Times are good for large consumer services companies. Costs are down, productivity is at record levels, stock market valuations are stratospheric, and option packages generate gains that border on egregious. But are these companies sowing the seeds of their destruction? By failing to understand that consumer expectations are rapidly increasing while their own service levels are steady (or declining), many consumer service companies are in danger of leaving a growing performance gap. If they continue on this trajectory, they may jeopardize their brand names and leave the door open for non-traditional competitors and new entrants. To illustrate this point, one need only look at the retail banking industry.
Recent performance impressive