Look up “under promise” and “over deliver” in any online search engine and you’ll come up with conflicting results. Some business experts advocate for this business strategy, others caution against it:
- Inc.magazine advises abandoning the “underpromise and overdeliver” tuism, as there is no benefit to the party who goes above and beyond a promise. Clients, they say, don’t appreciate the extra effort.
- Obelis Media also advises against it because doing so communicates a lower level of service or product benefits, which reduces the number of customers your business attracts.
- Money Smarts supports the “under promise and over deliver” philosophy, stating that doing so avoids client exasperation and enables the vendor to allow wiggle room for setbacks, delays, and do-overs.
- M4B Marketing joins the chorus of nay-sayers, noting that clients come to expect additional effort without having to pay additional compensation.
- The Adventure, LLC agrees with M4B Marketing: Customers “practice the Law of Increasing Expectations. Every time they receive some type of bonus from a supplier, the future bar of expectation automatically goes up.”
- Crew joins Money Smarts in the minority opinion supporting the “under-promise and over-deliver” truism as a way to ensure one can keep his or her promises.
Myriad more examples for either opinion can be listed; however, the common thread is that client satisfaction entails a delicate balancing act that focuses on one key concept: reliability. Reliability serves as the fulcrum upon which you balance customer expectations.
Trust vs. Confidence
There’s a subtle distinction between trust and confidence, although people often use the two words interchangeably. As explained by DifferenceBetween.com, “Confidence refers to the assurance that we have on someone. Trust, on the other hand, refers to the firm belief that one has on another individual.” Confidence means you can delegate something to someone else and know it will be accomplished. This indicates an assurance in that person’s or company’s ability to do what is asked and to deliver as promised. Confidence develops based upon the evidence of past performance and can be enhanced by the recommendations of other highly regarded individuals. Trust, on the other hand, requires no evidence. Confidence is earned; trust is given.
Confidence, in short, arises from reliability. This is how brand loyalty is built.
A successful business depends upon the confidence of those who purchase its products and services. That confidence can be built by establishing and maintaining a reputation for integrity and consistent performance. People find consistency reassuring and a strong based built on confidence can withstand the occasional setback, because–as we all know–we cannot control every aspect of our lives and sometimes things happen that we cannot avoid. Trust, once broken, may be impossible to re-establish.
The Heggen Group offers past and prospective clients a viable track record of delivering on promises made. We help our clients to manage their customers’ expectations by analyzing what the do and how they do it to establish feasible processes that guide the delivery of top quality work as promised, on time, and within budget. By implementing processes that ensure reliable performance, clients can then build or increase their customers’ confidence which contributes to brand loyalty.