Remember Ralph Metcalfe

JesseUnless you’re a serious sports geek, you probably have never heard of Ralph Metcalfe. Metcalfe was a sprinter. I’ve been told that in 1936 he broke the world record in the 100 meters at the Berlin Olympics. But most people have never heard of Ralph Metcalfe and his feat because that day he was beat by the man we now know as the great Jesse Owens (pictured) who was a fraction of a second faster and took the gold medal.

The difference between "good" and "great" in Customer Service is much like the difference between silver and gold in the 100 meters. Think of the variables that can mean a tenth or a hundredth of a second in a sprint. I’m sure aspiring sprinters think that their coaches are being nit-picky and anal-retentive. Yet, those coaches know that the difference between the gold medal and the silver medal, the difference between "good" and "great" lies in a million minor details that are done consistently and done well.

It is no different with QA. The difference between "good" service that the customer expects (and can get anywhere) and World-class service that the customer notices (and wants to experience again) lies in a million minor details (like courtesy, apology, using an ownership statement, conversationally using the customer’s name, offering to help with other needs, etc, etc, etc, etc,) that are done consistently and done well.

It is said that "you don’t win a silver medal, you lose the gold medal."

World-class service must be learned and measured and practiced.

Customer loyalty must be earned.

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