'I want it like that... and now.' 

The increasingly high expectations of consumers make them harder than ever to please. Because the experience that they want is often what they've got used to elsewhere, with another product or service... 

And those market-leading, disruptive businesses have raised the bar on expectations for everyone else, even though we may not be in the same sector or market. 

As consumers today, we're the brats and the teenagers; dissatisfied when things don't work the way we think they should, always wanting more, ever quick to criticise. Technology has made us that way. 

Anyone familiar with the 'are we there yet?' refrain from your kids in the back of the car when you've only just left the house will understand this well. We've become a species obsessed with instant gratification, impatient and demanding. 

We don't want to walk further than necessary, we don't want to make an effort (thank goodness for Uber) and we don't want to pay more. 

We're not into making do, putting up with something not quite perfect or even, in many instances, giving second chances... it's a tough job pleasing us. Brands and businesses have to work harder than ever to earn our loyalty. 

That's why I like this straightforward 'return to basics' article by [24]7's CMO, Scott Horn, first published on Entrepreneur.com last summer. Here, following a recent research study into what influences customer engagement, he shares [24]7's findings, names the successful businesses really raising the stakes for the rest of us, and identifies 3 core ingredients of customer service success; factors that can be applied to any type of business.