Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Is your mission statement decent, truthful, achievable and representative?

If I see one more company mission statement where they say it is “to exceed customer expectation”, I think I will possibly throw up.

Everyone is so busy “exceeding customer expectations”, that I’m surprised anyone has time for anything else, let alone making a profit and a living.

I had three occasions today where I am actually extremely glad the companies in question did not exceed my expectations too much, otherwise I would have been quite angry.

#1 - Apple Stores

My expectation with Apple was to be ripped off, their prices being at least 30% more in the UK than they are in the USA, mainly because stupid UK shoppers refuse to shop with their wallets and support them by queuing outside for products they don’t really need but nevertheless want. I am glad they did not exceed my expectation by ripping me off 40% instead.

#2 - RyanAir

My expectation booking a flight with RyanAir was that by the time I reached the ‘checkout’, my advertised £13.99 flight to Dublin would cost me at least £49. They exceeded my expectation, through all their statutory extras and the couple of optional extras I had to take, by £8, the flight total costing me £57.

#3 – Moto motorway stopover

My expectation for a UK motorway stopover was that petrol would be at least 10p more expensive than on the high street, and that a cup of tea and a sandwich would see me being ripped-off beyond belief. They exceeded my expectation, because petrol was 12p per litre pricier than the high street, and the cup of plasticated tea was even more expensive that I thought.

I passed on the sandwich though, refusing to part with £4.95 for something that looked like a sheet of off-colour polystyrene nestling between two slices of bread pretending to be a cheese sandwich.

If you are going to develop a mission statement, don’t just get it from some £1,500 a day consultant on his day off from conning the government. He only buys it off the shelf from “Exceeding Customer Expectations ‘Я’Us LLP” anyway.

Be sensible. If you are a wholesaler, instead of exceeding customer expectations, why don’t you “provide quality products you can make consistently more profit from”.

Or if you are a taxi firm, “transport the customer to their destination cost-effectively and on time”.

Just give the “exceeding expectation” thing a rest, ok, will you?

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