A Festival for Customers?

The cherry blossoms are peaking in Washington D.C. this very week. A jubilant array of over 3,000 pink and white trees decorate the Mall around the Washington monument and the Tidal Basin around the Jefferson Memorial. It is a sight of peace and beauty. And, on Saturday, April 14 there will be an elaborate parade of floats, bands and special attractions. It celebrates the beauty of our nation’s capital. And, this year the blossoms have pulled out all the stops!

What would a festival for customers be like? What if you celebrated your customers’ loyalty with the fanfare and fervor D.C. celebrates its special beauty? The late “Coach” Jim Miller of Miller Business Services in Arlington, Texas, was famous for putting up in the employee cafeteria a giant weekly picture of a customer in the cafeteria along with a display of information about that customer. Some Hampton Hotels select a “Customer of the Day” to be given a special treat and attention when they check in. Some Delta Airlines flights give their million-milers on board a hand-written thank you note. If they are seated in coach, they might also get a coupon good for a free drink.

When Victoria’s Secret completed a focus group with customers at their headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, they were treated to lunch in the employee cafeteria. As the customers entered the giant room all the employees had been cued to give their visitors a standing ovation. Home Depot allocates two parking spaces for veterans only.

The process of festival practices is as easy as flying a kite on the Washington Mall on Saturday.

It is as simple as applauding a float or band from the sidelines of a special parade.

It just involves making it matter enough to signal, “Thank you.”

Add Your Response


Never miss a post! Sign up to have future posts delivered to your inbox:


Dr. Chip R. Bell is a world-renowned authority on customer loyalty and innovative service. Global Gurus ranked him in 2018 the #2 keynote speaker in the world on customer service; #1 in North America. He also is the author of numerous national and international best-selling books including Take Their Breath Away, Managing Knock Your Socks off Service, Magnetic Service, The 9½ Principles of Innovative Service and Customers as Partners. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages.

His newest customer service book is the award-winning, best-selling book Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles.

Dr. Bell has appeared live on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, CNN, Fox Business, ABC, CBS, NPR Marketplace and his work has been featured in Fortune, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, and Fast Company.


More on Chip