Star Spangled Service

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 3.22.02 PMWalk into the lobby of a Westin Hotel and your nose knows the scent suddenly shifts from the “smell of the street” to a signature fragrance called “White Tea.” Reach the checkout counter of Dallas garden center Nicholson-Hardie and you can pet a big calico cat sprawled across the counter complete with business card with the title “House Cat.” Stroll around a Bass Pro Shop and take in the sporting goods displays amplified by such visual desserts as a giant fish tank and museum quality wildlife dioramas. An upscale jewelry shop has employees wear formal evening attire. An antique store plays turn-of-the-century music and employees dress in antique clothes.

What’s happening in these pictures? Enterprises magnifying the power of the five senses to augment their customer’s service experiences. When realtors suggest baking an apple pie before holding an open house, when cookie shops pipe their kitchen aroma onto the sidewalk, and when upscale retail stores put a pianist at a baby grand on the sales floor, they all are declaring the common sense of uncommon senses.

Take a close look at the “touch me” features of your unit or organization? Customers enjoy a tactile connection. What does your enterprise sound like? What do customers hear in the background when they call? Is your parking lot interesting? What about the bathrooms? Is it squeaky clean with a fresh smell and flowers changed every day? What does the look of your required paperwork communicate about your brand?

What does your website signal to customer about what matters most to you? I can log on the website of my favorite adult beverage, click on the sound button for “on the rocks,” and actually hear someone pouring my Jack Daniels!! If your website was subjected to a “Senses Audit,” what would be the evaluation? Does your unit entrance “welcome” in an obvious and positive way? Have a friend “shop” your unit or facility and count smiles.   If you turned your customers’ five senses loose to closely inspect your service experience, what would they come back and recommend?

Fourth of July is the celebration of national independence—a holiday for freedom. We celebrate it with bands, parades, fire works, and patriotic songs. If John Phillip Sousa was setting your customer service to music, what would it sound like. If your service was a float in a parade, what would be its theme. Customers today do not tell, tweet or Facebook about good service; only about uniquely surprising service. Make your customer experiences star spangled.



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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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