We’re told we should deliver great service for our customers. We’re told we should go an extra mile for our costumer. Heck, you can read this advice a number of times here on Software Project Management.
This brings me to a place where I am at the moment: a very nice cafeteria in Warsaw. First time I was here by accident by I noticed you can recharge your notebook here while enjoying your coffee. Another time I came on exactly that purpose – to recharge my dying laptop a bit. Then they won me: I came there for some power and I got also an outstanding coffee, great service and wifi access, which I haven’t even asked for – just a moment after I got laptop on the table a nice girl from cafeteria gave me the password.
What’s the problem than? Coffee is still great, wifi and power works as it used to but somehow I noticed the service is just slightly worse. This time no one asked me whether I need internet connection and they didn’t clarified which coffee I wanted. Yes, these aren’t even real issues and I’m an idiot ranting about non-existent problems. But somehow I feel a service has dropped a little from exceptional standards they set up before.
And that’s exactly the problem with great service. Once delivered everyone starts expecting you’ll always keep this standard. The same is with a very successful version of your software. Your clients will be comparing every new release to that one even if it is a few-year old.
Having said that, I still advise you to deliver great service to your customers. After all I’m coming back to the cafeteria next time I’m here. It still leads the pack.