Your ‘World Class Customer Service’ is killing your business.

I’m tired of sitting in a restaurant or visiting a website or buying a coffee and being uninspired by a business’s approach to service. It’s not bad, it’s just… nothing. They have world class customer service. They go above and beyondThe extra mile. To them, the customer is always right. We need to stop measuring service success by ‘not being awful’.

Most businesses today have polite service with loyalty programs and good products. Yes, there are a few with bad customer service but it is a small minority. Walk in (or log in) to any size business and their customer service is all the same. Generic, faceless and bland. You smile at the customer and use your manners? Oh, please. That doesn’t make service great.

Somewhere along the line, the endless pursiut of making every customer happy has taken away your brand’s personality. Ask yourself this: When you think of ‘customer service’, what comes to mind? It has become inauthentic and procedural, void of personality. This has worked for a long time because people were making spending and lifestyle choices based on the products themselves and service was a necessary ‘business cost’ when interacting with customers to field issues.

Working for Disney for the past 10 years, I’ve witnessed the world changing. Market saturation is inevitable in nearly every industry. What people are looking for is a reason to do business with you. They are basing their purchases on how they feel — how they feel about your products, marketing AND your customer service. Every aspect of your business. What is often overlooked is customer service is the only segment that involves actual human interactions. Maybe a piece of marketing has caught their eye and they need your product. What happens when they actually interact with your business? You have a narrow window of opportunity to connect with them emotionally.

Traditional world class customer service doesn’t make them feel anything. When everyone is world class, no one is.

It’s time for those of us who love customer service to help. There are so many missed opportunities and there don’t have to be. There are ways that every business can stand out and be their brand when connecting with their customers.

It is possible to inspire a millennial working the register to love working with customers. You can stop measuring service on how few complaints you get and how many stars they give you, in favor of metrics that inspire brand loyalty. Customers today and tomorrow want to be engaged and it is time to create a journey that connects with your audience. Don’t be afraid of your customers. Decide how you want them to feel about doing business with you and create a plan to get them there. Take back the story of your customer service.

Jess Kovatch