Under Promising and Over Delivering

Today Nat from Simple and Loveable is riffing about bad service and it made me turn my brain on. As consumers we are used to frustration and poor service. We expect it and we live with it. It reminded me of the difference I noticed on a recent trip to Melbourne where I was struck by the great service and friendly people — it is a place where service is about creating a great experience. A place that is about "being", resting and enjoying, not just "appearing" or "performing".

And the sheer fact that I noticed the difference made me realise how little we, as consumers, often demand of our service providers. As Nat says:

"Isn’t an on-time doctor’s appoinment virtually an oxymoron?"

And as I read this, I was thinking of the 9 hour flight I just had from Sydney to Hong Kong, and the following one through to Shanghai. The first leg just didn’t work for me … the seat was uncomfortable, there was a strange smell in the air (ok maybe it was me) and the in-flight entertainment was boring. There wasn’t anything in particular that was bugging me, but it was the combination of many, small annoyances that added up. The point, however, is that my expectation was so low, that I didn’t really care (that much).

So when I rocked up to my connecting flight, I was handed a piece of paper by the gate attendant. I read it on my way down to the plane. It told me that there were a number of issues with flight clearances on the east coast of China, and that we may not find out about them until after boarding has been completed. It also explained that this was completely out of control of the airline but we would be informed as soon as possible. "Great", I thought.

So when the pilot announced that there may be a small delay of around 10 minutes, I was not bothered. Then, a few minutes later, he informed us that the delay would actually be 2 hours! But again, I was not that bothered because I had been prepared. A steady stream of communications that could be read and listened to perfectly prepared me for such a situation. This demonstrated the use of multi-channel communications — something to read when you need to take in facts and details — and then quick announcements when news comes to hand. Very impressive work from Dragon Air!

Shame they don’t fly to New Zealand, or they may pick up Nat’s business … (BTW If you have not checked out the blog by Natalie Ferguson and Tim Norton, then you really are missing out on some great insight, cool commentary and a practical approach to using new technology in your business.)

Stay tuned … more from the Land of Chin later.

One thought on “Under Promising and Over Delivering

  1. Hey, thanks for the writeup 🙂 We’re heading to Sydney in a couple of weeks. Looks like you’re in China at the mo, but if you’re heading back to Sydney any time soon, we’d love to catch up with you while we’re there. Can’t wait to check out Sydney (although it’s just ‘across the ditch’ I haven’t made it there yet) I’ll send you an email closer to the time.

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