The value of meeting expectations

Here’s my rant for the day.

I think simply meeting expectations is a powerful way to build goodwill and improve relationships, whether it’s in business or personal life.

This seems so straightforward yet there are so many times where minimal expectations are failed to be met.

The condo management association who is working on repairing the water damage to our condo has not met expectations. There has been a lack of communication, phone calls haven’t been returned, and repairs have been unnecessarily delayed for weeks. A phone call explaining the situation is all we would need for you to meet expectations.

In the online world, clickbait headlines don’t meet expectations. If I see a headline that reads “Baby ducks see water for the first time – can you BELIEVE what they do?”, my expectations are that something close to unbelievable is going to happen. When I see that the baby ducks drink or jump into the water, that’s failure to meet my expectations.

Comcast’s customer service and internet speeds always fail to meet expectations. That’s why we’re switching to FiOS in our new home.

If you say you’re going to do something, do it.

If you say you’re going to be somewhere at a certain time, be there at that time.

If you set expectations, meet them.

There will be times where things will happen where you won’t be able to do what you promised or where you’ll be late. Shit happens. In those cases, explain and be honest about what went wrong and how you’ll improve it.

It sucks when expectations are so infrequently met that I have to lower my expectations to be satisfied. That’s kind of how I feel about most customer service organizations right now.

When I experience great service that meets or exceeds my expectations, I shower those people with praise. I love it.

When you set expectations, make sure you can meet them. If you can’t, explain why. Simple as that.

What are your thoughts on setting and meeting expectations? Have you had recent instances where someone failed to meet your expectations, and how did it make you feel? How about when someone exceeded your expectations? I’d love to hear from you. Write your thoughts in the comments, tweet at me @mikewchan, or email me at

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