An organization will have two different standards they need to reach when dealing with the public. This is true whether you are providing a service, a product or anything else.
The first level is the satisfaction level. When a customer/client makes a purchase there is either a stated or an implied contract. In return for you providing X, they will provide Y. If you are selling a product it would be in return for the product they will give you money. Same for a service. You are legally, morally and ethically required to meet this level if you expect to receive their part of the transaction (or if you expect to keep their part). This means if they purchase your service and you don’t provide what was agreed upon, you wouldn’t expect to still receive their money. Sadly, this is the level most organizations try to achieve (just above the expected).
The second level is the repeat level. The repeat level is way above the satisfaction level and it’s when you achieve this level that you can expect your customer/client to be so happy that they want to repeat this transaction many more times. Rather than simply giving the customer what they expect, this is where you give them much more. By doing this, they will want to repeat the transaction and tells others as well about your great service/product.
Using a hotel as an example, if I check into a hotel and the room I receive is what I would expect for the price I paid, the hotel would have achieved the satisfaction level. It means I might return or I might not. If I check in and paid for a regular room but because it’s available they upgrade me to a suite at no additional cost or they go out of their way to provide some type of additional service I wasn’t expecting I’m much more likely to return.
Raising the bar would mean bringing your organization from trying to achieve the satisfaction level to the repeat level. There is a risk involved with raising the bar. Once raised, you must stay up at that level or risk falling further behind further (once you raise the bar consistently, the satisfaction level rises as well). It might cost a bit more money or time to raise the bar but the return is well worth it!
Have a great day!