There is a new argument for customer service. Great service is more important than ever. And its got to be different and memorable and unexpected.

Customer service no longer means doing what you promise. Of course you get the job done. You’re experienced and friendly and knowledgeable and you’ve been family owned since 1989. But, if you’re saying that in your marketing, go back to bed. Put your money back under the mattress and hope the rabbit ears on your television set will eventually work again.

It really starts with the service you pay to your team. Your coworkers. Your boss. Your employees. Your organization. Your community. Your family. Yourself. It is the thing that you do not talk about but do and the people affected by it will talk about it for you.

It is energy and it is the transmission of that energy. Customer service is really about having passion for whatever it is you are doing or creating or giving away. Find passion in your work and make it an art to go the extra step and surprise people.

There is a tireless effort to fit in and top the next guy. But to really be a part of the customer service game, stop doing what you think people want and do the remarkable. Do something different, take the risks and spend the time tailoring your interactions specifically to the people who put their trust in you. Help them spread the word.

A friend of mine recently had some dental work done. The short of the story is the first go around did not go as planned. His second appointment happened to be the Friday before his  anniversary with his wife and they were set to go on a trip. She was nervous things would not go well and that he would be in misery that weekend. The appointment went seamlessly and when he and his wife arrived at the B&B for dinner, the waiter brought a bottle of champagne to the table. The dentist had called ahead to order the bottle and sent a note:

“I hope that you are feeling as wonderful as ever and appreciate your trust in me. Enjoy your weekend.”

Before the trip, I had heard the not so savory details of my friends experience. This doctor would certainly not be one my friend would ever recommend. But people are imperfect.  It feels good when they communicate that. The doctor gave a small gesture that seemed very large because it was personal and unexpected. That is  the customer service which is relevant and can cut through the clutter. It is not a marketing ploy and it is not something that can be devised. Customer service starts with your passion and is about spreading the feeling.

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