Customer Service: Need it be Amazing?


Share on LinkedIn

Each day, millions of consumers walk into thousands of businesses around the country. These consumers hold certain expectations of customer service every time they visit a given business. The majority of these people interact with employees in some fashion or another; and any customer service experience is dependent upon an employee’s commitment to their job. With a million different experiences occurring with a myriad of different expectations attached to them, the question arises: what is great customer service?

What Do Consumers Expect From Companies?
I don’t feel that most consumers are looking for a great experience; the majority of them are only looking for an adequate experience that meets their needs. And depending on the service a business is providing, outstanding customer service is not necessarily expected by each visitor. Although it seems that the level of customer service expected is often equated with the price point of the service being provided, the overall expectation is that businesses and their employees are equipped to accommodate a customer’s needs with genuine concern and understanding.

Where Is the Line?
You often see businesses implementing various policies and tactics in order to succeed in customer service. Standardized customer greetings and closings are finessed, employees are trained and coached to deliver them, and supervisors are incentivized on performance. But when does all the training become disingenuous for the customer?

I experienced this at local restaurant where it seemed that each sentence I uttered was met with a “my pleasure” from the employee. It was obvious that this standard reply had been implemented into the store’s everyday environment for the customers and every employee I observed was flawless in their execution and delivery. Ironically, I felt slighted in my experience. I went in for a chicken sandwich but left with a taste in my mouth that had nothing to do with the chicken. The employees had come across as robotic, and I had felt a little less valued because of it.

Maybe in all the customer service training that is on-going a reminder that customers are people too, will go a long way.

So What is the Customer Service Standard?
Unfortunately, not all customers will consider a company’s customer service efforts adequate. We have all witnessed the customer that is unreasonable regardless of the employee’s best efforts. The fact of the matter is that different customers expect different things from the businesses they visit.
The question often analyzed amongst experts is how to deliver a consistent experience that will satisfy customers. At the risk of oversimplifying things I submit that companies can satisfy the vast majority of their customers by setting the following standards.

• Respect the Customer
• Be Genuine in Your Interaction With the Customer
• Be Efficient in Delivering Service
• Deliver the Service or Product As Promised

By delivering on these aspects, companies set the bar for a consistently positive experience for their patrons and employees will find more value in their interactions with customers; at a bare minimum standard. Anything above this standard will be gravy for the customer.

Adequate service is expected by consumers and should be delivered by any business. Amazing service is normally a much rarer occurrence and should surprise customers. Customers will show their loyalty and appreciation by supporting the businesses that consistently deliver an adequate experience. The key is any successful experience is the consistency.

Melissa Jones
Melissa Jones spends her days as the Online Marketing Specialist for, a popular online vendor for cpap supplies. Melissa's evenings and weekends are occupied reading, researching running shoes, and tending to her writing obsession.


  1. Melissa,

    Nice post. I might suggest, however, that they way you define an adequate customer experience is, in these days quite amazing. A robotic experience is not amazing and is actually quite annoying. It is like the people at McDonald’s that are trained to upsell you on everything. If you ask for apple slices, they will inquire as to whether or not you want fries with that. Clearly no real thought put into it.

    Another recent experience I had was calling customer support at my cell phone company. The person on the other line asked me four questions before they said hello. That was not a demonstration that they were issuing me anything other than the required greeting in their prescribed workflow.

    Hiring people that can care and be genuine is rare enough that I consider it amazing.

  2. Cecilia – Thanks for the perspective, I am not sure that I had thought of it that way.

    While I agree that finding those people that care AND are genuine can be rare, I am not entirely convinced that companies aren’t (in part) to blame. I think that many businesses would be pleasantly surprised if they at times let their employees interact outside of their prescribed workflow.

    Its a balance that is not easily found. But for now adequate and amazing seem to be synonymous, and that’s…okay.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here