Good No Longer Good Enough

Good No Longer Good Enough

“Good is the enemy of great.” This is the first line in Jim Collins must read book “Good to Great.” He suggests that when we become satisfied with good, we don’t push for great and in so doing set the stage for our own demise.

Good is easy. Good is comfortable. Good typically means doing it the same as we did last time. This is especially true when it comes to service. The problem is that we as customers have become more demanding. Good service is simply expected. We are no longer satisfied with good.

So, what makes service great? A recent family dinner to a local restaurant to celebrate my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary highlighted three key elements to truly great service.

  1. Authentic. It needs to be genuine and delivered with a personal touch that can’t be taught. In fact, if you try and train everyone to do the same thing you become less authentic. We brought our 15-month old son to the restaurant with us. Good service would have offered us a high chair, a kid’s menu and maybe some crayons. Great service saw the server on her hands and knees playing peek-a-boo and the hostess making a tin foil hat for my son to wear.
  2. Unexpected. To stand out, you have to catch people by surprise. If we see it coming, the impact is less profound. Good service would have had brought out a cake for dessert to help us celebrate the special occasion. Great service had the chef come out from the kitchen to ask my parents for their favorite ingredients. He then proceeded to make a custom dessert just for them!
  3. Remarkable. When you break the word down it means something to remark about. Halfway through dinner my sister went to the washroom. When she returned, she proceeded to tell us about the glass tile, the fountain, the twelve types of hand lotion, and the candles. Everyone else suddenly had to go too. When they returned they also raved about the unbelievable bathroom experience. In fact, we are still telling everyone we know.

Don’t settle for good. Seek out ways to make your company’s service more authentic, unexpected and remarkable. Great service is what brings customers back…and really great makes them bring their friends!

Ted Kouri
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