National Customer Service Week Bulletin: The Speed Limit 23 MPH Principle

National Customer Service Week is October 7-11, 2013. It is a week we spotlight the power and prosperity found in delivering an innovative customer experience. In the days leading up to Customer Service Week we will offer a key principle you can use to elevate the delight in your customers’ experience. We continue today with the Speed Limit 23 MPH Principle.


Walk into the lobby of the five-star Mansion on Turtle Creek hotel in Dallas and the first thing you notice are the extraordinary flowers in the middle of the lobby. They do not look like they came from the nursery; they look like they came from the jungle. Order a fruit plate at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles and it might contain something unexpected–passion fruit, heirloom figs, or slices of kumquat. Westin Hotels sport everywhere a signature fresh memorable fragrance called white tea. It is the uncommon sense of senses displayed on steroids!

The Hyatt at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale blends the aroma of mesquite wood burning in the giant fireplace with romantic candle lighting and the sounds of a guitar-piano-steel drum ensemble quietly playing near the lobby to craft an atmosphere as mystical as the Native American artifacts that adorn the walls. And, the Spa at Cap Juluca Resort in Anguilla, BWI not only puts fragrant plant material (like bougainvillea petals) in the bath before a massage, they blend the same scent into the oil used by the masseuse and put a sprig in the bottom of the guest’s locker so the special fragrance is “worn” by the guest after they leave the spa.

The 23 MPH principle is all about ramping up the five senses of the customer’s experience. You might miss noticing the speed limit 25 MPH sign, but who would miss a sign with an out-of-the-ordinary number? What do the required forms of your enterprise look like? What do customers hear in the background when they contact your call center? What messages are being sent by the color, font, tone, images, or language used on your website? What does your parking lot, lobby or waiting area telegraph about your attentiveness to your customer’s experience?

What can you do to follow the SPEED LIMIT 23 MPH Principle? Conduct a sense audit—what should your service experience smell like—sound like—feel like—look like—taste like if you wanted to excite your customers’ memory with an enchanting experience? Interview customers with you antennae up high for any preferences for sight-sound-smell-feel-taste. Examine your customer’s experience through the lens of organizations known for a sensory-driven experience—Disney, Ringling Bros., or Cirque du Soleil. Service is memory-making; make yours out of the ordinary.

Be sure to come back tomorrow because we’re going to the circus–The Circus Principle, that is!



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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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