Tag Archives: surprise

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shocking change

Shocking Change Includes Disbelief

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By now we all know that change is a part of life. Many people will quickly agree that everything around us is changing. How are you navigating shocking change?

Shocking Change

Change often does come as a shock and is followed with disbelief. Someone wins an election. Someone gets promoted, or the one-hundred-year-old business closes its doors forever.

Some will claim that they saw it coming and it wasn’t really a surprise.

In other cases, change happens so slow people barely notice. People age, trees grow, and a new house is built in a tiny corner of the two-hundred-acre field.

In our home or at our workplace, a room gets painted, a picture hung, and a new chair gets placed in the corner. Perhaps noticed and strange for a moment, but then life goes on. In a few days, we forget that something changed.

Surprised About Change?

Big change or small change, we tend to process it the same. At first there is some surprise, maybe a shock and maybe some disbelief. Shortly thereafter, the shock wears off, the disbelief switches to reality, and now it becomes the norm.

Change doesn’t always happen the way we wanted or when we wanted, but it surely happens.

Some will call it progress others will see it as the beginning of the end. Some changes will stick and some have a strange way of circling back around.

Change doesn’t always stick, it doesn’t always stay, and it sometimes feels unfair.

People were once shocked (no pun) by the light bulb, the airplane, and the breakup of Sonny and Cher.

Don’t be surprised with the disbelief that comes with change. Be surprised how long some things stay the same.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. 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.

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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.


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.

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Kidding Me

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You hear the news. You thought it could happen. You knew it.


The surprise of, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” isn’t really such a surprise.

You’re not a prophet, or if you are, you’ll know exactly when to buy that lottery ticket.

When you believe you know the outcome, the outcome becomes more believable. Then sometimes it becomes what you focus on and then what you focus on becomes what you get.

No kidding.


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