The Customer as Valentine: Treat Customers Like Snowflakes

SnowflakeOne of the first things you learn about snowflakes in elementary school is they are all beautiful and all unique—no two alike. And, even though they appear white in color they are made of clear ice. It is a powerful metaphor for how we should treat customers. Monogrammed service should be delivered to monogrammed people.

Today’s customers want it “my way.” Customers in the past were okay with generic, one size fits all, generalized everything. Not any more. Customers want more than brand specific, they want “Me specific!” They want personalized everything. Amazon and Netflix monitor our buying patterns to suggest sell only what fits what customers like. We abhor junk mail and spam specifically because they fail the monogram test. Business to business customers expect vendors to know their unique requirements and to only present solutions that scratch the customer’s exclusive itch.

How did “customerization” become an expected part of the DNA of service? Specialists are more equipped and accustomed to tailor making our experience. Even manufacturers can put our predilections in the production concoction to yield outcomes and outputs just like we prefer. We get used to the made-to-order feature of service. We like hotels that remember we like a hard pillow, bartenders that recall our special drink, and hair stylists that recollect we prefer they go easy on the spray. And, we avoid those who cannot.

The customer’s demand for monogrammed service presents a snowflake opportunity. You can surprise customers by attending to the little things. It is the nurse remembering to get me a cup of hazelnut coffee right after taking my blood for my physical exam since designer coffee was on my “not after midnight” fasting list. And, it is the outfitter shop dropping a new Hare’s Ear fly in the mail to me…on the house…since he was out of them when I stopped by there to shop with a strong hankering to go fly fishing for trout.

And, what about those customers who are not so nice? The Valentine’s strategy suggests remembering the snowflake principle. All customers are clear on the inside, even if their behavior is sometimes cloudy and opaque. Give them respect and serve the really pure person inside that just might be eager to come out and play!

2 Responses

  1. Great article! “The customer’s demand for monogrammed service presents a snowflake opportunity” is a great takeaway message as well as all customers are snowflakes, all are individually different!!

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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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