Under promise, Over deliver

New sales people are often taught to “under promise and over deliver”.  In fact, that’s good advice for all of us in every aspect of your life and career.  During the current economic times, as customers are scrutinizing every dollar they spend to be sure they are getting value, it’s more important than ever to under promise and over deliver.

Two contrasting examples:  My husband, John Murphy and I recently spent our annual honeymoon (wedding anniversary trip) at the Hard Rock Hotel in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  

Here is their exact website description of the accommodations:

” We’ve thrown everything you know about all-inclusive Caribbean rooms out the window at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana, and created a luxurious, unapologetic room experience to fit even the most discriminating tastes.

Spacious. Indulgent. Decadent. From the moment you enter, you’ll immediately notice rock star touches like private balconies, double Jacuzzi tubs, dual showers, plush bathrobes and slippers, and even your own liquor dispenser.

From the music playing when you arrive to the evening turn-down service before you call it a night, we’ve put major attention into every minor detail to ensure your Hard Rock vacation is worthy of a superstar.”

In fact, the room was nice.  The shower was huge and the bed was comfy.  However, luxury is really hard to do on a large scale and this is a HUGE resort.

There was no “music playing” when we arrived and in place of the “plush bathrobes” we found empty hangers with tags stating if we took the robes home, we would be charged $75 each.  No slippers either.  Even after reporting the missing robes to 2 people and pantomiming with the non-English speaking housekeeper, we still only managed to get 1 robe for the 2 of us.

No robes and slippers would not have mattered if they had not promised them on all their materials including their website.  

They also liberally use the words “luxurious” and “decadent” which creates a certain expectation.   Daily annoyances such as not getting any hand towels one day or no wash cloths another coupled with just average food and you get the idea.

We had a great time anyway, but largely because we had already adjusted our expectations before we arrived.  Reviews posted on TripAdvisor.com and emails directly with some of the posters gave us more realistic expectations.

Contrast this with our stay this past weekend at Paradise Inn at Mount Rainier.  This is what their website says about the accommodations:

“The guestrooms, although small by today’s standards and without the modern amenities of televisions, telephones, and internet, invite our guests to imagine a time past when life was simple without the distractions of today’s modern world.”

Other printed materials clearly states,  “there is no cellphone service”, “the hall floors creak” and the “decor is dated” but they “strive to provide a clean, comfortable room” steps away from one of nature’s wonders.

Just try getting a room there on the weekend in the summer!  You can do great business being truthful!  In fact, everything they said about the rooms proved true.  The room was clean, comfortable and we had a private – though small – bath.  Because we knew what to expect – and NOT to expect – we brought our own hairdryer and DVD player and we had a GREAT time!

A large part of a customers satisfaction or dissatisfaction ties to how closely reality matches their expectations.  Are you promising something you don’t consistently deliver?  Are you setting unrealistic expectations in the minds of your customers?  If you can discipline yourself to “under promise” and “over deliver” you will WOW your customers every time!

 

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