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The gap between expectation and experience is usually disappointment

The gap between expectation and experience is usually disappointment

Customer experience – the gap between expectation and experience is usually disappointment.

I’m not an expert on Gospel music but when I heard the Harlem Gospel Choir was playing in Belfast as part of the Belfast International Arts Festival, I was intrigued.

My only reference point to Gospel music would be either through Presley, Cash and the Blues Brothers movie.

As part of Christian worship, Gospel music has its roots in the 17thCentury and is closely aligned with African American culture, slavery and religious conversion.

It is also suggested that Gospel music can trace its roots to Scottish Presbyterianism and judging by the demographic at the Ulster Hall last night, that might not be as far fetched as you might think.

In the same way you don’t have to be a cowboy to listen to country music, you don’t have to be a Christian to listen to Gospel music.

The Ulster Hall has played host to many of the greats and I’ve personally enjoyed a number of outstanding shows at the venue but last nights wasn’t one of them.

The standard of singing was truly exceptional, the set list varied and interesting, yet they only managed to energise part of the audience.

The singers worked hard for 90 minutes and did their best to get the crowd going.

Some of the audience actually made it onto the stage.

Many more however made their way to the exit signs.

The sound system wasn’t great.

Some of the banter from the singers to the audience wasn’t great either – definitely a cultural thing.

Based on my own musical track record, I don’t think its cool to criticise any performer or artiste – it was an enjoyable show but it was just missing a little something.

The Harlem Gospel Choir, in Belfast on a Sunday night, was an ok gig but a little bit more research on my part would have helped manage my expectations.

65 members of the choir with 11 performing at any one time – one keyboards, drummer and 9 singers. In fact, there are 13 more members of the Harlem Gospel Choir than their basket-balling neighbours.

The musical equivalent of Triggers Brush

A few miles across the city another bunch of Christians were plying their trade.



I’ve seen U2 twice before and you know exactly what you are going to get before each show and usually end up getting a whole lot more than you bargained for.

In a good way.

That’s the difference.

Expectation and experience.

If you can match the two then it’s a win-win.

Putting on a good show could be a metaphor for customer service.

Is your customer experience meeting the expectations of your customers?

If you are a multi site location, is that standard of service being replicated across each site?

What about the online experience?

In a demanding economic climate, businesses are making incremental improvements to their customer service whilst customers ‘expectations’ are moving at an explosive pace.

Experience matching expectation is the ticket to entry for customers – operating below that usually results in disappointment.

For everyone.



Shift Control specialises in high performance sales training and sales strategy. To find out how we can add value to your business development team, please email info@shift-control.co.uk





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