Are you making grand promises in your business?

Well good! You damn well should be. Because there’s a ton of competition out there and if you’re going to stick around long enough to do all of the spectacular things you have whirling around that gorgeous brain of yours, you’re going to have to stand out.

And sure, you know that making big promises — and over-delivering on them —is a hell of a way to do that.

It’s also an easy way to over-extend your work load, lose money, and just generally stress yourself out. Sad face.

So how do you actually over-deliver in a way that blows your customer’s mind without you having to turn yourself inside out? How do you keep your promises?

Dudes, you gotta keep it simple!

Like Everlane. Everlane is a clothing company and apparently, because Illana likes pretty things, she’s on their email list.

So picture it: Illana is in serious rebel mode — checking her emails on a Sunday before she’s even had a sip of coffee. And in her caffeine-deprived brain fog she misreads the Everlane subject line. They’re talking Terry crews (as in sweatshirts, right?) and she’s reading Terry Crews, the hot guy from Brooklyn 99 (cos, you  know…pecs). For a good 20 minutes or so she’s thinking they’ve hired him as a spokesman until she re-reads the email, post-coffee, and realizes she’s a moron.

Now, when you have a brain fart moment, you just gotta share it so Illana fired off an email to Everlane to explain her gullibility and say “hey, I’ve got this great marketing idea for you. Bring Terry Crews in!” (cos, you know…pecs.)

And here’s the over-delivery part…

Illana actually received an email back after only 15 minutes with a ton of appreciative emojis. Apparently Francesca from customer services finds Illana hilarious. So hilarious she’s sending her a free sweatshirt (and hopefully hiring Terry Crews too!). So hilarious she replied on a Sunday, even though Illana had already received an automated email to say that they don’t guarantee replies over the weekend because, you know, their people have lives.

At every stage, they over-delivered and it was all relatively simple to do. They acknowledged her email, even though they didn’t have to. They sent a free shirt even though they didn’t have to. They even let Illana pick the color, even though they didn’t have to.

And this wasn’t even a case of fixing a complaint — they over-delivered just for the sake of over-delivering. So now Illana is desperately scouring the Everlane website ready to buy shit she doesn’t need because she’s so impressed with their customer service. And you’d better believe that she’s telling EVERYONE about the great experience she’s had (including you guys!).

So that one email and one free shirt that probably cost the company about $10 has gained them a new loyal customer and a load of word-of-mouth recommendations. Francesca deserves a promotion! Let’s get a petition going…

Making it work for you.

Now we’re not saying that you need to start shipping free stuff to every person who sends you an email or try to headhunt Everlane’s Francesca — the key to this whole thing is finding a way to make over-delivering work for you. It’s about delving into the details of your business to find ways you can reasonably over-deliver without landing yourself a ton of extra work or blurring your boundaries.

Set some time aside to think about the various touch points you have with customers. Maybe you could send them some bonus, unexpected teaching content when they subscribe to your email list, or after they’ve made a purchase. If, say, you’re a content writer you could throw in some additional social media content for free, or if you’re a designer provide an extra meme design at the end of their website project.

Even if you’re not able to give away anything for free, sometimes it’s enough to go the extra mile to acknowledge someone — so send that extra email that tells them how happy you were to work with them or how thrilled you are that they bought your stuff. Making someone feel seen, and appreciated, is so incredibly powerful and it’s a simple way to over-deliver while still keeping some healthy boundaries.

You’ve heard the phrase, “the devil’s in the details”, yes? Well, we go with Rachel’s version: “the devotion is in the details”.

So now we’re going to throw it back to you — have a look at the details of your business and have a think about where you could ramp up the devotion factor. And let us know what you’re going to try. We love hearing how this stuff is working out for you!

Watch all the fun.