Tag Archives: expectations

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performance gaps

Performance Gaps, Energy, and Expectations

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Most business plans solidify the intent to close the gap. This gap exists between where they are today and where they want to be at the next checkpoint. What are your performance gaps and are your expectations compelling enough to keep you moving?

Some of the hardest working people are not content. In fact, being content or comfortable is likely one of the best ways to be left behind.

On The Move

There are people striving to close their gap, the empty spaces on their grades transcript, or the gap in their salary that has existed since before they took the job. Still others are working to close the gap between the car, the house, or high priced luxury item they have been dreaming about for years.

Establishing the gap, the understanding that one exists in the first place, is what sets most people apart. It is not about weakness, it is actually about strength.

It doesn’t require nearly as much energy to sit on the sidelines and watch when compared with the energy expended by those on the field.

You are going to need a lot of energy to play on the field. Your performance gaps can become either your fuel or your obstacle. You can build a bridge to close the gap, or sit on the side looking across insisting you can’t get there.

Performance Gaps and Energy

Most overnight successes really aren’t that, they just look that way. The difference for some exists in how they use their energy.

Here is the real difference. Many people believe that they have to push harder, but the most successful people aren’t pushing, they are being pulled.

They use their energy differently, they are compelled and drawn towards the other side, the gap is inspirational not exhausting.

Sure, they’ll work until they drop, but the next day they can’t wait to get started again.

It is a new day, are you going to look at the gap and wonder, or get pulled towards the other side?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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build better careers

Expectations Build Better Careers

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Most of our analysis of life is conditioned by our expectations. Expectations affect everyone’s outlook. They apply to the perfectionist, the idealist, and the pragmatist. High ambition or low, expectations condition results. How do expectations build better careers?

It might seem odd when you think about it. We often tell our friends what we want to quit, but are more quiet about what we really want to achieve. We’ll talk about cutting sugar from our diet, cutting back on junk food, or even about not letting the small stuff get us upset.

Cutbacks typically garnish support. Friends remind friends to have one less beer, to quit smoking, or to consume fewer calories. That is great, in a sense. That may be one of the many great things about friends.

What About Ambitions

What about the other side, what about ambitions, are they supported? If you say you want to complete the college degree, be promoted to vice president, or earn the big bucks, do you get support?

Unfortunately, ambitions are often met with jealously, envy, or the face of insecurity from others. People claim that others who are on the move may be bragging or are narcissistic. If you can support the quit and the cut back or cut out, then you had better be there to support ambitions.

Ambitions are built from expectations. Low or moderate expectations create an opening for easy achievement, average results, or a blending of the crowd. High expectations feel risky and almost out of reach which is exactly why you need more support.

Our success in life, or in some cases perhaps our happiness is conditioned by our expectations. Our expectations are supported, or not, by our friends, family, and colleagues.

I remember in junior high school one of the teachers had a mural in the classroom which contained the words, “great expectations.” Illustrating what was expected from the students. The belief was that it conditioned results. It still moves me today.

Build Better Careers

Our success is often conditioned by what we believe. The Wright brothers believed in flight, Microsoft, and Apple in what some considered crazy dreams. Henry Ford believed in cars, and William Harley and Arthur Davidson in motorcycles. They all had great expectations.

Expectations will help you accomplish your career goals. Make sure you are getting the support you need. Most of all, make sure that you are giving it to others.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours!, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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future customer service expectations

Exceed Future Customer Service Expectations

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Retail stores (and online) gear up for back to school. They increase hiring and stock more inventory for cyclical or holiday seasons. They expect more to happen, more sales, more customers, and more revenue. It may represent future customer service expectations.

Most of us try to prepare. We prepare for the surge. Rush hour traffic, the dinner hour at our favorite restaurant, and even the best timing for the grocery store.

Customers and businesses alike prepare. They prepare for the most, more, and when they expect many. Are you prepared for the future expectations of your customers? What experience are they anticipating? What is your perception?

Technology and Speed

Technology is pushing everything to be faster. A telephone call or message once had to wait until we got to the next destination. Conversations or updates waited until after school, after work, until the evening or perhaps even waited until the upcoming weekend.

Many people carry a portable computer in the form of a smart phone in their pocket or purse. They get anxious when it isn’t working fast enough or the service is questionable.

