The service sector dominates economies in the developed world. Customer service is the cornerstone of contemporary corporate strategies. Yet everyone experiences poor service, and front-line staff often seems to be employed on a “low pay/low skills” basis. Are these two factors related? This article summarizes UK research among 15 service-based organizations. It shows that those organizations delivering the best customer service make greater use of performance-related pay, individual and team recognition and harmonized conditions, as well as work-life balance and career development policies. But the key factor appears to be how they implement and manage these policies to create positive employee commitment to delivering high levels of service to customers.