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Customer Service Excellence: Setting Effective Service Standards

April 17, 2012 by Dr. Jon Warner in Customer Service

As a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, every individual across the whole organization needs to ensure that standards of service excellence are widely known and met in every area and at all times. These minimum standards of service excellence should be driven into every part of the organization and communicated at all levels, including the customer, so that what can be expected is fully appreciated.

When it comes to improving service commitment, the discussion begins and ends with the customer’s assessment. Superior service quality is there if the customer says so, and it isn’t there if the customer says that it isn’t, or worse, votes with their feet and goes elsewhere to another organization to supply them. What’s more, the only true and reliable measurement of service quality is the assessment of the customer’s most recent experiences with our organization and their level of satisfaction with those experiences.

An enterprise that enjoys a reputation for distinctive service quality consistently meets their customers’ expectations. Far from leaving anything to chance, they establish consistently clear, customer-oriented service performance standards throughout their organization, and then constantly and meticulously measure performance against those standards. This might include standards of service in policies, procedures, work instructions, job descriptions or any other means to ensure that tangible standards are “written in” to the culture. In addition, these standards are constantly checked and updated to make sure that they are relevant and working as they should.

A commitment to service excellence without a commitment to standards and measurement would be a dedication to lip service, not customer service. Only with customer-focused standards and customer-based satisfaction measurements can we create and manage dynamic, information based service delivery systems that can be tuned and refined to changing customer expectations.

The featured video clip is a short excerpt from the ReadyToManage, Rapid Skill Builder eLearning program, Improving Customer Service: An RSB eLearning Course.

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About Dr. Jon Warner

Dr. Jon Warner is a prolific author, management consultant and executive coach with over 25 years experience. He has an MBA and a PhD in Organizational Psychology. Jon can be reached at

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About the Editor and Primary Author

Jon Warner

Jon Warner is an executive coach and management consultant and in the past has been a CEO in three very different companies. Read more

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