A few decades ago I worked for a technology company that had Pizza Hut as a customer. Maybe I should call this The Pizza Hut Philosophy but this is not a philosophy tied only to Pizza Hut the pizza maker. Plus, it’s easier to remember with a cool name.
So, The Pizza Philosophy it is.
In the lobby leading into Pizza Hut’s corporate headquarters was a plaque that displayed the company’s basic philosophy.
Under promise, over deliver.
One can look at that a few different ways but as it was meant is obvious. Make the customer feel good about their pizza and the company’s service. You do that by over delivering on the customer’s expectations.
That means a company needs to set appropriate expectations for both product and customer service, and then exceed both.
How easy is that?
Well, it may not be as easy as you think. Walmart doesn’t do it. Sears? Please. McDonald’s? Perhaps. Apple? Perhaps.
All of us have expectations for everything; from a slight consideration to fully expected details when a service or product is delivered or used. It feels better to buy products from or use services from a company that exceeds in our expectations.
That was Pizza Hut’s philosophy back in the day and one I have always tried to embody wherever I worked.
Here’s an example.
I once ran a company division that had hundreds of customers. Occasionally a customer would call with a support request or a problem that needed attention. The company’s receptionist would pass the call along to our department, and, as you might expect, it could take hours to a day to get back to the customer.
Yes, customers were not happy.
So, we looked at the situation and figured out a solution that would under promise and over deliver in an appropriate manner. We gave our customers a special phone number and name (with a back up). They could call anytime during business hours with whatever issue they had. We promised to call back within an hour with a solution or progress on a solution.
That did it. The customer just wanted someone to talk to and someone to call back with a status report. We did that. Customers were happier.
Under promise and over deliver.