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What Color is Your Service Flame?

8194013651_e3cc3cbb8e_zIt’s that time of year when fireplace pilot lights get lit. And, the gas logs in the den at my river house needed readying for the winter. It can get cold in the mountains of North Georgia. But, the pilot light would light, but not stay lit. So, I called my local fireplace guy to get his advice.

“What color is the flame?” he asked. I thought about the sheer provocative symbolism behind the question. “If it has a red flame and burns like a match, your pilot light is worn out and will need to be replaced. But if has a blue flame and burns like a blowtorch, the pilot is just fine.” When I told it was blue, he continued with his prescription. “Get a straw and blow water into the face of the pilot; you likely have something obstructing the orifice.” It worked like a charm and my pilot light remains lit and ready to ignite logs and warm the house! Fireplaces are magical.

There is a pilot light inside all service providers; ready to ignite the spirit of the customers they serve. When you receive indifferent service, you are the recipient of a worn out or defective pilot light. We see it in gloomy expressions, sluggish movement, and an unwillingness to do more than is expected. We observe it when we are reminded of rules, given excuses, and made the prey of pointless bureaucracy.

Great service comes from people whose pilot burns true blue with the force and confidence of a blowtorch. It is vibrant and robust; it is continuous and infectious. And, blowtorch service flames can light up customers with warmth and enchantment. Don’t let your service flame go out.

Photo Credit: Flickr via ASmith282

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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.


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