An initiative by

An initiative by

12 Dec 2011
Aalto Uni - Team Flying Sparkplugs

Expectations – What do we want from services?

This guest blog is part of team Flying Sparkplugs’ course work at Aalto University School of Economics ( After learning in theory the ways how modern organizations utilize ICT in their business, the teams deepen their knowledge in practice by researching the factors that motivate customers to participate in companies’ online communication and crowdsourcing efforts.

We all have expectations, regardless whether we acknowledge them or not. They can be positive or negative. They can be related to mundane topics such as having electricity, running water, or a flight on time. Then again they can be something completely opposite as well; consider, whether you have some expectations when you see your friends? And how about the morning rush-hour, what do you expect from your fellow commuters? Or have you ever sacrificed a single thought to what are you expecting from a service? Let it be a visit to cinemas, an evening in a restaurant, or an intercontinental flight in first class?

Most of us, if not all, know how to complain when we receive bad service. But what is it that makes the service bad? Usually we feel like something is a bit off, the service differs negatively from our expectations. On the other hand, it is sometimes hard to notice the positive difference in levels of service. We are delighted for a moment when our expectations are met to a further extent than we had thought, but as discussed earlier by Alf Rehn (, what happens when the quality of a service is already, by default, at such a good level that it meets our expectations? Will we think of it as good service or will it be regular service?

The answer lies within your expectations. Every time you fly the service should be at least as good as the previous time, but every flight should also contain an element of positive surprise. Otherwise you will get too used to the good quality – it will be trivialized.


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