Generally speaking, people feel that the service they get from companies has eroded and even disappeared.
The BBB and the FTC have ever increasing numbers of service complaints and law suits, certain industries just cannot bring themselves to service a customer, accounting rules have encouraged off-shore outsourcing to improve profits, customer service salaries have remained stagnant, and company-led investment into front line service providers has disappeared.
Add to that, service leaders are constantly challenged to reduce expenses while never getting the invitation to sit at the C-level table to plan, advise, and represent the Voice of the Customer. Everything is becoming commoditized - and companies are now feeling the pain; thanks to social media and the power of a customer's wallet.
Interestingly, small/emerging companies have a fabulous opportunity to compete on this very issue. Smaller companies are agile and intuitively know that hiring, training, and paying people to provide great service is the right - and ONLY - thing to do. And, that focusing on keeping customers 'happy' - no matter what that means - is the way to profits and growth.
If you are a service provider (and who isn't these days) and you want to avoid being commoditized, I suggest that you evaluate all of your customer touchpoints with an eye towards decency, fair play, generosity, integrity, and common sense. Am I hearing 'The Golden Rule' here?
THAT advice you'll never get from an expensive consultant and will go a very long way towards your success.