Expectations are a funny thing. You often receive exactly what you expect. It doesn’t matter whether you expect the best or the worst. This is especially true when the expectations are applied to people’s behavior.
Several years ago, my family had a Halloween scheduling dilemma. We were invited to a party that conflicted with the time most children visited our home in Atlanta. After careful consideration, I came up with a solution – a self-serve treat station. I created a sign that read, “Happy Halloween! Thank you for stopping by. Please take one candy bar for each person.”
My plan was to place a chair on my porch with the sign on the back. A large bowl filled with one hundred candy bars would be on the seat. Since we normally had 80-90 tricksters, everyone should get one. When I started setting it up, my husband laughed at me. And, then he laughed some more. And, even more.
When he finally stopped laughing, he told me that for a smart person I could do some really foolish things. After all, didn’t I know that the first child would pick up the bowl and dump it in his or her bag?
No, I didn’t know that because I expect the best from people. I continued with my plan. We went to the party, had a great time with our children, spent some time listening to people laugh at my ignorance, and then returned to find about twenty candy bars in the bottom of the bowl. I tried to refrain from saying, “I told you so.” I failed.
Customers are your best friends and should be treated as such.
Your customers are the same as the children who visited our home that night. If you expect the best from them, most likely they’ll deliver. Of course, there will be the few that disappoint you, but the majority won’t.
So, instead of having an “I can’t take another complaint from a customer” attitude, try, “I can’t wait the help the next person.” Trade “you can’t please anyone these days” for “we have the best customers.” And, don’t stop there. Spread a few or your great expectations around the office, too. You know that grumpy person, three cubes down? Share a smile, a candy bar, or a compliment.
It’ll make your day easier AND your customers and office mates will love it.
Have a Happy Halloween!