When working with customers, there are some underlying rules that must be met. The first is, only the customer can judge the value derived from a product or service. We have discussed this many times in the past few months. The second is, only the customer can determine if a solution has been successfully delivered.
To fulfill satisfy these rules, it is critical to agree up front with a customer on what product or service is to be delivered, when it is to be delivered, and at what cost. Only then can consistent quality be achieved.
Some of these can be established by default. When you walk into McDonald's, you can expect that
1) you will receive your order quickly,
2) your order will come with a moderate level of quality, and
3) you will pay an low price for your order.
On the other hand, if you visit a Michelin-star restaurant,
1) you are agreeing to an experience that should last several hours,
2) the quality of your food should be exceptional, and
3) the tab will be leave a dent in your wallet.
In both of these examples, a scope, a timeframe, and a price was established before the order was prepared and served. For the customer to walk away from either transaction with a positive experience, it is critical that each of these expectations is met.
This is expected in any commercial transaction. To be recognized as a successful organization, you need to deliver each of these on a consistent basis. However, to be known as an exceptional organization, you need to consistently exceed customer expectations; be seen as delivering more than promised.
The book “212 degrees – The Extra Degree” by Sam Parker is all about giving an extra level of effort. At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, water becomes steam and the transformation releases tremendous amounts of energy.