SPRINKLES-Has Your Customer Experience Been Sanitized?

I was waiting for an appointment with my insurance agent. In the corner of the reception area was a collection of toys. A woman was also in the reception area and her two young boys were giggling over the toys. It was not loud; it was actually refreshingly comical. As I was finally ushered back to my agent’s office, the receptionist commented, “That’s why our ceiling have acoustical tile…to absorb noise like those kids.”

Her prophylactic comment gave me pause. Customers are lovers of sensory stimulation. Most prefer their senses to get a kaleidoscope experience, not a telescope one. Gloomy, dreary, and quiet might be great feature for a funeral home, but not for an experience that should be remembered with a smile. Yet, we inadvertently or absentmindedly sanitize, sterilize and containerize the experience. Boring is never neutral; today it is negative.

Here is the world through the kaleidoscope perspective. Music is never far away. Frontline employees are costumed—maybe just a colorful pen or flower is all that is needed to change business casual into business charming. There is an abundant use of color. Animals can sometimes have a place. Typical offerings are punctuated periodically with something unique or clever.

Jack Daniels Barbeque Cookbook added a recipe for country-fried beaver and roasted rabbit in the middle of otherwise normal fare. At Betty’s Grocery in Helen, GA you can buy marbles by the cup and watch bees making honey through a viewing glass. Take the gloves off your customers’ experiences and go a little wild! You will be the talk of the town and the toast of your customers.

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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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