Closing The Performance / Expectation Gap

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Gap?  Yes.  The gap between what you think you’re doing and how your customers / clients feel you’re doing. Maybe you don’t have one.  Kudos.  Unfortunately, odds are you do have a gap.  Fortunately, you can correct that.  But first you need to know if it exists.

In a recent research study (Delivering On The Promise) conducted by Accenture, it was noted that a serious disconnect exists between business executives and their clients / customers.  Apparently 75% of the executives surveyed perceived their own customer service as being “above-average”.  Unfortunately, 59% of their own customers felt the service experience they were getting from these same firms was, “somewhat to extremely disappointing”.

Lynn Hunsaker posting at ClearAction’s Customer Experience Optimization blog cited a CMO Council Customer Affinity study where about 50% of the surveyed companies believed they were “extremely” customer-centric.  At the same time, only 10% of the customers surveyed felt the same way!


This obvious perceptual difference is significant and serious.  Significant in the the ‘GAP’ it suggests is huge.  Serious in that it exists at all.

Can you tolerate such a lack of connection to your marketplace?  Not for long.  And not for anything good.  I’m reminded of Marie Antoinette’s famed line, “Let them eat cake” when referring to the French people who, suffering so badly, rebelled and overthrew the monarchy (and, Marie’s head, too!).

Your business competes not only for prospects and their money.  You also compete for their attention.  And, their loyalty to your brand.  The way you earn that is by delivering on the expectations of your marketplace.  And how do you learn those?

You ASK!

Survey your customers.  If you don’t have customers or clients . . . talk with prospects!

Whatever you do . . . stay close to your marketplace . . . closer than your competitors and when you learn what people want from you . . . GIVE IT TO THEM!

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