Summing Up Customer Service In One Word…AWESOME


Every time I frequent fast food restaurant In-N-Out Burger I am struck by three things.

  1. The drive-thru line is almost always ten cars deep but actually moves relatively quickly.
  2. The menu is uber-simple and other than adding the calorie counts has never changed.
  3. They ALWAYS get my order right.  

I was compelled to tweet “Simple+Consistent=Line out the door” to which my boss responded “Simple+Consistent Leads to Awesomeness.”  Simple, consistent and awesome are all words I would use to characterize In-N-Out Burger.  I’m very sorry to those of you who have not experienced this wonderful place yet.

There’s a little back story as to why my boss responded with the word “Awesomeness.”  In a recent YouTube video, Customer Service Expert Shep Hyken challenged his viewers to define the brand in a word or a phrase.  He shared that his word is “Amazing” and that he uses that word in every email he sends and even carries the title of “Chief Amazement Officer” at his company.  How cool is that?

I have been chewing on this advice from Shep and even asked our team what word we would use to describe our customer service and the word we settled on was “Awesome.”  Great word but is it too cliche and overused.  In my teenage years and even still today to say I overused the word would be an understatement.  I asked Shep what he thought of the word and he responded saying that we needed to define what the word “Awesome” means for customer service.

Here’s my first draft at defining awesome at  We are awesome when we achieve our five service standards which are:

  • Quality
  • Caring Customer Service
  • Choice
  • Accessibility
  • Value

Combine these standards with the overarching values of fun, simplicity and innovation and we are awesome.  My next step is measuring how we are doing on each of our service standards and setting service level we need to exceed for each of these.  At that point, I think we can claim that we are truly awesome.

In the meantime, I am practicing using the word AWESOME any time I speak with our customers.  On an individual basis, all of our customer service representatives are getting in the habit of this.  If we’ve learned nothing else, we know that each of us has the power to be awesome on every phone call, email, chat or tweet.  In future posts, I will break down our service standards in more detail.  Tell us what you think of our new old word AWESOME.


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