Exceeding customer expectations by under-promising and over-delivering perhaps sounds confusing at first, at least in the under-promising department. But it's an assured method that perfectly complements the over-delivering concept once you understand how it works. In the age of ever-increasing demand for superior customer service, making sure that you retain customers means using simple psychology to give the element of surprise.
Understanding the Under-Promising Technique
When so many businesses go by living up to a promise, how do you under-promise to a customer? Basically, under-promising works by living up to customer expectations by setting certain commitments ahead of time. This might involve setting a price range for a customer order that's within an affordable range while not necessarily assuring it'll be done by a certain date. By not setting too high of a price, you're still under-promising on when something will be done but ultimately providing a better deal for the customer.
The Concept of Over-Delivering
From the example above, that element of surprise by saving the customer money is the perfect way to use the over-deliver concept. Being generous to your customers goes a long way in making those customers stick with you, especially if they're new and have no idea what to expect. Even so, you should always figure out ways to keep that element of over-delivering going after you've established customers. Brainstorming for new ways to keep the customer service process fresh has to always be a top priority.
How do you keep the under-promise and over-deliver concept going with your established customer base?
Being Honest and Accountable
You may encounter other issues in your business that means you'll have to under-promise once again. In some cases, it could mean not being able to meet shipping requirements, which may require an apology while providing a free gift as a token of customer appreciation.
Being accountable is always going to go over well with customers, because they'll know you've tried the very best to meet expectations. This doesn't mean you shouldn't find quick fixes. And fixing problems as quickly as possible is another point to consider in gaining loyal customers who care about your products and what you do.
The important thing when first starting your business is to provide information on promises you can truly deliver so there's never any reneging. Far too many companies try to stay competitive by making promises they can't live up to. Shipping rates, as mentioned, are one of the biggest culprits.
Once you've established what you can deliver, you'll have plenty of room to go beyond expectations rather than doing so merely because you need to fix a mistake.
If you've seen a business that excels at under-promising and over-delivering, nominate them for the Consumers Choice Award. And visit our website to read the details on why we reward the best U.S. businesses that excel at customer service.