Shep Hyken\'s Customer Service Blog

Amazing Customer Service Gives Competitive Edge In Any Economy and Any Marketplace

customer-service-strategyIntroduction to Customer Amazement

Customer service gives you a competitive edge. It’s that simple. If what you sell is the same as what your competitor sells, customer service can tip the scale in your favor. For the right level of customer service, some customers will drive further, wait longer and even be willing to spend more money to get a better level of service.

The companies that deliver a higher level of customer service are… amazing.  Hang with me just a bit longer to understand what makes these companies amazing, and how you can and should be able to deliver that same level of customer service.

First, we must define customer amazement.  Amazing customer service isn’t an over-the-top WOW level of service.  Here is the real secret.  Amazing customer service is just a little better than average.  That in itself isn’t amazing.  What makes it amazing is when it is a little better than average – all of the time.  It’s the consistency that makes the difference.  It’s the consistency that creates confidence.  It’s the consistency that drives customer loyalty.

And, a little bit better than average is within the grasp of everyone and every company.  Sure, there will be some people and companies that that have opportunities to WOW the customer with over-the-top service, but that is impossible to do every time.  When you study the best companies, what you will find is that they are simply better than average, all of the time.

Typically, over-the-top customer service is a once-in-a-while incident.  Something has to happen that causes the employees to fix a problem, react to a situation or take advantage of an unusual occurrence.  However, the best companies don’t wait for that incident to happen.  They look at all of the typical “touch points” that a customer has within their organization, and they find ways to bump up the experience just a notch above average. Their goal is to “operationalize” it and make it normal.

So how does this happen?  The right system is in place, but that is nothing without the right people.  Owners, executives and managers have their part in all of this, however, when it comes to great customer service, it doesn’t matter what your title is.  Everyone is a leader.  Everyone has a role in delivering great service.  Everyone can become the role model that others look up to and want to emulate.  Customer service is not a department.  It’s a philosophy.  It’s everyone’s job!

So, here is the bottom line.  If a company wants to be known for being amazing, then employees must be focused on the simplistic idea of being better than average, all of the time.  It takes focus and a constant attention to detail.  It is a mindset that is put into practice every day.

NOTE: This article is a modified excerpt from Shep Hyken’s book Amaze Every Customer Every Time: 52 Tools for Delivering the Most Amazing Customer Service on the Planet.

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact (314)692-2200 or For information on The  Customer  Focus™ customer service training programs go to Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
(Copyright ©MMXII, Shep Hyken)

  1. Thanks Jeff. Appreciate the kind words. “Hero” opportunities pop up every so often, but there are every day interactions that are opportunities to create, by the articles definition, amazing service.

  2. Jeff Toister says:

    I really like your definition of amazing service. Customer service professionals who wait for the “hero” moment run the risk of missing the many opportunities that come each and every day to be just a little bit better.

    Exciting to learn you’ll soon have a new book out, too! Best of luck, Shep!

  3. If a company wants to be amazing then it should be focused on the more complicated issue of training and enabling better than average employees. Happy employees will be more likely to provide above average service without even thinking about it!

      • Thank you for your reply, sir. Of course you’re right. I immediately threw a barrier in the way of something that can be simple.
        I recently viewed a webinar that highlights your book “The Cult of the Customer”. I am enormously impressed at the way you organized ideas that would seem to be common sense and how you used your own technique to create a “mantra” to help people remember the highlights of your training.

  4. Hi Loreen – Thank you for your kind comments. Glad we had a chance to exchange our thoughts. And, glad you enjoyed the ideas from “The Cult of the Customer.” Stay Amazing!

  5. I am always impressed, sadly not very often, when I am thanked going out of the door for my patronage. What a simple thing to do and what a missed opportunity for amazing service. Of course, it’s hard to do if the service wasn’t up to much!

    So many chances for owners and operators to wow their customers!

    Mark editor of CK Magazine

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