Are You Up to Date on Customer Thresholds for Service Delivery?

We are seeing a lot of threshold alarms these days.  Highway freeways tell us “minimum speed 40 mph.”  It is a way of keeping horse drawn buggies off the road.  Minimum orders signal that only volume purchases are allowed.  Even Disney has threshold alarms that say a child must be “this tall” to get on a particular attraction.  As her two older sisters zipped past the “this tall” sign, it promoted Chip’s youngest granddaughter to say, “Tell them that scary things don’t scare me!”

Customers also have minimums.  Their pursuit of effortless, fast-paced service has shortened their wait clocks and adjusted downward their hassle monitor.  Their standards for letting service providers into their game has ratcheted dramatically up.  They have no tolerance for toil, no interest in insipid, and no patience of the pedantic.  And, when their mediocre meter goes off, they alert all in their cyber reach to stay away.  Today the customer tells us it’s all about the experience.  Recently customer experience surpassed price and product as the main differentiator between competitors.  Understanding the customer’s journey through their entire experience with our organization from their POV is absolutely critical to success in today’s very competitive environment.  Examining the key moments of truth that occur at important touch points in that journey to ensure the customer experience is exceeding expectations on a real time basis provides us with an opportunity to design and deliver the kind of customer experiences that drive advocacy and spur repeat purchases!  Do your customers want to move through their journey with your organization at supersonic speed or would they prefer to move at a more leisurely pace?

Smart organizations stay up-to-the minute on their customers’ thresholds for service quality.  And, they find ways to accommodate those rare customers who report that “scary things don’t scare me.”  They know that standards of service are not set by competitors in the same industry but by everyone who creates customer experiences in the life of their customers.

When customers enjoy a meal at a Chick Fil A restaurant and come to your location afterward, they carry that experience memory for comparison.  When FedEx or UPS answers their phone quickly should a customer call to schedule a package pick-up, the customer’s phone-handling standard is now raised before calling your organization.  And, they look at every website on the planet through Amazon and eyes.  What can you do today to find out your customers’ thresholds for any aspect of your service delivery?

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© Chip Bell Group, 2022.  Courtesy of John R. Patterson (  Permission is given to download and distribute this article as long as it contains this copyright notice.

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