Have you ever stayed at a Ritz Carlton Hotel? Bought a pair of shoes, or returned them at Zappos? These two companies immediately come to mind when you think about exceptional customer service. While the two companies couldn't appear to be more different, when you drill down, they are very much alike in their core values and business and leadership principles.
Providing exceptional service begins with understanding the customer. In case you haven't noticed, the needs of the customer have changed a lot in the past few years, and will continue to evolve. Creating an exceptional customer experience doesn't mean you have to be twice as good as your competitor, just be a little better. That's easy if you have the right culture in place.