Greetings. It seems like all of us have been conditioned to expect an upgrade. To a bigger hotel room, a larger rental car, a better table at our favorite restaurant, more legroom or a business class seat on an airplane and even a more important job when we are relatively new to the company. These are the "free" upgrades we feel entitled to receive based on our history of loyalty, a hope for our future loyalty or just plain luck. And each is designed to make us feel special and way above average.
Then there are the upgrades that we simply deserve until companies get their acts together. These include new and improved versions of our operating system that hopefully remove the most pesky bugs and the improved text clarity of our Kindle which makes it easier to read and enjoy. And in a world in which more and more products, services and solutions are invented and sent to market quickly we should expect these types of upgrades to be part of the cost of doing business.
And finally, there are all of the upgrades that companies would like us to purchase because their basic offerings are simply the "starting point" for capturing our true interest and enabling us to live more complete and wonderful lives. Basic enough to provide some value but a bit too basic to help us achieve our full aspirations as individuals and organizations. As a result we'll need to upgrade to receive all of the bells and whistles that bring higher value, higher status and a higher price. These include car features like premier audio systems or tire and wheel protection plans, premium LinkedIn accounts, enhanced video game experiences, fast and furious internet speeds, priority response times and more skilled technical support staff…or a higher level of almost any offering that can be made more valuable.
So first we get free upgrades and then we pay for them. Because most of us can't live without this constant barrage of opportunities to be more capable and more special. And that's just sound business–a "win-win" for companies and customers alike. Except when the upgrade is a lot more than we need because in many cases the basic offering is good enough. And filled with more value than we'll ever be able to use or appreciate. In these situations, wouldn't it be great if companies began by helping us to get the most out of their core offerings. Then took the time to understand us better before offering us the upgrade that really matters to our personal or business success.
In essence, made the notion of upgrades more meaningful.
We win in business and in life when we expect value from every thing we buy. And when we feel complete–with or without an upgrade.