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Please note that Current of Life was previously published under the title: Living Your Potential

Living Your Potential

Underpromise and Overdeliver...With a New Twist 

Customer Service 101

The plaque on the wall of our senior vice president’s office had three words: UNDERPROMISE AND OVERDELIVER.  It was a reminder to salespeople and others within our organization to estimate conservatively when making commitments.  The point was not to simply avoid trouble or to shy away from challenges and aim low.  Rather it was to increase the likelihood of meeting and even exceeding customer expectations, so that a reputation of consistency and integrity could be cultivated.

I learned this lesson well in a customer-focused corporate environment and have comprehended its meaning even more fully since founding my own business.  Not only is the customer more satisfied (and perhaps even surprised and delighted), but there is also more excitement and satisfaction on the part of the deliverer!  Often these opportunities for enjoyment have to do with the finest details of the particular service or product you are representing.

Underpromise and Overdeliver...To Yourself

An often overlooked aspect of this practice is to begin with yourself.  Think about what this means for you.  Do you end the day focusing on all you did not get to accomplish?  Imagine what it would feel like to exceed your own expectations.  You would be setting yourself up for success, momentum, and certainly more fulfillment.  Don’t overlook yourself as a very important customer! 

This Week: Try This

Before the week is out, consciously Underpromise and Overdeliver with yourself and one other person.  The other person may be a customer (internal or external), colleague, boss, family member (adult or child), or friend.  Notice the reaction from others when you overdeliver, as well as your own sense of satisfaction.

Have fun playing with this!

Here's to you,
Ginny's signature

© 2004, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to reproduce this article provided it is without any alteration, includes the copyright above, and if distributing electronically includes a link to

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