When we have a question we don’t have to wait until the store opens tomorrow or the expert calls us back when he or she can fit us in. We don’t need a paper (hardcopy) dictionary, a thesaurus, or encyclopedia.

We don’t need our friend the professional mechanic to show us how to change our oil or fix the kitchen sink. All that we need is our phone, appropriate service and the understanding of how to seek a digital answer. Or is there something more?

Things aren’t just changing, they have changed. Expectations are increasing faster and many businesses can’t keep up.

Old School and Experts

Of course, there is always the desire for what once was such as the camping trip, the no phone zone, and an opportunity to unwind.

If you can raise the effort for back to school, the holiday season, and to achieve the best timing, do you really understand the future expectations of your customer? If the answers are only a smartphone away how does the expert become valued?

Future Customer Service Expectations

Expectations are created and opportunities exist in your future and for the future of your business.

Expectations create perception and perception is reality. With a little effort, you might be able to predict the future more than what you realize.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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customer service promises appreciative strategies

Keeping Customer Service Promises

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Perhaps the biggest thing that disappoints the customer is when their expectations are not met. How did they develop their expectations? Are they reasonable? Do you keep customer service promises?

A promise may not always be spoken. Sometimes a promise is assumed or expected. At the restaurant or coffee shop, we may expect our table to be clean, our muffin fresh, and typically our coffee warm. They don’t tell us that it will be that way, we expect it.

Accept versus Expect

Many customers might accept less than perfect, but that doesn’t mean that they like it. It doesn’t mean that they will tell their friends that they did. It especially doesn’t mean that they will be back.

Consider any product or service, a website, video, radio, brochure, and email message. They might all make promises or set the expectation. In many cases competitors with like products also set expectations.

If the sandwich shop down the street provides french-fries with any sandwich order as inclusive within the price of the sandwich, we start to expect it. We don’t expect to order a sandwich and then order fries, we assume they are included.

Shoes, well, they come with shoestrings. Eyeglasses from an optometrist come with a case, our smartphones are loaded with a battery, and our new TV comes with a remote control. It is expected, it’s a promise.

Customer Service Promises

Marketers, competitors, and even traditions, they all contribute to customer expectations. If you deliver anything less or expect the customer to pay extra you may have already broken the promise.

The server who doesn’t smile, the queue on the technical support line, or our technology product with short battery life, they are all broken promises.

We expect a smile it is a promise kept or broken. We don’t want to wait, and we don’t always have an electrical outlet to charge a battery. Brighter smiles, shorter wait times, and longer battery life, it is what we want, anything less is a broken promise.

Keep your customer service promises.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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customer expectations

Customer Expectations and Top Performers

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Being deeply connected with the customer experience is much more than identifying that you’ll take care of the customer. Often forgotten or easily misunderstood is that customer expectations are set by everyone they interact with, not just you or your organization.

Customer Expectations

When you are accustomed to being asked, “Did you save room for dessert?” You might not order if you aren’t asked.

When your packages arrive in two days or less, anything longer might be too long.

Experiences set customer expectations. It is not a slogan, tag line, or your mission statement.

The same is true internally in organizations. The boss or the department that you serve will base every interaction on the best experiences they have had. If they have had excellence before you, the bar might be set high.

Opportunities to Perform

Some might suggest that customers are trainable. The quality, speed, and value that they receive repeatedly will likely become their expectation. They learn what to expect, when, and how.

The organization that follows through, is appropriately fast, and provides the greatest value might also be the one that customers use to compare with everyone else.

Your performance in your job role might also be held to a similar comparison against other top performers.

What this really means is that every interaction, every touch point, it’s an opportunity. An opportunity that will be measured against what they expect. Any person or organization who sets the bar higher might become the one to beat.

Best Performance

Your customer service is not is good as what you say it is. It is only as good as what the customer expects.

In a world of fast paced, technology driven performance the best scenario might be having to meet or exceed your previous best performance.

Otherwise, you’ll have to live with the expectation set by someone else.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Customer service surprises Appreciative Strategies

Customer Service Surprises Come From Expectations

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Many workforce professionals will tell you that they know and understand customer service and satisfaction. After all, they’ve been witnessing and interacting with service experiences since they were children. What customer service surprises do your customers experience?

Surprises develop from a difference between expectations and outcomes. Expectations are likely set by your promise. The best question might be should you manage from a stand point of lower expectations or higher expectations?

