Don’t Promise a “Wow” That Doesn’t Deliver.
In the guest experience, we can be bad about over-promising and under-delivering: take this step and this great thing will happen!
Which is great when the promise works, but terrible when it doesn’t.
And it’s not just a problem with explicit promises, but with implicit ones as well.
As an example, let’s use one of my favorite aggravations: the (failed) first-time guest parking sign.
At all of our campuses, we have a-frame signs that dot the landscape leading up to the turn-in. They’re blue, so that they stand out from our typical black a-frames. They’re simple, so that guests know immediately what we’re asking them to do:
And they carry an implied promise: if you turn on your hazard lights, something special is going to happen.
For those who follow the instructions on the signs, that “something special” is an activation of a first-time guest process that will park them close to the building, show them specific attention, and navigate them towards the first-time guest tent.
Which is a great promise to make.
Except when we don’t fulfill it.
Imagine that you’re a first-time guest: you arrive on campus, you see the sign, and you flip on your hazard lights, but there’s not a parking team member in the lot to see you and respond. What do you do? Your hazard lights are on (so you feel kind of silly), but there’s no one to help interpret those lights (so you feel kind of confused), and you may even circle the building and leave (because you feel kind of supremely ticked off).
There can be all kinds of reasons that the failure happened: maybe it’s because we’re low on volunteers or maybe we failed to put out a skeleton crew or maybe we’re not abiding by our “attend one, serve one” mantra, but the implied promise to our guests has been broken.
Better to ditch the signs than to frustrate a guest. Better to remove the implied promise of a “wow” than to promise it and not back it up.
Look at your implied promises in your system. What are you saying that you’ll do that you don’t actually do?