Service excellence aims to create exceptional value for organisations’ stakeholders and provide customers with outstanding levels of customer service. Service excellence can be achieved by going beyond satisfying customers’ expectations. It is reached by offering customer services that exceed expectations, and is an agreed way of providing positive surprises and delight.

Service excellence. Principles and model BS ISO 23592:2021
ISO 23592 describes the principles, elements and sub elements for creating outstanding experiences for the customer. There are four levels for implementing service excellence. Levels 1 and 2 are the basic foundations and are about meeting customers’ expectations and fulfilling the promises. If these are met, they lead to customer satisfaction, however excellent service is going beyond customer satisfaction, where customers’ expectations are not only met but exceeded.

Levels 3 and 4 are described in ISO 23592 and lead to customer delight. They are the upper levels of service excellence and result in customer delight by creating an emotional connection with the customer. Level 3 is individual excellent service provision, and this leads to the customer feeling valued through an emotional reaction to the service. It is service that is perceived by customers as warm, genuine, personalised tailor-made and value-creating. Level 4 is surprisingly excellent service provision, which leads to feelings of surprise and joy. This can be achieved by delivering unexpected outstanding customer experiences and exceeding expectations. Organisations must focus on all levels, both fulfilling promises and exceeding customer experiences through customer service.

Aims of ISO 23592
The standard aims to bring the following benefits to organisations that adopt it:
— Competitive differentiation and improved financial performance through the co-creation of services with the stakeholders
— Higher growth of service excellence and customer centricity reputation
— Establishment and strengthening of long-term customer relationships leading to a greater propensity to remain, repurchase, and recommend
— Improved brand strengths including positive brand awareness
— Cost-saving potential in the long term (e.g. lower failure costs, easier sale conversions, and reduced advertising expenses for acquiring new customers)

ISO 23592 defines the principles of service excellence and how an organisation’s operations could improve through exceptional customer service.

Davies Hickman Partners are customer experience consultants. We work with the ISO team and contributed to the standard.