I have a friend who is a big chocolate fan. He would tell me, “There are four basic food groups: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and chocolate truffles.” He considers a balanced diet to be a piece of chocolate in both hands. He would love to eat chocolate and nothing else. He told me he tried that once, and you know the outcome. He got sick. After that, despite his desire to gorge, he learned that moderation was a better path.  

We love a gentle rain; too much, and we have a flood. We love the warm sun; too hot and we get a drought. Customer experience has its share of excesses. Excellent service means remaining ever vigilant for those excesses that can frustrate our customers.

I had an online retailer that had products I loved. Their website was easy, their returns policy was compassionate, and their response time was excellent. However, despite my feedback, they sent me way too many emails. Not only did I unsubscribe, I found another retailer. They could not seem to understand why I would not want to hear from them every other day.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is renowned for its “ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen” philosophy when serving others. Their elegant and gracious style extends to their language when communicating with each other and with guests. For example, you would never hear “no problem” in response to your expression of gratitude. However, when the hotel company got feedback that guests got weary of hearing “my pleasure” repeatedly, they shifted to a protocol that communicated more of a style than a precise script. Guests still hear, “It would be my pleasure,” but it is not the only version used of “certainly” or “absolutely.”

Examine all the excesses in your service delivery. Might your customers be tired of your version of “Thank you for shopping at J-Mart” or always getting that same flyer or insert. Could they be fatigued at repeatedly providing the same information when trying to reach someone or navigating that same boring phone tree? Just like eating chocolate, moderation is essential. “Too much” can cause your customer to go elsewhere while your bottom line gets sick!