設定超越預期的標準──SETTING THE BAR AT EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS

MONDAY MANNA

你上一次經歷美好到只能使用「哇!」、「難以置信」這樣的詞彙來形容的職場經驗是什麼時候的事情?

也許是某製造商超越預期地滿足你的需求;或者是某零售商付出額外的努力,讓你得到完全滿意的消費經驗?又或許是一家餐廳的食物特別美味,氣氛絕佳,從踏入餐廳的那一刻到離開時,你得到了全然超乎期待的服務。

但在今天,這樣的經驗是特例,而非常態。為了營利、試圖降低成本,或者有時單純只是偷懶懈怠,超出一般水平的服務越來越少見。我們被迫接受只是「及格」,而非「最好」的東西。

不過,這些年來,我也遇到了一些把卓越服務視為使命的企業。例如一家運輸公司遵循著自己的經營理念:「我們的目標是超越您的期望。」如果這是業界普遍而非罕見的做法,不是很好嗎?

聖經中有許多經文都談到了這種美德,強調超越預期的態度是多麼有價值。這一切都始於我們的創造者上帝,祂是我們凡事追求卓越的典範,也期待我們竭盡所能的效法祂。下面是我們在聖經中發現關於超越預期的一些原則:

不計代價的做更多。你希望提供服務的人如何盡其所能為你做更多的事?這就是聖經所應許,上帝要為我們、在我們當中以及透過我們所做的:「神能照著運行在我們心裏的大力充充足足地成就一切,超過我們所求所想的。」(以弗所書3章20節)

記住我們正在服事誰。我們工作的態度常常取決於我們如何看待服務的對象。有時,我們只想要「及格」就好,但如果我們牢記最後誰將評價我們的工作,會大大影響我們工作的品質,以及我們工作的態度。「無論做甚麼,都要從心裏做,像是給主做的,不是給人做的,因你們知道從主那裏必得著基業為賞賜;你們所事奉的乃是主基督。」(歌羅西書3章23-24節)

對我們不喜歡的人,也要提供超越預期的服務。在大多數情況下,我們願意為喜歡的人以及會回報我們的人多做一些事。但是,對我們不喜歡的人或那些讓我們痛苦的人呢?耶穌給了我們這些革命性的命令:「你們聽見有話說:『以眼還眼,以牙還牙。』只是我告訴你們,不要與惡人作對。有人打你的右臉,連左臉也轉過來由他打;有人想要告你,要拿你的裏衣,連外衣也由他拿去;有人強逼你走一里路,你就同他走二里……」(馬太福音5章38-41節)

© 2020. Robert J. Tamasy 是企業巔峰: 給今日職場從箴言而來永恆的智慧 一書的作者。也與導師之心的作者David A. Stoddard 合著Tufting Legacies。編輯多本著作包括Mike Landry. Bob的書: 透過苦難成長。Mike Landry. Bob的網站為www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com

備註:如果你手上有聖經,想閱讀更多經文,請考慮以下的內容:

出埃及記20章1-17節
20:1  神吩咐這一切的話說:
20:2 「我是耶和華─你的 神,曾將你從埃及地為奴之家領出來。
20:3 「除了我以外,你不可有別的神。
20:4 「不可為自己雕刻偶像,也不可做甚麼形像彷彿上天、下地,和地底下、水中的百物。
20:5 不可跪拜那些像,也不可事奉它,因為我耶和華─你的 神是忌邪的 神。恨我的,我必追討他的罪,自父及子,直到三四代;
20:6 愛我、守我誡命的,我必向他們發慈愛,直到千代。
20:7 「不可妄稱耶和華─你 神的名;因為妄稱耶和華名的,耶和華必不以他為無罪。
20:8 「當記念安息日,守為聖日。
20:9 六日要勞碌做你一切的工,
20:10 但第七日是向耶和華─你 神當守的安息日。這一日你和你的兒女、僕婢、牲畜,並你城裏寄居的客旅,無論何工都不可做;
20:11 因為六日之內,耶和華造天、地、海,和其中的萬物,第七日便安息,所以耶和華賜福與安息日,定為聖日。
20:12 「當孝敬父母,使你的日子在耶和華─你 神所賜你的地上得以長久。
20:13 「不可殺人。
20:14 「不可姦淫。
20:15 「不可偷盜。
20:16 「不可作假見證陷害人。
20:17 「不可貪戀人的房屋;也不可貪戀人的妻子、僕婢、牛驢,並他一切所有的。」

馬太福音7章12節
7:12 所以,無論何事,你們願意人怎樣待你們,你們也要怎樣待人,因為這就是律法和先知的道理。」

約翰福音13章34-35節
13:34 我賜給你們一條新命令,乃是叫你們彼此相愛;我怎樣愛你們,你們也要怎樣相愛。
13:35 你們若有彼此相愛的心,眾人因此就認出你們是我的門徒了。」

