Many Happy Returns

Above And Beyond

How do you meet--and beat--customer expectations? Paul R. Timm, department head at Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management, uses the a formula he calls "VISPAC," which stands for:

  • Value: Give customers a little bit more value in products or service than they expected.
  • Information: Provide information to help customers use your products or services. "For example," says Timm, "at some auto dealerships, salespeople show you each thing on the car and explain how it works, instead of just telling you to look at the owner's manual."
  • Speed: Meet or exceed your customers' expectations of timeliness.
  • Personality: Make sure your company projects a friendly image. Do you greet every customer? Is your store or office clean and inviting? Are your employees well-groomed and smiling?
  • Add on: Give customers something extra. "This can be as simple as giving a free pair of socks with each pair of shoes sold," says Timm.
  • Convenience: Make it easy for customers to do business with you. "Look around your business and think about what's inconvenient for your customers and how you can make it better," says Timm, who cites pizza delivery and quick-lube shops as two industries that have found innovative ways to offer customers the ultimate in convenience.

Contact Sources

Catalyst Consulting Inc., (425) 485-0351,

Soaring Eagle Enterprises Inc., 3172 N. Rainbow Blvd., #411, Las Vegas, NV 89108, (702) 242-9080.

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