Businesses are experiencing nothing less than a service meltdown. And, 67% of consumers who switch suppliers for reasons having to do with poor service seem to agree with our assessment. The upshot is the attrition of customers and ultimately profitability at a rate, at times, so gradual that a trend is hard to discern – until it’s too late. Customer attrition is not a cost of doing business; it is the result of a naive disregard for the realities of what it takes to succeed in business in the service and information age.


Napoleon famously remarked that one can tell a lot about a nation’s foreign policy by studying its geography.  Similarly, one can tell a lot about a company’s approach to the customer by studying its adherence to the four critical success factors making up the discipline of Service Management:

  1. Customer-focused leadership
  2. Customer-centric business planning
  3. A Service Ethic
  4. Power to the Front Line

Our advisory practice has a deep understanding of what it takes to excel in each of these dimensions so critical to the delivery of excellent service. When appropriate, diagnostics can be administered to index the strength of a particular dimension. Is the organization truly customer-centric?  Are service practices seamlessly integrated from the front-line to the back office? Does the organization have the predictive analytics in place that can anticipate if not preclude service mishaps? In the absence of a rigorously administered diagnostic the answers to these crucial questions remain little more than guesswork. The organization which chooses to operate in this fashion as an expedient for any reason does so at its own peril. On the other hand, a rigorous and well-administered  diagnostic, can trigger remediation activities which can re-direct the organization so that it is more consonant with the needs of the customer and hus with the long-term financial health of the enterprise.

In a world of skeptical, demanding consumers on the one hand and meaningless brand distinctions on the other, a customer-focused supplier can be armed with an unassailable competitive weapon that no other corporate asset can match: excellence in service.

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