Moving From Basic Service
To True Customer Service

by Tom Egelhoff

I've said many times that all businesses believe they deliver good customer service. The problem is they often don't know the differences between their "basic service" and true "customer service." They all deliver basic service and refer to it as customer service. Here's how the two are different.

Every person who comes into your business has a basic expectation of service. This expectation will vary from customer to customer. They expect to be treated courteously, waited on quickly, their need or problem taken care of, thanked for their business and leave satisfied with the experience. Their expectations have been met...but not exceeded.

Can you remember the best service you ever got at a McDonalds Restaurant? Most people can't. Nothing against McDonald's, in fact, you can walk into any McDonalds in the world and be treated almost identically. That's pretty remarkable. But, a BigMac® in Maine tastes pretty much the same as it does in Arizona. The counter people are courteous and friendly but for the most part the same from town to town. Expectations met.

That's where true customer service comes in. True customer service leaves the customer with a memorable, "I've got to tell somebody about this." kind of experience. Not just, "It was pretty much like I expected." Has anyone told you lately, "Wow! We stopped at this McDonalds in Danville, Illinois and the service was to die for!!"

Basic service will get them in the door once, but "true" customer service will keep them coming back. Or, serve great fries.

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