Saturday, January 10, 2009

Expectation Management is Everything

Whether you are in product development or customer service, more or less every single measure of success comes down to how well you have managed expectations. After all, what is a failure other than a customer or consumer considering you to have missed their expectations?

This can cut both ways, however. I recently ordered something online for several hundred dollars. My shipping options were 1) free, 2) $12/2nd day, 3) $20/overnight. I really wanted to get the item in time to play with it over the weekend, however I was placing the order on a Monday before an upcoming holiday weekend.

I was about to place the order for 2nd day shipping when I noticed that the site said orders take 3 days to ship. Therefore I felt there was no reason to pay more to get the item before the weekend and I'll take slow, ground freight from across the US. That's too bad because I thought the long weekend would be the perfect time to play with my new toy.

Frustratingly, a few hours later (the following morning), I got an email that the item had shipped by ground freight. Had I paid for the 2 day, it would arrive before the up coming long holiday weekend. Instead it would arrive just after the long weekend. Argh.

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