羅馬書13章8-10節
13:8 凡事都不可虧欠人,惟有彼此相愛要常以為虧欠,因為愛人的就完全了律法。
13:9 像那不可姦淫,不可殺人,不可偷盜,不可貪婪,或有別的誡命,都包在愛人如己這一句話之內了。
13:10 愛是不加害與人的,所以愛就完全了律法。

彼得前書1章22節
1:22 你們既因順從真理,潔淨了自己的心,以致愛弟兄沒有虛假,就當從心裏(從心裏:有古卷是從清潔的心)彼此切實相愛。

反省與問題討論

  1. 你在和他人做生意時,有沒有個人或公司曾提供超越你期望的服務?那是什麼感覺?它對你有什麼影響?你覺得這樣的經歷是普遍還是罕見?
  2. 你自己對客戶、員工甚至同事的態度如何?「超出他們的期望」是你的想法的一部份嗎?這種想法是常態性的嗎?請解釋你的答案。
  3. 為什麼人們很容易且經常滿足於不夠完美的事情,只求「及格就好」?
  4. 在聖經的舊約和新約中,我們都被告知要「愛人如己」,例如利未記19章18節、馬太福音12章31節和雅各書2章8節。這個原則如何提醒我們要盡全力超越他人預期?

SETTING THE BAR AT EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS

By Robert J. Tamasy

When was the last time you did business with someone and were overwhelmed in a positive way? An experience that could only be described in words like “Wow!” or “Unbelievable”?

Perhaps it was a manufacturer’s representative that went far beyond what you requested to make certain that your needs were met. Or a retail store that went the extra mile to ensure that you were totally satisfied with your purchase? Maybe a restaurant where the food was exceptional, the atmosphere was outstanding, and the service you received – from the time you arrived until the moment you left – exceeded any expectations you might have had.

In today’s world, such experiences seem to be more the exception than the rule. Increasingly, it seems, in the name of making a profit, attempting to reduce costs, or in some cases, pure laziness, service beyond the norm is rare. Instead of  being recipients of “the best,” we find ourselves forced to accept for what is deemed to be only “good enough.”

Over the years, however, I have encountered a few enterprises that made exceptional service a part of their mission statements. I recall a transportation company that followed the motto, “Our goal is to exceed your expectations.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that were the common practice, rather than the rarity?

There are a number of passages in the Bible that speak to this virtue, underscoring how valuable an attitude of exceeding expectations can be. It all starts with God, our Creator, who desires to serve as our model for excellence in all we do. Here are some principles about exceeding expectations that we find in the Scriptures:

Doing immeasurably more. How would you like to expect service providers to do everything abundantly for you – in abundance? This is what the Bible promises God wants to do for us – and in us and through us: “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly (immeasurably) beyond all that we ask of think, according to the power that works within us.” (Ephesians 3:20).

Remembering whom we are serving. Typically, how we approach our work depends on how we view those we are serving. Sometimes we are tempted to do just enough to get by, but if we keep in mind who ultimately will evaluate our efforts, that will make a tremendous difference in the quality of our work and the attitudes that define our labors. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24).

Exceeding expectations even with those we dislike. In most cases, we are willing to do a little extra, beyond what is expected, for people we like, as well as individuals we hope will show us their favor. But what about people we do not like, those who seem to have made it their personal mission to make us miserable? Jesus gave us these radical commands: “You have heard it said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles…” (Matthew 5:38-41).

© 2020. Robert J. Tamasy has written numerous books, including Marketplace Ambassadors: CBMC’s Continuing Legacy of Evangelism and Discipleship; Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace; Tufting Legacies;The Heart of Mentoring, coauthored with David A. Stoddard; and has edited others. Bob’s biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. Can you think of an example of a time when someone you were doing business with – an individual or a company – exceeded any and all expectations you might have had? What was that like? What was its effect on you? How common, or rare, have you found experiences like that to be?
  2. What about your own attitude toward your customers, employees, even your peers: Has the idea of “exceeding their expectations” been a part of your thinking? How often is that the case for you? Explain your answer.
  3. Why is it so easy – and so common – to settle for less than the very best, to take the approach of producing what is “just good enough” and nothing beyond that?
  4. In both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, we are told to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Leviticus 19:18 is one such passage, Matthew 12:31 and James 2:8 are others. In what ways should this principle inform one’s commitment to exceed expectations?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:

Exodus 20:1-17; Matthew 7:12; John 13:34-35; Romans 13:8-10; 1 Peter 1:22


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