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Opinion: Exceed Expectations by Henry Ukazu

The first step in exceeding your customer’s expectations is to know those expectations – Roy H. Williams

Greetings Friends,

In today’s world, everybody wants to succeed. Nobody wants to fail. Hence, the saying, success has many fathers while failure is an orphan. The desire of every progressive and rational mind is to be successful. No company, organization, entrepreneur or even association wants to fail. No student wants to fail. This is the more reason every parent trains his/her child not only to be morally sound in character but also academically empowered. The same goes for every cooperate organization which provides training opportunities for their employees in order for them to be properly equipped to do the job.

Entrepreneurs on the other hand never give up in their struggle to succeed, especially when they look back to see how far they have come. They put in so much work by researching, learning, and unlearning in order to be relevant in our contemporary society. Service providers are not left out, they go all out to exceed their customers’ expectations by giving them the best of services.

During the course of this article, we shall be discussing in a holistic and detailed manner dynamic ways on how we can exceed expectations. But the bigger picture will be on how you can exceed your expectations, the expectations of your clients, and the expectations of naysayers who didn’t believe in you nor saw the big picture. You may have had dreams of becoming a distinguished Captain of an industry, you may even have a desire of going higher in cooperate ladder, but your supervisor or director tends to limit your opportunities due to roadblocks which has programmed to make you fail on arrival. You may have never had the desire of going over and beyond due to the limiting factors like your environment, financial circumstances, physical disability or even health condition which might have limited your capability. All these are the strange voices which might tend to limit your dreams or chances of succeeding in life.

To exceed is to go over and beyond expectations. It can even be an inspiration to someone.  It takes a lot of courage to exceed expectations just like it takes a lot to succeed in life and business.  In order to truly exceed expectation, you must create something of value which must be appreciated. When you create value or become a person of substance who addresses problems, the world will celebrate you. Value is the hallmark of exceeding expectations.  A typical example of someone who exceeded expectation is Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba. Billionaire Alibaba founder Jack Ma was rejected from every job he applied to after college, even KFC. After college, Ma applied for 30 jobs in his home city of Hangzhou, China. He was rejected from every one. At KFC, 24 people applied for the job, and while 23 were hired — he wasn’t one of them. The same thing happened when he tried to be a cop. This time four of five applicants were hired, all except Ma. According to Jack Ma “My cousin and I waited for two hours in a long queue to be the waiter for the four-star hotel in my city, on a very hot day,”. “My cousin’s score was much lower than mine, but he was accepted and I was rejected!” Ma was even turned down by Harvard 10 times. Ma says the continued rejection was painful. But it prepared him for his entrepreneurial future. Ma believed in himself. His fortitude came in handy when he founded Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba in 1999. In the beginning, Ma heard “no” a lot, but never doubted his capacity to exceed expectations. According to Ma “When you share a lot of failure stories, you learn.”

Jack Ma turns 55 on Sept. 10, 2019, and is currently worth $38.2 billion. Yet Ma once made $12 dollar per month as an English teacher. His achievements are practically unbelievable considering his meager, humble beginnings. Along the way, he failed more times (and more spectacularly) than most of us could stomach in a lifetime.

Exceeding your expectations are not limited to only to you, but it also transcends to other people who have never believed you in you. We all have experienced one form of a disservice in one or way or the other. This can be either from an employee, an elderly person who never saw anything good in you, a friend, colleague or even a sibling or parent who had a form of doubt about your ability to succeed in life. In order for you to cast out their fears and doubts, the onus is on you to exceed their expectations by humbling them with your success.  According to Roy H. Williams, “The first step in exceeding your customer’s expectations is to know those expectations.”

