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It’s not difficult to exceed expectations and add value to your brand

23/11/2012
go the extra mile

I recently blogged about the need to confound expectations every now and again in how we deliver our brand to our target audiences.  It goes without saying that we need to make good on the promises we make by also doing what we say we’re going to do… and hopefully exceed rather than meet those expectations.

So with this in mind, I’m sitting in the middle of a good example right now.  About 20 minutes ago I arrived at Esher Rugby Club in plenty of time to watch this evening’s women’s  rugby international between England and New Zealand.  Here’s the story so far:

  • Meeting finishes early so I get here an hour earlier than anticipated.  Security guards on the gate not quite ready for the public but chap apologises to me for appearing a little (and only a very little) disorganised.
  • I have to pay for parking but, unlike other sporting occasions, the cost is actually reasonable.
  • I collect my tickets from the ticket office where I’m one of only two people in line but the team still open another window and invite me along so I don’t have to queue… and then apologise for the wait (must have been at least 30 seconds up to that point).
  • I go back to the security staff to ask if there is a coffee shop locally to be told that it’s closed but, when I explain I was after somewhere to sit down and do a bit of work before the game, they start to think on their feet.  I’m invited into the clubhouse where the players are gathering and there is a friendly atmosphere.
  • The bar isn’t open yet so the security guy asks if I mind instant coffee and then promptly goes to the staff kitchen, makes me one and won’t take any money for it.
  • I’m invited to sit at a table near the open fire and use their guest WiFi network.
  • And here I am… typing away in sight of the England team and wondering how I’m going to find an excuse to go and say hello.

This is my first time at Esher Rugby club and to say I’m impressed with how they treat customers – not paying members, mind – is a very pleasant surprise.  They don’t know me from Adam but the fact that I have a shared interest and a common reason for being here tonight is underpinning how they are treating me.

Donors and supporters have a shared interest with our causes but how many of us are leveraging these to our organisation’s advantage and using this knowledge to consistently go the extra mile for them?  I don’t think Esher Rugby has moved heaven and earth for me, I just think they’ve done a few little things very well and exceeded my expectations into the bargain.

Now let’s just hope the game is as good!

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