters to you when you’re on the phone ordering flowers, or awaiting technical support, or ordering a million-calorie pizza and a zero-calorie beverage?
Over the years, I’ve asked many hundreds of participants in my customer service seminars what matters to them when they’re the customer. Their responses are overwhelmingly similar, demonstrating that most of us want the same things when we are customers: We want to be treated with respect. We want to be listened to. We don’t want to be bounced around or ignored or treated like dummies. Continue reading
If you’re a service provider, customer expectations can pose a major challenge. That’s because expectations are wondrous creatures: They grow, they shrink, they change shape, they change direction. They shift constantly, and they shift easily. And how satisfied (or dissatisfied) your customers are is determined by these expectations and your performance in meeting them.
If expressed as a calculation, customer satisfaction might look something like this:
Customer Satisfaction = Your Performance / Customer Expectations Continue reading
Do your employees seem a little—well, lackluster—lately? Have you noticed they just don’t seem to have the enthusiasm they used to? It’s not just your imagination. A recent Gallup poll found that 71 percent of American workers are either “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” from their work. Just 30 percent are “engaged,” or involved in and enthusiastic about their jobs.
What’s most interesting about this study to me is that the very workers you might expect to be most engaged are least so. Gallup found that: