Why you should under promise and over deliver

Why is it important to under-promise and over-deliver?

I’ve been working with a client recently that has the ability to deliver their amazing service within a couple of weeks of a client order. They pride themselves on being able to deliver that brilliant service within a couple of weeks of getting a client order. However, on a couple of occasions recently, through no fault of their own, things have happened that really caused them to struggle to hit that deadline.

They’ve finished up going back to the client saying, ‘look, we’re really sorry, but we’re going to struggle to get this to you on the agreed day, it’s gonna be a few days later’. And albeit the customer is happy with that, it caused a little bit of anxiety because they promised one thing and then struggled to deliver.

Now digging a little bit deeper under the surface, they don’t need to promise that two week lead time. More often than not, the client doesn’t need it in two weeks and are quite happy with it later. So what we talked about is saying, ‘look, maybe it’ll be three weeks, maybe it’ll be three and a half weeks’, but then more often than not, delivering it in two. Set an expectation that it will be delivered in three, and deliver it in two. So, you wow the customer.

Self imposed timescale

Now, that’s common sense really. But it was their desire to deliver something within a self-imposed timescale that caused them to really start to struggle. So, what I want you to think about when you’re going about your business is, you might be able to write that blog that afternoon, you might be able to produce that video content within a week, you might be able to produce that written report within two weeks. Does the customer actually want it that quickly? Are they going to do anything with it that quickly when they get it? Or should you be setting an expectation that they could get it a few days later, and then you absolutely wow their socks off by delivering it ahead of schedule?

Under-promise, and over-deliver and in a world where nobody’s really delivering to their promises, you will not go far wrong.

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