If you’re not “over-delivering” to customers in your business, perhaps it’s time to stop and think how over-delivering could offer your company a massive competitive advantage in your market and over your competitors, especially if you don’t already have an established reputation. It’s something any business can easily do with little effort and yet it can produce spectacular results.
That’s because the average business just produces average results. And if you want to be better than the average business you have to offer good results. which means you become a business with a reputation that over-delivers and creates a unique and memorable experience with your customers and in turn builds a long-lasting, win-win relationship with your target customer mark
How over-delivering works is by making a promise… What you will actually do for your customer vis-a-vis your product and service. Then, once you deliver exactly what you said you would, you go even further and give your customer a little something more.
This surpasses their expectations and the outcomes they wanted, and creates what’s know as the “wow” factor …a great experience that delights them in a way they never thought would happen.
There are many ways you can over-deliver and here are some to get you thinking about the long-term benefits…
Under-promise and then over-deliver: This is a method to work backwards from the product and service you’re offering to your customers and then work forwards in the process to delight your customer by bringing the goal post forward on your promise.
For example, let’s say that you’re an interior designer and a client approaches you about a resigning their bathroom. You figure out that you can complete the design speck inside three days, but you leave some leeway by telling your client they can have the spec in a week. Then, when you present your designs to them on day 3, you exceed your client’s expectations and their trust and loyalty in your capabilities and working on schedule soars.
Saving time and money: One of the best ways to increase a customer experience is to save them time and money. In the interior design example above, delivering your design work early saves the client time and they stop worrying about possible delays in their future plans. Now that they have your design content, they can move forward. In addition, if you offer a discount on a purchase, this saves them money.
The key point here is to introduce an element of surprise to your the customer that comes out of the blue and with no strings attached. It doesn’t have to be a regular part of your product and service operations, instead it could be a point card system whereby your customer knows that as they build up their purchase with you at some point they will get the next one free or at a discounted price. Or it could be that you go out of your way to save them time and effort by completing your work well in advance of schedule.
Consistent great experiences: You should create consistent “wow” experiences for your customer and, in order to do this, you need to work out and identify several ways to exceed their expectations, especially if you can do on a consistent and continual basis. It doesn’t have be something really expensive that drains of your resources and cuts your profits.So begin by working out what you can do. For example, when you personally reach out to each client with a “thank you” for your custom after each job and follow this up by email, this is a good way to stay in touch and also offer a discount on the their next purchase or some other extra that will delight them which doesn’t cost you much.
Always over-deliver when you have to apologise: A great time to over-deliver is when you’ve made an unfortunate mistake or run over time. For example, if a customer returns a faulty product. This may not be entirely your fault, but it’s an excellent opportunity for you to please them with service that goes “above and beyond” what they would expect. Which means, rather than trying to simply satisfy your customer, you give them a bonus add on or a gift that shows them how much you appreciate them being your customer.
In a nutshell, the experience of over-delivering to your customer can be done in such a way that it doesn’t cost you a great deal of extra time or money. Just realise that even a small gesture can be the secret to customer success and go a long way in building competitive advantage through great long-term loyal relationships with your customers.