Expectation: The Root of All Heartache . . . and Success

TBI's Bryan Reynolds

Bryan Reynolds

By Bryan Reynolds, director of sales operations for TBI

Part I

“Oft expectation fails, and most oft there where most it promises; and oft it hits, where hope is coldest, and despair most sits.”  — Shakespeare, “All’s Well that Ends Well,” Act II, Scene 1

Elegant yet gloomy, right?

For those of you who are not English scholars (I am certainly not), trust me that when I say that we, as business professionals, can learn a lot from these words. You’ve probably heard the often-misquoted phrasing of this same passage — “expectation is the root of all heartache” — which is a little bit more straightforward.

Shakespeare’s words had deep significance hundreds of years ago, but now they may hold even more value due to a “revolution” of the customer psyche. We are rapidly seeing our space (and virtually all others) transform into an experience-driven standard, meaning that competition is no longer solely driven on the newest/shiniest technology, but rather the experience around gaining and consuming that technology.

Your customers are no different.

Commodity is dead, experience is critical and relevancy is not centered around having the ‘newest’ technology.

There are years-old sources stating that many businesses think they compete solely on customer experience more than anything, and some outlets are even saying that by next year (2020), the experience the customer has will overtake price and product as a key differentiator. This ideal drives revenue and (perhaps more importantly) keeps revenue. A study conducted by the Temkin Group, found that companies earning $1 billion annually can expect to earn an additional $700 million within three years of investing in customer experience. For SaaS companies, that $700 million figure goes up to $1 billion.

Creating a good customer experience does have its hurdles, though. We have to take a step back and understand what actually drives experience, and for this, we again turn to our pal Bill (Shakespeare) and his words of wisdom that began this blog. The operative word in his sentiment is “expectation.” To keep up and remain relevant in this fast-paced industry, sometimes we do weird things. The first to note is that we often find ourselves falling into the failure-avoidant silo by being quick to say “yes” to anything and everything to win out amongst our competition.


I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve been told “We need to get this (insert extremely over-the-top complex solution here) installed in 15 days because the customer has someone else that is promising that” or “We will lose this customer if we don’t provide (insert extremely unreasonable request).” Lose the customer now or lose them later, you still lose them. I’m all for being able to provide a solid…

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