Exceed What?

So many companies talk about exceeding customers’ expectations that it leads you to wonder if they really know what customers expect.  If they do, how did they find out?  Surveys?  Focus groups?  And if they know, how do they measure their performance against those expectations so they can support their claims, or at least have some idea of how they’re doing?  They probably don’t – and that’s what turns a brand “promise” into puffery, a meaningless marketing cliche.  Do you know what your customers expect?  Are you giving them more?