On Friday July 24, Lynn Zettler from Core Impact Coaching conducted a training session for netlogx on how to exceed expectations. It was a great reminder that in consulting, our success and our reputation rely on our ability to not only meet, but to exceed our client’s expectations.
Exceeding expectations is giving the client exactly what they want and need in such a manner that the client is thrilled with the end result and is pleased to have engaged the consultant. Exceeding expectations does not mean “gold plating”, a term commonly used in project management. ProjectManagementLearning.com defines gold plating as “. . . giving the customer something that he did not ask for, something that wasn’t scoped, and often something that he may not want.” It is false value.
Lynn reminded us that there are many ways we can strive to exceed our client’s expectations. In our everyday interactions simple things like always being on time, being dependable, and displaying a positive attitude can go a long way towards confidently representing ourselves and netlogx.
Exceeding expectations is grounded excellent communication. Excellent communication starts with dialogue about what is important to the client, what areas are causing pain, who are important stakeholders, how frequent and what types of communication are expected. We need to make sure we are communicating the appropriate things at the appropriate time, and at the appropriate level of detail so that the stakeholders are aware of what is going on in a timely fashion, but are not overburdened by irrelevant details. We need to anticipate and exceed our client’s need and desire for knowledge and information.
Exceeding expectations is manifested by differentiating ourselves using our skills and talents to make our client’s and team members’ jobs easier. It requires us to be prepared, pay attention to details, and deliver exceptional work products. It means we need to be proactive and willing to adapt based on the bigger picture. The desire to exceed expectations compels us to consistently be good listeners, ask thoughtful and pertinent questions, and offer creative solutions to problems. In short, we don’t “gold plate”, we provide gold standard service to the client.
Exceeding expectations is key behavior to successfully addressing a client’s needs and becoming a valued partner. When we are exceeding expectations, we embody the netlogx operating principles of initiative, integrity, inspiration, communication, accountability, and honesty. We give the client the value they want, and ensure are and pleased that they made the decision to engage netlogx.