Many of the books in the “Business” section of the bookstore offer advice on creating positive customer experiences. One worthwhile selection, which features actionable steps toward improving client relationships, is Rick Barrera’s “Over Promise and Over Deliver.” The subtitle of Barrera’s book, which was published in 2004 and revised in 2009, is “How to Design and Delivery Extraordinary Customer Experiences.” These words offer their own promise to readers: that taking a proactive approach to achieving better customer experiences in the modern market is straightforward and within reach.

A decade ago, the standard advice for companies looking to make an impact was “underpromise, then overdeliver.” However, in 2009, Barrera writes, underpromising is not going to cut it. He offers many examples of successful national brands that reached amazing levels of revenue seemingly out of nowhere. They did it by crafting a promise that initially seemed over the top, but then they delivered on that pledge. Customers paid attention. They rewarded these companies by spending freely because they knew they were getting more than what they paid for.

Barrera’s book is a road map that any business owner or head of an organization can follow to create its own overpromise.

The author focuses on three elements

  1. Product: The item or service you sell must be high-quality and resonate with customers.
  2. System: When customers make a purchase, need help or have a concern, the process must be simple, quick and effective.
  3. Human: Live customer interactions, either on the phone, in an online chat or at a retail location, must be pleasant, professional and accurate.

Each of these elements must be in alignment in order to deliver on the overpromise. Otherwise, a company is putting its goal of overdelivering in jeopardy.

The first three chapters of the book instruct readers how to create overpromises. There are many case studies throughout the book that use the stories of successful national companies to illustrate Barrera’s points. The evolution these companies take from mediocrity to major success are inspiring, but they also show how overpromising is adaptable and scalable depending on the type of company or organization readers might be running.

“Over Promise and Over Deliver” is a Wall Street Journal and Business Week bestseller, and it serves as an excellent guidebook for any owner who aspires to reach a new level of success through enhancing customer experience. The printed version is available online and Kindle or audiobook options are easy to find.

If, after reading the book, you decide that the customer service sections of your website or online shopping cart could use some fine-tuning, we will be happy to help you make that happen.