Chip Bell

How to Deliver Ingenious Customer Service

Here is your service quiz! You own a fine dining restaurant in, let’s say New Orleans. You have a wonderful dessert menu customers rave about. But, you notice that many patrons only order coffee since they are...

Is Your Customer Intelligence a Crystal Ball or Just a Rear View Mirror?

“How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm After they've seen Paree' How ya gonna keep 'em away from Broadway Jazzin around and paintin' the town.” This...

You Can’t Have Great Service and a Low Price. Or Can You?

Some smart person somewhere sometime (probably a priest) suggested confession was good for the soul. So, I will swath my soul and admit out loud I have been an ardent enemy of price as a competitive differentiator. In my own defense I...

Are You Seeing Customer’s Lightning or Just Hearing Their Thunder?

It was a stormy night and our three granddaughters were awakened by loud, shake-the-rafters thunder. They quickly descended the stairs to our bedroom, eager to sleep with us. Their arrival triggered a discussion about the difference between thunder and lightning, including how...

Customerization: Making Service Their Way

“It’s all about you!” the breathtaking Korean Air ad sings to us on television. And, we recall the Burger King’s successful “Have it your way” promotion. Personalization, or as Management guru Tom Peters called it, “customerization,’ is the new feature of successful...

Using Fun as a Competitive Advantage

“Win a FREE ride in a police car just by shoplifting from this store. Lucky winners can also get their name in the newspaper for all their family and friends to see. Won’t mom be so proud.” ...

Cash Register Versus Customer

Outside the little town of Talcott, WV, is a large statue of John Henry. John was the steel-driving man who won a contest pitted against a steam-powered drill and then died from the stress...

Using Vujà Dé to Juice Up Service

The late George Carlin was credited with coining the phrase “vujà dé.” It was his comedic flip of the familiar “déjà vu”—the feeling of “I’ve been here before.” Carlin’s made-up phrase meant, “see things through completely new...

Extrapolation: The Mother Load of Service Innovation

Archeologists excavating the pyramids discovered an unexpected treasure--wheat seeds that dated back to around 2,500 BC. As in the tradition of antiquity, the seeds were there for the dead Pharaoh to eat if he got hungry. The...

The Power of Service Scenography

Let’s try a fun exercise based on a real situation. You look for all the places a more aesthetically congruent service experience could have been created. I had lunch at a well-known seafood restaurant chain. The seafood...

Make it Real!

April 30 We all live our lives on promises. From the time a child can grasp the concept of “cross my heart and hope to die,” there is a forever realization that anxiety can be only reduced through...

The Animation of Customer Experience

Chuck Jones was the creator and cartoonist for many famous characters—Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Daffy Duck, Pepe Le Pew and Porky Pig. When my co-author, the late Oren Harari and I were writing Beep...

The Sprinkles Approach to Innovating Service

I am enjoying a love affair with sprinkles!! Not only is it the title of my newest book, it has opened up a fresh and vibrant world of novel ways to turn good service into really special...

Partnering for Innovative Service

Ask a dozen people the animal in Africa that is the most efficient hunter. The most popular answer would likely be some member of the cat family. But, the stats on cats are flat—leopards only 10%, lions working alone 17%; and, as...

Dilating Innovative Service: Three Ways to Delight Customers

Eye doctors use dilation drops to get the big black dot (pupil) in the center of the eye to open up so the doctor can more easily examine the back of the eye. It is a completely different procedure than dissection since the...

Too Early for Jazz

Disclaimer: I love John Coltrane, Billie Holliday, and Count Basie. Great jazz ranks up there with Einstein’s theory of relativity and Newton’s gravity in terms of insightful genius. Smooth jazz with a glass of wine and a roaring fire can be...

Value-Unique Trumps Value-Added

Value-added literally means taking what the customer expects and adding more. As new value is added in an attempt to "exceed customer expectations", up also go those expectations, setting up a potential route to an economic dead-end street. At some point, the...

Innovative Wait Management

Customer wait has two sides...the actual passage of time and the perception of the passage of time. Sometimes, we are okay with allowing the service provider to play with our perceptions like a theme park entertaining us while we wait or shaping our...

Why Cirque du Soleil is Your New Challenge

A few years back it was popular to say that the number one competitor of all organizations seeking to create a great customer experience was Disney! And, their friendliness and dedication to “happy like a kid” joy still makes most banks, restaurants, hotels...

Is Your Customer Service Baldheaded?

She was the COO of a large company and this was the leadership conference for the company. I was there as a keynote speaker and her “message to the troops” came right before my closing remarks. She had been going through chemotherapy for...

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