You ordered a pizza, and the delivery guy said it would make it to your door in 20 minutes. But 25 minutes later, your stomach is grumbling, the hairs on the back of your neck are standing up, and you’re about to call the pizza company to demand your pizza.
An extra five minutes doesn’t seem like that long of a time. But when your expectations aren’t being met, five minutes can feel like five hours.
For the pizza delivery guy, this isn’t a matter of poor performance—it’s a sign of unrealistic expectations. If he tells you the pizza will arrive in 35 minutes instead of 20 minutes, you wouldn’t think twice about it—and when he inevitably shows up a few minutes ahead of schedule with your pizza, you’ll be at least a little bit impressed with the speedy delivery.
It’s the classic phrase—underpromise, overdeliver—that sets realistic customer expectations and gives your fleet a little wiggle room to deal with any mishaps that could throw off your delivery time. Traffic congestion on the 95? Not a problem. Fleet vehicle won’t start? Move the goods into a new vehicle and deliver them with time to spare.
Setting reasonable expectations doesn’t just help your customers manage schedules and logistics—it helps you develop a level of long-term trust with your customers that makes both of your businesses better. Give yourself a little wiggle room with your deliveries, and you’ll have happier customers, safer drivers, and smoother deliveries.