The Post-Customer-Service Age

We have entered the post-customer-service age.

This doesn't mean that customer service isn't important. Of course it is. But customer service, like product quality, has become a basic, expected deliverable. Without it, you fail. With it, you are only at parity. Customer service is nothing more than basic business hygiene—the "brushing your teeth" of running a company.

If you try to differentiate your company through customer service, you will, at best, be a "me-too" company. Sure, you might have competitors that provide bad service, but your goal is not to be better than the worst. It is to be unique among the best.

Good customer service can help differentiate you only if it is a gateway to building relationships with customers. Customer relationships differentiate you from the competition in a way that customer service (or products) never can.

Aim high ... beyond customer service.