Pi of Life: As a Customer, try Deriving Delight!

Happy FaceGo online and read reviews, and you’ll find a lot of these.

Folks who went to a restaurant pretty much looking for something amiss – one dish which wasn’t spectacular, a piece of furniture in a minor state of disrepair, an employee who was less than friendly, anything.

Travellers who went to a new place, and could only derive abundant discomfort and irritation from the less than stellar English skills of folks happy to serve them and trying their best to communicate, from less than perfect infrastructure in a poor country – perhaps already facing bigger issues because of corruption up the ladder, from aircraft food a few tens of thousand feet up in the sky being less than gourmet grade, even from unseasonal weather that nobody has any control over!

Movie-goers who want their money back because the script was “average” or didn’t compare to the last Oscar winning performance, and Oscars aren’t what they used to be.

You get the idea.

And it’s not just online. Patients mistrusting doctors, car owners cribbing about being fleeced by dealerships, even parents perpetually cribbing about the quality of teachers at their kids’ schools.

Amidst all this, you find the oddball who’s managed wonderful experiences and had fun eating at the same restaurants, visiting the same places, flying the same airlines, watching the same movies, and using the same set of services as everyone else!

Remember the joke about the patient who went to a doc complaining that he experienced pain each time he touched his hand, or nose, or knee, or any other part of the body?

Look for the finger that’s hurting. 🙂

Oftentimes, its a combination of inflated expectations, the fear of ‘not getting value’ and being taken for a ride that interfere with our satisfaction levels or even delight out of a service. We get too focused on the little dents in the car and derive misery even when the engine’s smooth and efficient, interiors comfortable and the handling just plain fantastic.

Especially with those running services and practices that are inexact, and more of an art. Give them a break a little, and you might find them going out of their way to make sure you have a seriously good experience. You build relationships, even if transient, where you’re not merely focused on extracting as much as you can for the buck, and the other guy buck for the bang, but both look out for each other.

Its an art to not just strive to provide delight, but even derive it as a consumer.

(P.S. My vegetable vendor threw in some extra coriander and curry leaves into the bag this morning. And my bike guy is also my mentor for business decisions. And I’ve heard of auto-wallahs who have given folks a free ride in the rain. It sure can be wonderful world!)

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