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What's expected vs. what is outstanding

I read this blog from Seth Godin the other day and as usual he was on message. Our customers don't remain with us year after year because we provide good service. They have higher expectations than they did even two years ago, and they now expect outstanding service. That is why organisations need to stop leaving the delivery of outstanding service as an accident and set about using a process like Service Design to intentionally design the environment and interaction so that the experience is outstanding. It's the only way that we can ensure that our customers derive great value from our service offering, they stay with us year in and year out and we increase our profitability by a factor of 7 times over 7 years.

If your customer is worth $1000 in year 1, look after them well and they will be worth $7000 after 7 years. Now isn't that a recipe for guaranteed revenue and margin growth (see yesterday's article below on the dollar value of customer experience).

Do you have a plan and a process to ensure you deliver Outstanding service every single time? if you would like to discuss how, please contact me on (02) 8379 6600 or email me at

What's expected vs. what's amazing

I visited a favourite restaurant last week, a place that, alas, I hadn't been to in months. The waiter remembered that I don't like cilantro. Unasked, she brought it up. Incredible. This was uncalled for, unnecessary and totally delightful.

Scott Adams writes about the cyborg tool that is coming momentarily, a device that will remember names, find connections, bring all sorts of external data to us the moment we meet someone. "Oh, Bob, sure, that's the guy who's friends with Tracy... and Tim just tweeted about him a few minutes ago."

The first time someone does this to you in conversation (no matter how subtly), you're going to be blown away and flabbergasted. The tenth time, it'll be ordinary, and the 20th, boring.

Hotels used to get a lot of mileage out of remembering what you liked, but it was merely a database trick, not emotional labour on the part of the staff.

Today, if you go to an important meeting and the other people haven't bothered to Google you and your company, it's practically an offence. We're about to spend an hour together and you couldn't be bothered to look me up? It's expected, no longer amazing.

On the other hand, consider Dolores, a clerk with kidney problems at a 7 Eleven, who broke all sorts of coffee sales records because she remembered the name of every customer who came in every morning. Unexpected and amazing.

You can raise the bar or you can wait for others to raise it, but it's getting raised regardless.

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