We shall be discussing how to exceed expectations. The first step and requirement of exceeding expectation is believing in yourself. You just have to think positive regardless of the opinion people around have. Yes, sometimes it can be challenging when the odds are against you, for instance, you may have great ideas, but lack resources to execute it. Let me share a personal experience with you during my formative years in the USA, I had terrible writing skills. My writing skills were horrible, to say the least. I had “supposed mentors” who were meant to assist me in honing my writing skills, but the experience wasn’t rosy as expected. I was technically helpless, but fortunately, my networking and personal relationship skills connected me to resourceful mentors who look beyond my horrible writing skills to horn my writing skills. They were kind enough to edit my works at regular intervals. This process enabled me to learn and in turn improved my writing skills. The teachings and mistakes I made enabled me to write my first book. Mere looking back, I can say, my supposed mentors wouldn’t believe I will come this far. I exceeded their expectations.

Let me share valuable tip on how to exceed expectations for business-minded people. You can exceed expectations by providing quality service to your customers. Nobody likes shady work. You can also exceed expectations with speed and accuracy. When you deliver great service to your clients, you gain not only their confidence but also their loyalty.  Another way of succeeding is by connecting with your customers by applying the three communication rule: 1. Golden Rule: Treat people the way you want them to treat you; 2. Platinum Rule: Treat people the way they wish to be treated and, and 3. The double-platinum rule which literary means give people more than they deserve. Your customers can literally be loyal if you connect with them. Don’t be interested only in their money, but also let them know they are appreciated. Moral: Try to think of something memorable you can do for every customer. Also if you ever get an opportunity to do more, then do it.

Further more, you can give value by doing more than is expected or required from you. Do more than expected. You can exceed expectations in quality or service. A great customer service leaves a lasting memory. The expectations you exceed today become the seed for new opportunities in the future. This may seem to be an obvious fact, but many people fail to connect today’s actions with future opportunities.

1.    Manage  Expectations:

Depending on where you work, you can exceed expectations by managing your boss expectations. You must make time to understand what your boss expects when it comes to project deadlines and deliverables.

2.    Keep your skills up-to-date

As technology evolves, so must professionals. Whether it is the latest version of the software or regulatory changes, “Staying abreast of the latest developments in your industry can show continuous improvement and help you become a more efficient and effective employee.”

3.    Differentiate yourself

Last but not least, identify what differentiates you professionally from the rest and make it a characteristic that your boss can depend on. Making small efforts such as routinely showing up to work early each day or consistently finding new, more efficient ways to accomplish everyday tasks can help you position yourself as a valuable resource to your boss and team. While many professionals may have the qualifications to do the job, differentiating yourself and what unique elements you can bring to the table will set you apart. You want to demonstrate to your boss that you can continue to add value to the team and its goals. Ask yourself each day ‘how can I make my boss’s job easier?’ and you can begin to meet and exceed their expectations.”

I’ll end this article by sharing some inspiring secrets about Jack Ma on his entrepreneurial journey to inspire you.

1. Didn’t give up after failing many exams at school; Surprisingly, Ma’s not alone. There’s a tradition of other great minds, including Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and Abraham Lincoln.

2. He scored 1 out of 120 points on the math portion of his college entrance exam.

3. He wasn’t deterred after being rejected from Harvard 10 times.

4. He stayed optimistic after being turned down for 30 jobs. After graduating from college, he applied to 30 different jobs and was subsequently rejected by all of them. He even applied to be a police officer, but he was rejected with three simple words: “You’re no good.”

5. He was the only interviewee (out of 24) rejected by KFC.

6. He couldn’t convince Silicon Valley to fund Alibaba: Even after he started Alibaba, he suffered multiple failures. It wasn’t profitable the first three years.

In summary, if Jack Ma can exceed expectations, you too can do succeed regardless of your setbacks. Jack Ma is a classic rags-to-riches, but even more impressive than his fabulous wealth is his uncanny level of persistence. He is proof that no series of failures despite how depressing can keep someone from achieving their dreams. What this shows us is that Ma is the paradigm of persistence. As Ma says: “If you don’t give up, you still have a chance. Giving up is the greatest failure.”

I will like to end by asking a question; what expectations would you like to exceed?

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success.

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