Build a Powerful Service Culture Plan

by John Tschohl,

President of Service Quality Institute

One of the major weaknesses of most organizations is the lack of a service strategy. They fail to realize the strategic opportunity in using superior service as a vehicle to differentiate, build market share, and achieve market dominance.

But when organizations know what is important to their customers and when they realize the shortcomings of their current service then they are ready to write a service culture plan.

If you don’t have a service culture plan, you need one now.

Here are some guidelines to help you get started.

1.  Under-promise and over-deliver.                                                                    

Set customer expectations at the right level. As defined by McGraw-Hill, “under-promise and over-deliver” is a service strategy in which service providers strive for excellent customer service and satisfaction by doing more than they say they will for the customer or exceeding customer expectations. Deliver on your promises. Don’t make a promise you can’t keep, and keep the ones you make.


2.  Only the customer knows what he or she wants. Here’s how you identify what that is:

  • Make it easy to do business with your company.

  • Provide speed of service.

  • Allow customers to talk to a real live person.

  • Return phone calls immediately.

  • Always deliver on your promises.

3.  Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.

Not all customers who buy the same service or product have the same service needs. Be like Amazon and have a “relentless” focus on customer service through regular communication, and make sure you can deliver on their individual needs.

4.  Customer Service Training is key.

Management must drive a customer service program with continuous training for all employees. It should also provide reinforcement by means of rewards for high-performing service employees, and with management standards that are regularly reinforced.


When management is committed to customer service, the result is a well-established infrastructure that facilitates free communication internally and that yields an organizational service culture.

© 2018 by Service Quality Institute