ABC(3): Above and Beyond Plus 3 Cs to Deliver!

Everyone has heard the phrase "above and beyond" when it comes to customer service. What you need to know is how you can use the ABC(3) model to over deliver on that "above and beyond".

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I’m guessing you’ve heard the phrase “above and beyond” before, especially when it comes to delivering exceptional customer service and care to your clients. But I’ll wager that you haven’t heard how you can use the ABC(3) model of customer service to deliver on “above and beyond.”

The C(3) or “C to the third power” part of the model gives you three ways to deliver on above and beyond. Perhaps you’re new to the service industry. Or maybe you’ve spent years delighting and thrilling customers. Somewhere along your journey, you’ve read or heard the phrase go “above and beyond.” Here are three perspectives to consider when you deliver on that promise.


Be clear. For example, let’s say you work in the hospitality industry, and a guest asks you for directions. It could be to their room, to the pool, or a conference room. Be as precise as possible without overwhelming them. Not only tell them but also ask if they’d like a visual, like a map. Better still, take them where they want to go! What could be more explicit than that?

Clarity is key for teams. Make sure you and your team are on the same page in meetings and with any work you expect them to complete. How many times have you left a meeting thinking you knew exactly what your client wanted and then come back with nothing near what they expected? I thought so.


Confidence is a two-way proposition. You want to appear confident and that you come across as knowledgeable. Your voice resonates assurance, your posture and body language exude assurance. Remember, it’s not just what you say; it’s also how you say it. When you go above and beyond, your goal is to instill confidence in your client or guest, the person receiving your service. Your best bet to achieve this goal is for you to radiate confidence in all that you do.

Think about the person or group visiting your hotel property and experiencing your services for the first time. Maybe they’re from out of town and have never visited your city. Or perhaps this is the first time they’re trying your restaurant. How do you think they feel? How might you feel when you visit a new city or walk into a new place for the first time? Do your best to make guests and new clients feel like they belong. Chances are they’re already nervous or anxious about being someplace new and trying something new. What can you do to set their mind at ease?

We have GPS technology to guide us and online reviews to help shape our opinions, but apps and tech aren’t “above and beyond” tools. When a guest or team member asks you a question or engages you in conversation, do your best to answer confidently and instill confidence in them and help them feel like they’re in the right place.


Compassion should be your go-to; in other words, understanding or empathy. Think about the weary traveler, the overtired theme park family, or the conference attendees who look over-stimulated. They’re all looking for a little understanding.

Speaking of weary travelers, I recently was making my way home to Wisconsin from Seattle. After a three-hour delay at Sea-Tac airport, we made it to Minneapolis only to be thwarted by the weather. The airline put us up for the night at a local hotel. We made it to the hotel at 11:45 p.m. and many of us, about 70 people, had not eaten dinner. The kitchen was scheduled to close at midnight, and they graciously stayed open and fed us until 1:00 a.m. The kitchen and waitstaff didn’t miss a step. They carried on with smiles as if they had just started their shift. That’s compassion, understanding, and empathy.

Remember ABC(3) – Above and Beyond with Clarity, Confidence, and Compassion, Use one or all three of the Cs, and I guarantee that you will deliver exceptional customer experiences.

© 2019, Roger Wolkoff. Reprint rights granted so long as all URLs are made live.

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