Everyone would like to claim that their customer service is a differentiator, but it’s almost never true. In fact, customer service expectations have grown so high, that it’s the absence that marks a difference. Superior customer service is the norm, and people don’t even want to discuss it.

They certainly don’t want to pay for it. And that is the true mark of a differentiator – a difference your customers will pay for.

Instead, think of your customer service expenditures and efforts as mitigating risk. This is primarily the risk of customer attrition and low retention rates. But in a web-enabled world where anyone can post a review of your service or products – customer service can help you manage the risk of adverse exposure.

There will always be trolls. Some people aren’t happy unless they are complaining about a lack of perfection. But that has also come to be the point. Perfection is the new norm, and EVERYONE is entitled to expect it. And this expectation turns us all into trolls.

So customer service – ensuring this satisfaction of perfection– is by its nature not worth talking about. The point is now to limit talk of dis-satisfaction.

While this may not be a satisfying turn to business owners, recognition and acceptance is the key. Stop crowing about your service, and simply provide it. It’s the evolution of business, the same way having a website was once a differentiator and is now the expectation. Evolve, or perish.

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