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4 Keys to an Unforgettable Customer Experience Exceptional service goes beyond superficial platitudes and basic hospitality.

By Andrea Olson

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Despite massive investments of management time and money, customer satisfaction remains a frustrating pursuit in many organizations. Customer experience initiatives frequently fail, and successful teams have a hard time sustaining their performance.

Why is it so hard to build and maintain the capacity to deliver an unforgettable experience? The reasons go much deeper than the commonly cited cause: a failure to execute. The problem with customer experience improvement efforts is rooted in the lack of an understanding of the core elements that are common across all unforgettable experiences.

We conducted a study with 250 customers across major industries about their "most unforgettable service experience," and while they had some amazing stories, they all had the same things in common. No matter what the industry, company or situation, every answer reflected four things: