How Do Your Customers Rate Your Level of Innovation?

You take your car in for regular maintenance and your body in for a physical exam.  Women get a mammogram; men get a PSA check.  The optometrist checks your eye sight; the audiologist your hearing and your dentist checks for cavities.  What about the service you provide to your customers?  Does it get a regular check-up?

Today’s wired and dangerous customers are vain – expecting treatment that telegraphs they are special and unique, not just one of the masses. This requires that we develop new and innovative approaches to consistently take our customers breath away.

We have been working to create a short, but important check-list to review how you are doing. Asking the customer to say “ah” (a.k.a., soliciting feedback) and checking various test results (like complaint analysis, FAQ responses and survey results) can add to your smart preventive maintenance. Here’s a “baker’s dozen” check-up questions to get you started. Add your own to tailor your list.

  1. Does the service have sufficient consistency that customers can trust it is repeatable and not some serendipitous fluke?  Does it leave customers feeling secure?

  2. Is the service to customers given in a way that clearly reflects a wholesome and generous orientation or attitude?

  3. Do customers believe the organization or unit listens to them more deeply than almost any organization or unit they can think of?

  4. Does the service anticipate the customers’ future needs leaving the customers feeling the organization or unit can reach their minds?

  5. Is the interpersonal engagement with employees so unforgettable that customers think positively about it again and again?

  6. Are customers given an opportunity to participate in a fashion they would not have expected?

  7. Are customers given a chance to learn more simply through their encounter with the organization or unit?

  8. Do customers comment on how the organization or unit is almost always super comfortable to do business with?

  9. Do customers feel free of dissonance and anxiety when dealing with the organization or unit?

  10. Do customers witness employees perpetually improving service?

  11. Do customers think employees have more fun than other people?

  12. Do customers ever view the service experience as distinctive and not the usual “beaten path” approach?

  13. Does the service make other service providers in similar circumstances think, “I wish we’d thought of that?”


© Chip Bell Group, 2023.  Courtesy of John R. Patterson (  Permission is given to download and distribute this article as long as it contains this copyright notice.