Customer Service Surprises Come From Expectations

  • 2
Customer service surprises Appreciative Strategies

Customer Service Surprises Come From Expectations

Tags : 

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.


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 or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Jason Davis

May 5, 2017at 10:24 am

After working in the IT services industry for over 15 years, I can say that the Higher Expectations model must be adhered to in order to survive. “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.” is spot on and those that are lucky enough to have the workforce component not be an issue and manage to keep talent always win. Sometimes you can selectively use the Lower Expectations model even when you typically find yourself in the Higher Expectations model in order to diversify sales and services offerings. Great Post!!!!!

    Dennis Gilbert

    May 5, 2017at 11:22 am

    Thanks, yes, great comments! It somewhat begs the question, “Do blended models or additional models exist?” I say, “Yes!”

Search This Website

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Blog (Filter) Categories

Follow me on Twitter

Assessment Services and Tools

Strategic, Competency, or Needs Assessments, DiSC Assessments, 360 Feedback, and more. Learn more