Have You Reset Your Expectations?

exceed-expectationsOn-site training, virtual classrooms, instructor-led or self-paced training programs are all effective ways to achieve your training goals.  Combine these proven behavioral change and development options with three important metrics…accountability, measurability, and reinforce-ability and you have created a great plan for training success.

That’s the “cupcake” for training success and, as everyone knows, cupcakes are better if they have frosting.

There is a fourth metric (excellent frosting) that will enhance your training initiatives: Ensure that you re-set your teams expectations.  An expectation re-celebration module specifically focused on service and perceived value will give a solid foundation and starting point for your message to solidly rest upon.

Here is a story I often use during training that will give you an idea of this fourth metric.

My wife and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary by going out to a restaurant neither one of us had experienced before.  We took a chance, a leap of faith, instead of going to our tried and true favorite. We decided to try a brand-new eatery because the word on the street was favorable.

Post dining, and full to the point of pain, while we were headed home, my wife turned to me and said, “I thought that new restaurant was excellent… what did you think?”  Pausing to choose my words carefully, I replied, “It was good – better than I expected!”

Then she asked me several questions that took me by suprise. She asked, “What was wrong with that new restaurant, what didn’t you like?”  “Why didn’t it exceed your expectations? – You said it was good.”  “The food was great, servings were the perfect size, we got what we ordered, our tea was kept full, they were very nice to us, they said ‘welcome’ and ‘thanks for coming’, and it was reasonabillly priced.  Isn’t that what you train companies to do?”

She was right! Everything she mentioned was true. The restaurant did a fine job operationally and I’ll go back to eat there again.  What everyone should understand is that in today’s service world, most people think that just because an organization does their job correctly and takes care of the customer, they do a great job!

Personally, if I were to rate how they exceeded my expectations, I would give them a ZERO. We received the minimum anyone should expect when they go out to dine.

The things I asked myself were: “Did we try anything new – did anyone recommend or endorse a menu item?” “What personal connection was made?” “Was there any conversation that made our special anniversary evening memorable for years to come?”

No. We ate our usual “safe food” and it was good food at a good price.  But, that was it. There was nothing memorable about our visit.

Perceived value is much more than price and quality.  It’s all about going beyond our guests/customers expectation. Excellence is achieved when an organization has their service levels to the point where, on their worst day, they are still better than their competitions best day.

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