Tag Archives: expectations

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response time

Response Time Expectations and How to Manage Them

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Perception is reality. At least that is what we are often told. It is true, what people expect or perceive is what they measure against. Internally and externally, response time expectations condition satisfaction. Are you managing them or are they managing you?

Perceptions of Response

What are your expectations for response time? It is often a critical measurement. People evaluate and judge your acceptance or not by response time.

When will the wait staff realize I need a refill of my iced tea?

How many rings until someone answers the telephone?

How long do I wait while on hold?

When I send an email how long until I get a response?

How quickly can emergency responders get to my area?

This webpage takes forever to load.

Where is my pizza?

How long until the medicine starts to work?

When will the eBay seller ship?

What time will dinner be ready?

There is an important question to ask about all of these scenarios, “What are your expectations?”

Response Time

We can go through a McDonald’s drive through lane quickly, especially once our order has been placed. The pizza delivery guy is only minutes away after the pizza leaves the oven. The on-line merchandise order is typically less than two days away, and shipping is advertised as free.

Patience may be important for the recipient but it is still based entirely on expectations. Those expectations often develop from past experiences. Fortunately, or unfortunately, those past experiences are working for or against your perceived level of service.

Today expectations are shorter, faster, or quicker than ever before. We can get a loan for very little cost, very fast. Our pizza can be hot and ready, just stop in the store. Our burger is fewer than ninety seconds away, and researching to find answers to our questions are at our fingertips in under a minute.

Managing Expectations

How does the service provider manage expectations? Typically, information will help manage expectations. It may be the notification on the technical support line of the number we represent in the queue. The same is true for the help chat.

The pizza shop will often tell us the wait time when placing an order by phone and we expect the medicine to work in just minutes.

It still remains a two-way street. Push the employee, vendor, or service provider too hard, and you’ll likely find errors or rework is necessary. While you often measure with response time, perhaps patience is another metric to consider. It is the push and pull of quality and problem resolution.

Expected Wait Time

People wait for hours in line to get the new iPhone. They tailgate at the big game for more than triple the time the game is actually played.

Not so long ago a mail order businesses (today’s dot com) once shipped in 30 days, or call from a friend or relative only happened when they had access to a landline telephone.

When we expect an immediate response we may have to remind ourselves about our expectations. We may have to consider our patience, which often allows for better quality. A fix it once correctly is better than a fix it wrong or part of the way for two or three tries.

Information is Key

Keep communicating. Respond to email, text messages, or telephone calls. Provide updates, status reports, and historical data.

Expectations are guided by perception, perception becomes reality, it is all based on past experiences and information. When in doubt, practice patience, it matters.

Do you want to be a step ahead of the competition? Find ways to do your best work faster, it is what everyone expects.

– 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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expectations control

Expectations Control Your Future

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Several times recently, I’ve chatted with friends and clients about expectations. Expectations really condition the feeling that we have about an outcome. Do expectations control your future?

Future Expectations

When we embark on something new, sometimes our expectations are high, the new restaurant, the new digital device, or even the new job. We often expect a lot.

Social media is an interesting example. Many people grab their phone, tap an icon and expect to be engaged by a post from a life they aren’t living. They may be looking to live vicariously.

However, social media just like many things in life do not always meet or exceed our expectations. Sometimes, or often, it is something less.

For many others their daily commute is too crowded, the internet too slow, and the weather often seems undesirable.

High Hopes

Hopes, faith, or some form of conviction, it keeps many people going. Yet nearly everyday someone will find a way to describe a dream that is shattered.

High expectations and high hopes can eventually drive a feeling of disappointment. Feeling disappointed people stop dreaming, they stop hoping and they lose faith in a favorable outcome.

Management Expectations

In management circles, workplace expectations drive goals and an outcome is produced. How is that outcome measured? Often it is measured against management expectations.

Do lowered expectations change the results? They can, but they can also shatter dreams.

Expect to Win

There may be a difference between the athlete who wants to make it to the Olympic Games and the athlete who wins. Often one expects to get there, for another, they expect to win.

We can’t lose sight though of reality. Reality is the brutal truth. It pinches us, and lowers the expectations of the dream. The feeling is disappointment, and it often goes unexpressed. It is the social media thread that only illustrates bad news, no good news.

Disappointment is part of life, growth, and ultimately a path to a happier place. Is it about expectations control?

Expectations Control

Expectations can satisfy or leave you wanting more. The trick then is learning to adjust your expectations to the reality of the situation.

You may believe you deserve better or the business goal may be too short sighted, but your expectations will help you determine what happens next.

Don’t give up on your dream. You deserve it, but the hope and faith that will keep you going is based entirely on your expectations.

– 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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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


Customer service is about culture. What happens internally is often a good predictor of satisfaction externally. Are you keeping your commitments? Do you work hard to deliver both internal and external customer service?

custserv book

Praise for #CustServ The Customer Service Culture

“…goes beyond the traditional advice and focuses on strategy and cause.”

“…for everyone who truly wants to exceed their customer’s expectations.”

“…the tools needed to gain lifelong customers.”

“…provides guidance in an easily understandable format, and yet challenges the reader…”

“…brings out the truth by diving right into how culture, traditions and generational differences can cause challenges…”

 

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Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

 

Originally posted on April 11, 2017, last updated on April 4, 2018

 


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