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Exceeding Expectations 

I’m writing this on Sunday morning from DFW airport. It is just 8 a.m.

I left the house this morning from Waco for the two-hour trip to the airport in Dallas. When one leaves that early, you don’t have to worry about traffic. Last night I fell asleep before Sports Center, so I had no idea what happened in sports yesterday and looked forward to the drive.

When I got in the car, I put on the local ESPN station. I’m pretty sure that God invented ESPN—but he didn’t invent the ESPN station in Waco. Typically, I listen to the station on the way to work to see what happened the day/night before in sports, as several of us are real sports fans at the office.

At least once a week the local station meets my expectations that they are awful. Nothing worse on a Thursday morning to listen to the 5 minutes of sports at the bottom of the hour and hear the scores from Tuesday because someone didn’t care enough about the listeners to change the cart. “Tonight the Rangers will be playing the Astros at 7. John Doe will be on the hill.” Right, that was the game from last night, and they forgot to make the change, or announce what really happened last night with John Doe pitching. Aarrrggghhh.

As I got in the car this morning, Jeremy Schapp’s “The Sporting Life” was just starting. I liked his dad, Dick, and I like Jeremy. Both, in my mind, were/are great reporters. The first segment is about Title IX. Nancy Lieberman is the guest. I remember her as a great athlete. She is now an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings and one of the first female coaches in the NBA. I’m flying to Sacramento today, and look forward to the segment. Title IX came into being in 1972—the year I graduated from high school. Irony.

About 5:10 was the first commercial break. The Nancy Lieberman story is next. Crickets … nothing … dead air until 5:30. I wasn’t surprised; I hate this station. Whoever is in charge must have fallen asleep. I’m sure they’re the same person who plays the wrong report during the week.

It made me think about what we do, and it made me think about our customers.

I think our business is simple. When someone chooses to do business with any of us in our industry their expectations are low. Just show up on time and put the windshield in, right? That’s it! Easy, right?

I wonder if our technicians realize how low the bar is. Two things and two things only: be on time, and do the job right. Just like me when I turn on ESPN in Waco—have the right report and be on the air. That’s it.

How often, though, do you get phone calls because your technician has disappointed your customer? If your technician is going to be late does someone, anyone, call the customer and let them know? And, how often does your technician have to go back because they didn’t do the job right?

If you never have any complaints, can you do me a favor? Can you call ESPN and tell them how easy it really is? If you do get complaints, do yourself a favor and show your technician this article.

You’re welcome—have a great week!

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