“Customer Service” Levels

Never rest on past success. Create something better. ~ Ron Kaufman

In 2008, attended session from Ron Kaufman as part of company’s “Customer Centricity” thought leadership initiative, got motivated with simple and highly weighed explanation of six levels of Customer Service

We extensively discussed on Ron Kaufman’s Six levels of Customer Service in our key customer engagements. Starting from the lowest, six levels are criminal, basic, expected, desired, surprising, and unbelievable. Every person whether a service provider or a customer should be familiar with the level of service they provide or receive. Is it unbelievable or is it desired or even criminal ?

Ron describes basic service as disappointing, expected service as nothing special, desired service as what customers hope for and prefer, surprising service as being special and unbelievable service as being astonishingly fantastic and one that customers can’t forget.

…I feel most thought provoking is criminal service, which describes as being really bad violating even the minimum expectations. In many situations I encountered, where providers imagine they delivered highest level of service but customers think that providers have not even mastered the basics! so end-up with criminal service.

As a service provider everyone should question themselves, What is my level of service? When service delivered to customers with a lot of passion, the customers powerful word of mouth…grows overall value.

Ron given taxi ride example, The ‘criminal’ taxi driver would have a dirty car, take you the long way, overcharge, and not help with heavy luggage. The ‘basic’ driver would get you there, but would have the radio too loud and ignore shortcuts to save time. You could go through the list with examples of each, until your ‘unbelievable’ journey in a comfortable taxi with magazines to read, choice of music, chilled water, help with luggage and a fast trip.

Remember, steps are not solid staircase! It’s like trying to climb up a down escalator. Each level is consistently sliding downward because our competitors are also working to raise their service. One day we offer surprising service, but the next day everyone in our industry is doing the same thing—oops, we just slipped down to Desired. Wait another day, and oops, we just fell to Expected. The next thing we know, we’re the floppy disc of service trying to compete with the USB flash drive. Keep our service stepping up, or find ourselves lying in the dust.

Let’z Uplift our Service to Customers….


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