4i Newsletter Masthead 418

The Expectation Problem.

fouri 418 Expectation

I read an article in The Guardian, that described how passengers arriving into Houston airport frequently complained about the time it took for their bags to arrive.

Apparently, a complete overhaul of the process ensued, resulting in an average of just 8 minutes from landing to arrival in the baggage claim area.

However, that didn’t stop the complaints, so the airport operators tried another approach.

They moved the arrival gates further away from the main terminal and transported the bags to the furthest carousel.

Passengers had to walk up to six times further to get to the baggage hall, but in this time the luggage would either be there or arrive within a minute or two.

The complaints stopped.

Of course, I’m not advocating deliberately delivering a poorer service, but what this story highlights is how “issues” are based on two factors – performance and expectation.

If you’ve exhausted all options to improve performance then the only thing left is to manage expectations. Indeed, I’d argue this needs to be done anyway.

Are the complaints you receive down to your performance or expectation management?

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