Customer Service is Not a Privilege or a Right

Many companies just flat out do not care about customer service. Even if they say that they do, many are not doing what they need to do with their operations and employee training to make that focus a reality. They often view great customer service as a privilege that they deliver when it’s convenient to them or behooves them.  That’s a lousy corporate position to take; customer service is not a privilege; customer service should be delivered if any company wants to stay in business.

But customer service also is not a right. Many consumers feel that receiving great customer service is a right, but as long as consumers have the choice of going from “Company A” to “Company B,” great customer service will never be a right.

Even though we think great customer service should be delivered, no company should have to deliver great customer service. Any company can make the decision not to deliver great customer service and therefore can suffer the repercussions of that poor service. So if great customer service is not a privilege and it’s not a right, what is it?

For the consumer, it’s a choice.  It’s a choice they have to make that if they want great customer service, they have to go to the companies that deliver great customer service. In some cases, that might mean that they have to drive an extra mile. It might mean that they might have to pay a couple percent extra. It may mean that they might not get the exact item that they want. But if people want great customer service, they usually can find it if they’re willing to make the choices they need to make.

From the company’s perspective, great customer service is a commitment.  It’s a commitment from senior management to invest in a vision and to develop and execute a plan to be great. It’s a commitment on the part of the employees to learn what they need to learn, and to deliver beyond what the customers would expect.  And it’s a commitment to a business model that firmly believes that an organization’s success starts and stops with the customer.

Great customer service is not a privilege or a right. It is a choice by the consumer, and a commitment by the company.

Interested in improving your company’s customer service?  See more information at:



  1. Setting customer expectations through an appropriate marketing message can be key to success even if you’re not the best at customer service. The position a brand holds in a consumer’s mind creates the basis for customer service perception.

    Eastern Airlines promoted itself as “America’s Favorite Way to Fly” and later “The Wings of Man” when they were America’s largest domestic airline. Piedmont Airlines used “The Up and Coming Airline.”

    Each carrier could encounter a dely. Eastern passengers quickly became irate because they expected better. Piedmont passengers were patient and took an attitude of they’re trying.

    Under promise in the marketing and it’s easy to over deliver in customer service. You don’t need to always be the best.

  2. You make some really great points in this piece of writing. There’s definitely a line between a right and privilege, and you touched on each subject marvelously.

    And I believe that, in order to be chosen over another company, you should serve up great customer service. Service in itself is even more important than getting a sale. Here’s my take on it, if you’re interested:

    Thanks for the read!

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