If you could deliver even better work than you promised a client, wouldn’t it make sense to do so? While it’s tempting to deliver even better than you agreed on to impress someone, there can be a downside to going above and beyond.
Photo by NEC Corporations of America.
As business site Entrepreneur explains, one of the fundamental problems with giving a client or customer more than they expected is that it adjusts the expectation. The author here gives the example of getting a couple extra Munchkins at Dunkin Doughnuts. He received a bonus at his usual store often enough that he was disappointed when he went to a different location and received exactly what was promised:
At the micro level, Dunkin Doughnuts fulfilled its value proposition. The franchise operator acted in its best interest, while simultaneously providing me what I had paid for. However at the macro level, Dunkin Doughnuts has disappointed me. I had become so accustomed to having my expectations exceeded that when the franchise had “merely” been accurate with meeting my expectations,
Of course, we may rationally know that we can’t be upset when a company delivers exactly what was promised, but we also know that our own clients or customers are not always rational. By consistently providing exactly what was promised, rather than consistently over-delivering, you can avoid that disappointment.
There’s also the problem of free work. Especially if you’re working freelance, going above and beyond essentially means working for free. Sometimes that can be helpful to draw in a client you might otherwise lose, but if you habitually do more than is necessary simply to be nice, you’re losing out on billable hours. A better solution might be to make a second offer for more or better work for a discounted rate if you want to entice a customer. Just be careful to avoid giving away your skills and time for free.