In the world of sales, exceptional customer service is everything. One of the most important concepts of quality customer service is the philosophy of under-promising and over-delivering. It's a delicate balance and one that requires careful consideration. The idea is simple: promise only what you can deliver, and then deliver more than you promise. But how do you strike that balance, and why is it so important?
Under-promising can be a land mine. What customer wants to do business with a company that can only offer to deliver the bare minimum? You need to ensure that you strike a balance of under-promising in a way that does not look like you are offering only minimal service while continuing to exceed customer expectations. Disney is outstanding at this. Have you ever gone to Disneyland and not experienced a line? Of course not. Knowing this, Disney has a specific formula for managing wait times and over-delivering on its commitment to not have a guest wait longer than the posted time.
Exceeding customer expectations by under-promising and over-delivering should always be your focus. Remember, your philosophy in dealing with customer challenges is to take ownership of the problem, empathize with the customer, and make sure that the customer wins!
Several online articles boldly state that over-delivering on a promise is not valued by a customer and, in the end, does not shape the customer's opinion of your company. One article went as far as saying that some companies intentionally offer substandard service on the front end so that they cannot help but to over-deliver. However, this is entirely wrong. The goal here is not to intentionally offer substandard service; the goal is to stretch yourself and your company so that you overachieve on an existing promise that encompasses how you do business. That stretch will generate creativity with problem-solving and increase efficiency. To say that customers don’t value over-delivery is just wrong, and we can all think of examples of this in our own lives.
Here are some steps you can take to under-promise and over-deliver:
Make a promise, then keep it or exceed it.
Do not ever break a promise. If your commitment to a customer is going to change and the change is going to cause you to under-deliver, reset your client’s expectations by having an honest conversation with them.
Exceeding expectations can be as simple as maintaining a clear line of communication with your client. Don’t ever promise more than you know you can deliver.
In conclusion, under-promising and over-delivering is a delicate balance that requires careful consideration. It's a key concept of good customer service that can help you build trust and loyalty with your customers. By following the steps above and staying true to your commitments, you can exceed customer expectations and create a positive reputation for your business.