From Seth Godin:
A $75 bottle of wine tastes better than a $14 bottle of wine. Even if you switch the wines. The promise implied in the price actually changes the way we experience the product.
Once you make a big promise, you have to work harder to keep it. Easier, it seems, to merely make tiny promises instead.
But the fact remains: Human beings have better experiences when they expect to have a better experience. To hold back on your promise is to deprive your customer of something valuable.
It’s a two-edged sword for sure. Take for instance the posting of wait times on your help page. When they’re at six hours, ten hours, or even the dreaded “within 24 hours”, customers are left with pure anxiety. Imagine having a problem and knowing you won’t get an answer for ten hours. The wait time tool sets a terrible expectation.
But when they see they’ll get an answer within five minutes, it reduces their anxiety and replaces it with a better overall support experience. Customers love seeing those low wait times for email and phone support.
Look at some of these companies that make big promises with support and keep them:
- Squarespace – 24/7 support. They’re always there when you need them.
- Buffer – Open and transparent support. When something bad happens like their recent compromise, they let you know immediately.
- Olark – live chat for instant answers. Yeah, they’re selling a live chat tool but they back that up by using it themselves.
- 37signals – fast answers via email. You know I’d have to put our team on there since we make a big promise too. We promise fast answers during business hours and deliver. The average response time right now is two minutes.
With each of those big promises on better experiences, you’ve got to deliver. It’s worth the energy and resources you put in to pull it off. Like Godin said, “Human beings have better experiences when they expect to have a better experience.”