Principle #24 in Jack Canfield’s book “The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be” is “Exceed Expectations.” In this chapter he writes: “When you give more than is expected, you are more likely to receive promotions, raises, bonuses, and extra benefits. You don’t need to worry about job security. You’ll always be the first hired and the last fired.” This works if you’re an employee, a student, an entrepreneur, or a full scale business.
“It’s never crowded along the extra mile.“
– Wayne Dyer
Exceed Expectations and Amazon
I remember teaching a course and talking about the loss of customer goodwill. I tried this as an example:
“Imagine you want to buy a product that you previously saw advertised on Amazon. However, when you go to Amazon you find that the site is down. Instead, you buy it from another company. The next time you want to buy a similar product, where are you most likely to go?”
Students consistently said “Amazon.”
The reason is that Amazon consistently exceeds expectations when it comes to customer service. They provide what they promise and if something goes wrong, they quickly take steps to make it right.
Ultimately, I changed my example to another company.
“Imagine you want to buy a product that you previously saw advertised on Acme. However, when you go to Acme you find that the site is down. Instead, you buy it from BestProducts.com. The next time you want to buy a similar product, where are you most likely to go?”
Students consistently said they’d buy it from BestProducts.com.
Why the disparity? The answer is simple. Amazon is a great example of a company that exceeds expectations and over delivers. The result is uncommon loyalty to the company.
Exceed Expectations to Readers
While I am certainly not in the same class as Amazon, I do try to exceed expectations with the Get Certified Get Ahead brand in two ways:
- answering queries in a timely manner, and
- regularly updating content.
One of my unwritten guidelines is to answer reader queries within a day. Many users are surprised and respond with something like ‘Wow. I didn’t think the author would answer. Thank you.’
I understand this response. Years ago, I taught Security+ classes from a book written by another author. I encountered errors and inconsistencies in the book that didn’t make sense to me. I sent the author several emails over a few months, but never received a reply. Ultimately, I wrote the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide and made a commitment to myself to answer readers in a timely manner.
I also try to exceed expectations with updates to other content with the Get Certified Get Ahead brand. As an example, the “What’s New” page outlines many of the changes we’ve made to various test banks. Further, the blogs site includes a wealth of blog posts providing content and tips on how to take and pass different exams. For example, this set of posts provides information on the Security+ Performance-Based Questions.
Reviewing this principle this week has me thinking about what else I can do to exceed expectations. A couple of ideas have come to mind that I’m going to try and develop further. If you have a suggestion, I’d love to hear it.
How Do You Exceed Expectations?
How about you?
Is there something you can do differently to exceed expectations? It’s a question worth pursuing.
“When you do more than you get paid for
eventually you’ll be paid for more than you do.”
– Zig Ziglar
About This Post
I’ve been learning from Jack Canfield (of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame) since 2008. I credit much of my success (including authoring or co-authoring more than 40 books) to applying principles in my life that he teaches. I’m currently going through his book “The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be,” covering one principle a week.