What’s Your Customers’ Minimum Speed?

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 my 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.

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 Zappo.com eyes.  What can you do today to find out your customers’ thresholds for any aspect of your service delivery?

About Chip&John

Chip R. Bell and John R. Patterson are customer loyalty consultants and the authors of several best-selling books. Their newest book is "Wired and Dangerous: How Your Customers Have Changed and What to do About it."
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