Beyond Baseline

After a recent trip I received a survey from the airline to rate and comment on my experience. I noted that the flights were on time, the planes were clean, and the staff was friendly. I further noted that because of this we were “wowed” by the experience which was sad because what we experienced should be a baseline. I said that if they could figure out a way to make the flights truly memorable then they’d be airline gold.


Sadly, this baseline expectation is not limited to airline travel. In so many instances if we receive the bare minimum in service and product, we’re thrilled.


How have we allowed our expectations to fall to such a low level?


On the one hand it’s sad and disappointing. On the other hand it’s a grand opportunity for product and service industry businesses to shine. And to raise the bar. For all of us.

How? Well, what about …

  • a grocery store where there is always someone to bag your groceries, properly separating frozen foods and making sure bread is at the top of the bag?

  • a Realtor who takes the time to get to know the neighborhoods – and neighbors – in areas where they are listing properties?

  • a newspaper carrier who puts the paper inside your storm door to keep miscreants from taking it off the porch?

  • a restaurant where the servers specifically ask if there are any allergies to ensure that the dining experience is free from medical drama?

  • a doctor who reviews your history before the appointment so they can ask pertinent questions about your health?

All of these are real examples of real people and real businesses going beyond baseline.


What if more did this? It’s certainly possible. And what a wonderful world it would be.