Lower Expectations

Lower expectations represent the model of, you get what you get and you value doing business with us because of it. This might be the fast food burgers and fries restaurants or it might be the web based commodity product sales with no telephone number.

Most people doing business there recognize the limitations and they are okay with that. Their expectations are lower and their satisfaction might be high.

In these scenarios the promise clearly expresses the limitations and sets the expectations for quality, price, and yes, customer service. It might be the all sales are final model but you’ll take the chance and feel satisfied. Success in this model is always dependent on high volume.

Higher Expectations

In a higher expectations model you are always striving to create the wow moments for the customer. You might feel forced by the competition to raise the bar because you want to maintain profits and be the go to resource.

In this model managing higher expectations and keeping your promise are part of the vision. The idea is that customers are willing to pay for better quality and higher levels of service. They’ll be loyal because you are worth it.

The challenge here might be maintaining the proper focus, finding the right balance, and staying within budget. You might also have to consider how you’ll manage your workforce talent to ensure the on-going promise is kept.

Customer Service Surprises

One of the most important things in either model is to carefully consider your offer. What is your promise and does your customer base (or the one you want to create) have lower or higher expectations? What examples will you illustrate and what expectations will you create?

Managing your message is always important. Remember their expectations are likely driven by what they perceive which might not be exactly the same as what you say or mean.

In either model, the customer service surprises should always come from exceeding expectations. This is the only surprise they’ll accept.

Whatever promise you’ve made, you’ll have to keep.

Your customers expect it.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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moving up in your career appreciative strategies

3 Difference Makers for Moving Up In Your Career

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Adversity can be discouraging. It might sometimes feel easier to give in or give up. You can just roll along, be one of the many, and blend in with the crowd. Those aren’t always the wrong choices, but if you’re committed to moving up in your career they probably aren’t the right choice for you.

If you’re already beyond talking about your next move then you’ve probably also faced the reality that next moves pose tough challenges. Of course each individual situation might be unique but there are a few things that I repetitively see for those who persevere.

Moving Up In Your Career

Here are three of my favorite reminders:

  • Stay Committed. It is easy to get off track. It is easy to ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” Remember what you decided. Remember the day you decided to make a difference for your career. Whether you’re working through a job or education that seems like a drag or whether you’re reaching for the next rung of the ladder, keep the commitments you made to yourself.
  • Don’t Overestimate. We live in a world of fast paced and continuous change. Everything we want, we typically want fast. Discouragement is easy to find. Be realistic with your goals. Many people lose faith in their attempts because they overestimate what they can do in a few months or even a year or two. At the same time they lack the vision for what can be accomplished in five years or ten.
  • Stay Connected. This isn’t necessarily about the “friends” that you’ve built on social media. It is about staying connected to those who will support your goals. Facts are facts and often people with less energy or smaller goals are reluctant to support those who are pursuing more. They tell the story about how they tried and why they finally gave up. Not everything is for everyone but stay connected to a healthy support system.

Expectations

I don’t think anyone said that moving up in your career would be easy.

You didn’t expect that it would be.

You also expect to get there.

Stay committed to that.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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workplace commitments

Are Keeping Workplace Commitments Enough?

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Someone asks the question, “Who can help with this project?” You’re interested, passionate about it, and recognize it as an opportunity so you go for it. Can you keep your workplace commitments?

At least once per week someone talks with me about being overcommitted. Someone else talks with me about the frustration of employees who don’t deliver on their promises. What is most surprising is that this is a huge blind spot for so many professionals.

People count on other people to deliver. They are expecting a result within a timeline. Schedules and workload are based around it. Next steps are contingent upon it. Are you delivering?

Expectations

Expectations might be the problem. Remember that although this might be internal, this is likely a customer service transaction. The key to customer service is meeting or exceeding the expectations of the customer. When the expectations are higher, the performance required is greater.

Internal or external service transactions are never truly measured by you. They are measured by the expectations of the customer compared with results as determined by the customer.

So the trick really is to understand the customer expectations. Workplace professionals who understand the expectations and are appropriately committed are often able to deliver. That is how they keep their job.

Sometimes in an effort to please the boss, gain recognition, or simply out of passion for the project employees excitedly help to set the expectation too high. In other cases, they simply overcommit.

Workplace Commitments

The next time you raise your hand for the project, volunteer, or suggest that you or your team can do the work or solve the problem, be sure about the timeline. Understand the expectations and the resources required.

