One of the keys to creating loyal customers and creating positive word of mouth buzz about your brand is to consistently exceed customer expectations. Sounds like an impossible task right? Actually it's very easy if you do it the right way.
Exceeding expectations is not about giving more than you can afford to give, it's about giving more than they expect you to give. That's a key difference. The important element is setting up thos expectations in a way that you can consistently exceed them.
Here's a good example. I had a craving for a tasty burger of the greasy variety for lunch today. So, a co-worker and I went to 5 Guys Burgers and Fries. On our way in we discussed getting some fries. Our eyes lit up as we waxed poetically about how tasty they were and how we better split an order because they always give you so much. I have heard many people talk about the abundance of fries you get.
5 Guys gets a huge amount of loyalty and buzz about the amount they give you. Why? Because the exceed your expectations every time. But, if you get the same amount every time, how does that exceed expectations? It's brilliant in it's execution.
You see when you order a "regular fries" they putt this really fairly small cup of fries in the brown paper bag with your burgers and then add so many extra there are almost as many fries spilled out all over your bag as what's in the cup. They could just give you a cup that holds that many fries. But no one would get excited about that. The fact that your cup is overflowing with way more than you should get (according to the container size) gives you a euphoric feeling of I got something extra.
Zappos does the same thing. More often than not, they give you overnight shipping on the shoes they send you for no extra change. But they don't just have overnight shipping as their standard. If it's what you expect, it's no big deal. But when they surprise you by giving you an upgrade to overnight shipping, you feel that same euphoria. You feel good about the company. You tell your friends.
So, how can you set up your customer expectations in a way that you can exceed them regularly. How can you surprise and delight your customers by giving them something they didn't expect? You'll get so much in return if you do.