Right is not the opposite of wrong.

Many companies mistakenly believe that if they are not delivering faulty goods and services to their customers, they have it right. However, delivering drab grey customer requirements is not what makes a company fabulous.

In this era of “I can get it cheaper online”, pricing is king, and quality and craftsmanship has been relegated to a distant second. It seems that bad is the new good, as many companies seem to be challenged just to deliver the most basic core requirements to their customers.

Last night I had dinner with friends at a somewhat upscale restaurant. We ordered salads and they arrived on a, not warm, but hot plate. Even the most nascent chef knows salad greens and heat do not play well together. The right choice would have been a chilled plate, the wrong choice is a room temperature plate, and a lazy and sad choice is a hot plate, right out of their dishwasher. As a customer, I have had to wholly re-calibrate my expectations. If it meets the boring “I guess that will do” standard, I rate it as good, and this is a very disconcerting trend. The juxtaposition of how our company approaches our customer care overlaid onto these marginal firms is nothing short of stunning. Our goal has always been to wow our customers; this is how you become legendary.

With critical medical device packaging systems, and medical device manufacturing, there is no wiggle room.

Close enough is simply not allowed. More companies need to put away calculators and view growth as an organic process that comes through adopting a total customer experience mantra, and being invested in amazing a market, not just getting by.

Sadly, it is not just the internet low-dollar hucksters that need a company-wide customer experience makeover, it is baked into every industry at every tier. It is an epidemic: from overseas customer service agents that “accidentally” disconnect your call when you call to cancel a service, to the high-end hotel chain that speaks of how customer-centered they are, only to charge you double the fair market price for a bottle of water in your room.

Maybe it is our fault. After all, we let them get away with it, and it is us that makes price the ultimate arbiter of value. Through an inverted red-queen effect, the bar gets lower and lower. So for me, I pledge to champion this trend and only interact whenever possible with companies that truly care. Let’s see if I can find any…