Consider This

Robert Stevenson’s Thoughts on the Pursuit of Excellence

See Them as an Invited Guest

March 26, 2018

by Robert Stevenson

Your customers are invited guests to your party and everyone they encounter in your company needs to assume the position of being “their host.” Customer service excellence has always been and will always be the most critical competitive advantage for any business. Your competitor can copy your store, warehouse, or facility design, your product mix and even your pricing … but you can make it where they will never be able to copy your incredible customer service.

Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, set the bar extremely high when he stated: “The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but legendary.” You can be on par in terms of price and quality, but your service will win or lose the game. Loyal customers don’t just come back, they tell others about you, as well. Your customer is the most important visitor on our premises. Everyone who encounters them needs to understand that the customer is not dependent on you. It’s just the opposite …YOU ARE DEPENDENT ON THEM. They are your sole purpose and you need to accept their business as a gift, a favor, an opportunity for you to serve them better than they have ever been served. Remember Mr. Walton’s quote: “Not just the best, but legendary.”

Unfortunately, many employees feel they are doing the client a favor by serving them. That type of attitude will destroy a company. Now that we live in the world of the internet, it is imperative that all employees understand that a competitor is only a mouse click away. Years ago, I spoke for a client whose mantra was EZTDBW… which stands for Easy to do business with. They understood that the easier it was for the client to do business with them … the more the client wanted to do business with them. No hassles, surprises, delays, excuses, annoyances, or postponements allowed; these don’t exist in legendary service companies.

Walk around your company and ask people, “What is the most important thing we do every day?” Their answers will be very telling as to the culture you have created. If they say anything else other than “Serve the Customer,” you have got some work to do. No matter what position a person holds, they are all, directly or indirectly, serving your customer.

Betsy Sanders, the renowned store manager for Nordstrom’s once said: “Service, in short, is not what you do, but who you are. It is a way of living that you need to bring to everything you do.” Ms. Sanders made retail history by building the southern California business to $1 billion in annual sales over a twelve-year period, quickly becoming Nordstrom’s largest and most profitable region. While developing Nordstrom into a business partnership with their customers, she is credited with having set the industry and international standards for service. Her book, Fabled Service, has been a sustained top-seller since its first printing in 1995.

Every contact you have with a customer influences if they’ll come back. Merely satisfying customers isn’t enough to earn their loyalty. Instead, they must experience legendary service if you are to earn their repeat business and referrals. By doing so, you will be creating customers who will create more customers for you. Customer service is not a department, it’s everyone’s job. What are you doing today that is Exceptional, Fabled, Amazing, Incomparable … LEGENDARY … for your customer? Define it and then do it!

"Your only true security in life
is your ability to perform."

About the Author

Robert Stevenson is an expert at building a high-performance business culture, improving efficiency, and accelerating growth. He is one of the most widely sought-after speakers in the world today, as well as a best-selling author. He has owned five companies, sold internationally in over 20 countries. Robert has spoken to over 2,500 companies throughout the world and his research in the area of corporate and entrepreneurial success is extensive. Over 2 million people have benefitted from his powerful, practical, and thought-provoking programs. He is a true master at blending facts, inspiration, conviction, and humor into all his programs.

Companies like FedEx, Prudential, Lockheed Martin, Anheuser-Busch, Chevron, American Express, and Berkshire Hathaway continue to rely on him for a fresh, unique perspective on businesses’ most crucial issues. To learn more about Robert and what he can do for your team visit his website at

FREE Robert Stevenson newsletter

Why sign up for Robert’s weekly articles:

  • It is a great way to kick-off your week

  • It will motivate, inspire, educate, and challenge you

  • It will help to make you a better employee, leader, and person

  • He shares the insights he has learned from his clients and research

  • You will receive free a collection of his favorite articles

© 2020 Seeking Excellence A Robert Stevenson Corporation. All Rights Reserved