The Cultural Sweet Spot

sweet spotThe sweet spot is that place where a combination of factors result in the optimum response for a given amount of effort. It is a phrase particularly used in sports. It is the spot on the golf club or tennis racket where the intersection of the ball with the effort of the player drives the ball farther or faster or more focused.

Organizations have sweet spots. Zappos will tell you that anyone can copy their methods or products. But, no one can copy Zappos unique culture. Disney World, Southwest Airlines and Ritz-Carlton Hotels make similar claims.

But, remember the sweet spot is about an intersection, not a spot or location. It takes more than one factor to make it all work. The club without a golf ball is just a club. So, here is the secret to making an organization powerful in consistently delivering a great experience: the best features of the organization’s culture must be perfectly matched with those features that drive loyalty among their target audience.

Ritz-Carlton’s customer seeks an experience laced with respect; the culture of the Ritz is “ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.” Luxury hotel customers prefer authentic elegance. Ritz-Carlton’s founder was fond of saying, “Elegance without warmth is arrogance.”

Match the loyalty driver to the best cultural feature and watch customer advocacy grow—right along with your bottom line!


Photo Credit: Rennett Stowe via Flickr 

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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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