Notice: Undefined offset: 0 in /var/www/webfiles/ on line 211 Notice: Trying to get property of non-object in /var/www/webfiles/ on line 211

The Circus Principle

6104981897_42da80abf8_zToday is October 8th. National Customer Service Week started on Monday and has run through the week. However, we started the ‘celebration tips countdown’ a full week before. With a hat-tip to former Tonight Show host, Dave Letterman, we have been offering you a way celebrate the week…and, all yearlong! Here is Tip #2. Tomorrow, we will bring you our final tip as we end this special week!

Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus came to my small rural town when I was a boy. We knew they were coming long before the big top was raised in a field near downtown and we all felt the spirit of the circus long after the tent came down. Great service has a sampler before the main event; a souvenir after the main event. It can make a big difference in the memory you create for your customers.

Before the circus arrived there were signs on telephone poles and in the windows of all the merchants. There were articles about wild animals we were going to see in the local newspapers. Teachers shifted their elementary school curricula to center on stories and lessons related to the circus. Before the circus opened there was a parade of caged wild animals down Main Street. By show time every business and school was closed so everyone could go to the circus. It was like a great overture that set the stage for a symphony; a magnificent trailer that readies patrons for the movie.

But, the excitement did not end when the last row of elephants left with trunks attached to tails. We all got a souvenir and played “circus” on the playground for weeks afterward. Like the show bill we collect or the CD we buy at the end of a Broadway play, What would a sampler and souvenir look like in your organization? There is no better time to think about the Circus principle than National Customer Service Week!

Photo credit: Bob n’ Renee

Add Your Response


Never miss a post! Sign up to have future posts delivered to your inbox:


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.


More on Chip