Keeping your workplace commitments is expected. Exceeding expectations is fantastic, you become the hero.

Failure to do either might set you back to a place you don’t want to be.

It’s a single digit.

It rhymes with hero.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Are There Any Silver Bullets?

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Society seems convinced that there is an easy path. Many people believe in the lottery approach, the short cut, and silver bullets. Are they correct?

silver bullets

It happens every day. People fill seats at seminars or spend time with a coach hoping that magically right before their eyes the silver bullets will appear.

The harsh reality for many is the day they discover that for most problems, especially big ones, silver bullets don’t just appear. They are created.

Don’t get me wrong, people leading seminars or a professional coach can provide you with tremendous value and save you years of wasted time and effort. Converting any of that, or all of it into a problem solved or new found success will require more. It will require a commitment, a lot of effort, and the tenacity to achieve.

Expectations

Expectations created from stories of the magic of the universe, or the lucky chance of meeting the right person at the right time, and the appearance that it all happened overnight might lead to disappointment.

The real story is that those things happen for those who work for them.

Dump the jigsaw puzzle on the table and the pieces are there, but you still have to place them together. Once completed some might suggest that’s the magic of the universe, others recognize someone worked to put them together.

Work hard to meet new people, be active and engaged, and always look for new opportunities. Some might suggest this is your lucky chance, others recognize that you created your own luck.

Day after day, putting in a consistent effort, analyzing, regrouping, learning, adapting, and working hard will create something. One day you’ll get up, look back, and realize that overnight you’ve made a lot of things happen.

Absolutely you have to have the right attitude, you have to be positive and confident, and you need to not waste time on things that don’t matter or don’t work. That includes tools, processes, and people.

Silver Bullets

You can find the silver bullets as soon as you realize that the Wizard of Oz is a myth, along with flying monkeys, and get-rich-quick schemes.

Arm yourself with knowledge, take calculated risks, and accept failures and success. Be sure you learn from both.

Most importantly work hard at it across time.

Those are the silver bullets.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Creating Reasonable Expectations

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Recently I went into one of my favorite restaurants for lunch. I was really hungry from not eating well during the past few days. I noticed several appetizers and entrees that I absolutely love. I ordered them, all of them.  About 40 minutes later I couldn’t eat another bite, but there was still so much food remaining. Cleary, I ordered more than I could eat.

047453988-close-hand-pen-graph

Perhaps, my expectations for what I could eat during such a narrow window of time were unrealistic. I had the motivation, but it just wasn’t possible.

People sometimes do the same thing with self-improvement goals, continuing education or professional development goals, and especially with health and fitness goals. They feel so hungry (metaphorically) or they want change so badly that try to take on too much with a goal that lacks sufficient time to complete the process. It seems that it is much more common to set your expectations too high within a very small window as compared with setting them too low and having room to spare.

Expectations or Goals

When it comes to terminology, expectations and goals (or objectives) might be used synonymously. In practice however you might discover that your expectations and goals are not the same thing.

Many people who set out to make a personal or professional change understand (expect) that they can realistically achieve the change; their frustration, shortcomings, or failure is that they don’t set realistic goals. This can be dangerous because it can not only demotivate you, it might also damage your future confidence. Lacking confidence you might decide that you have no expectations and with no expectations you’ll likely not have any goals.

Reasonable Expectations

Creating reasonable expectations happens when you think more strategically and less tactically.

Back to my restaurant scenario, tactically, I know I can eat the food I enjoy. Strategically, I have to consider how much food I can eat during a specific window of time.

So with a little (or a lot of) motivation we can easily create unreasonable expectations, then our actual performance comes in too low. In order to set more reasonable expectations we have to be sure that we have more than just a vision of what we want to accomplish. We’ll need performance goals, milestones, and methods of measurement. We will have to actualize our vision through strategy.

At a minimum you should consider these factors:

  • past performance
  • capacities
  • resources
  • obstacles
  • measurements

There are likely additional factors that could be associated with your quest to develop reasonable expectations but this list certainly is a good start. Did you ever think there was so much to consider about how you develop or set your expectations? Are you being reasonable as you think about your goals for self-improvement, continuing or professional education, or fitness?

Here is what I think. I think I am likely to overestimate how much I can eat during one meal, but I would significantly underestimate how much food I consume across two or three years.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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