A portion of adult life is about managing expectations. The less we expect of someone, something, or a situation, the less likely we are to be disappointed, and there likely we are to be pleased. Apple Inc. sets the technology gadget bar high but seems to manage customer expectations better than most competitors.
Here’s a good example. November 3rd was the original iPhone X shipping date and with a few million clicks during the initial ordering process, that date extended into November and now December. Yet, reports say Apple has already begun to ship iPhone X to eager customers and that bodes well for those who expect delivery to occur in the five to six weeks time frame Apple indicates on the iPhone X website.
That brings me to expectations and Pizza Hut.
Way back in the day, back to the last century, I worked for a company that counted Pizza Hut as one of its customers. In the entrance to Pizza Hut’s world headquarters was a plaque that explain the company’s basic philosophy.
Under promise. Over deliver.
Pizza, along with carbohydrates, isn’t the dish it used to be, but Pizza Hut understood the value of managing expectations. Keep a customer’s expectations manageable and acceptable, then beat the expectations by over delivering on the overall experience.
That explains why Pizza Hut designed their own ovens to speed up the baking process. That explains why Pizza Hut has special new delivery pouches that keep the pizzas 15-degrees warmer than the older pouches so they’ll be warmer before delivery.
Under promise, over deliver.
We see much the same thing taking place with Apple’s shipping process these days. Some iPhone X buyers already report that their original orders, dated mid-November, have been moved to early November, an improvement of one to two weeks.
iPhone X models sold out quickly but Apple.com still shows the same five to six weeks for delivery more than five days after the company began taking orders. That tells me Apple’s manufacturing supply is barely a month behind demand. Yes, it may take months to get supply and demand in sync, but it points out the obvious. Apple is better at managing expectations than it used to.
Fear not, dear Apple customer. It isn’t a perfect system.
AirPods, which Apple began manufacturing about a year ago, are just now in that sweet spot between supply and demand. After a year. And, yes, Apple still sells Macs which are years old– Mac mini and Mac Pro and MacBook Air come to mind– as if they were new machines, even while Windows PC makers have the latest hardware (Apple does not).
Whenever something happens that is better than expected I remember Pizza Hut’s old motto of “under promise and over deliver.”