Chip Bell

Give Customers a Service Souvenir

Circuses do it; spectator sports do it; and, any good family reunion will do it as well. You leave with a souvenir reminding you of that special experience. My attic is full of memorabilia from awesome experiences. There is the bobble...

Do Your Employees Adore Your Brand?

Shwetha loves HP! No, that’s not a carving on a school ground tree nor is it a Krylon spray painting on a water tower or overpass. Shwetha is a support tech operator for Hewlett Packard. And, her style, behavior and words...

Memorial Day Wish: Be a Service Warrier

Warrior lessons started as soon as I exited the Army combat helicopter that had flown me to a remote part of Viet Nam. I entered the only tent at the field command post for the infantry unit to which I had been assigned....

The Surprising Power of Customer Inclusion

In the early 1950’s Betty Crocker was on a roll. The company’s twenty-year successful run of Bisquick (“90 seconds from package to oven”) clearly positioned the company as the kitchen partner to homemakers eager to make meal preparation quick and easy. The...

Measuring an Easter Egg Hunt

A good friend once told me that using quantitative metrics to assess a qualitative experience was a bit like trying to drive a nail with a B flat. Now, there is nothing wrong with B flats. Mozart used them all the time...

Why My Website is Purple!

My love affair with service aesthetics started when working with a large aerospace company trying to win a humongous government contract to build a new fighter plane for the armed services. We were helping them learn from their customers the good, bad and...

Missing in Action: Customer Surprise

When I was ten years old, I did a very naughty thing on Easter. I secretly watched my parents hide the eggs. As my cousins and siblings rushed into our backyard on the hunt, I calmly went straight to all their hiding...

If Cracker Jack Ran Your Customer Experience

A large brokerage company added a twist to their toll-free telephone queue—“…punch 8 if you’d like to hear a duck quack!” Word of the playful feature spread and soon millions of people were weekly calling to hear the duck. The company had...

Make Service Memorable By Adding a Souvenir

Watching a skilled magician is an exercise in awe. Try as we might to see through the sleight of hand, we come away amazed. We know there is a rational explanation. But in our hearts we aren’t so sure. It leaves...

Free Prizes Create Priceless Memories

We checked into the ranger’s store to get our permit for a camp site. It was in the midst of a lush, forest...especially the primitive area where we prefer to pitch our tent and build a camp fire. As we were leaving...

The Loss of Customer Surprise

B.F. Skinner was the renowned Harvard professor who did research on motivation that you likely studied in psychology 101. His research focus was primarily on how various types of reinforcement impacted behavior. Like most scientist of his ilk, he did experiments on rats...

Make Customer Service Your Hobby

I have a new handyman. And, Mike is terrific. It all started with a simple chore—power washing a sidewalk and applying a concrete sealer. I had power washed it before but the sycamore trees nearby had stained the concrete so much...

What Chimps Can Teach Us About Customer Experience

All species of chimpanzees engage in the tradition of grooming. It is a social activity that lowers tension and builds bonds among group members. Mutual grooming involves picking through each others hair to remove insects, dirt and seeds. Some groups of...

Make Every Day a Respectful Disney Day

My business partner and I were conducting a customer service workshop for the amazing housekeeping staff of the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. They are called "Environmental Services" at the Center. The small group task we assigned each of...

Customer Forensics: “When,” not “Why”

Customers sometimes have a single encounter with an organization and then elect to go elsewhere. The customer's "I'll never go back" decision could be based on a complete mismatch between what the customer expected and what the organization provided. I once stayed...

The Service Climb from Good to Great

Several years ago I keynoted a conference held in Cardiff, England for the largest phone company in the U.K. The other keynoter was Rebecca Stephens, the first woman from the U.K. to climb Mount Everest. After our keynotes, we shared a...

Spicing Up The Service Experience

Holiday turkey is not the same without dressing! And, no chef, cook or wanna-be would make dressing without sage. It is a spice the typical cook uses for very few other dishes other than for dressing. Even if it takes yet...

The Fallacy of Service Shortcuts

January is the number one dieting month of the year! Those holiday parties and giant, pull-out-all-the stops meals can add unwanted pounds and unattractive inches. Who could pass up trying that casserole? As good as the eggnog and fruit cake were,...

Treating Old Customers Like a New Puppy

When kids plead their parents for a new puppy it generally comes with plans and promises to take great care of it. "I promise I will walk it, feed it, clean up after it, etc." Parents finally relent and the new puppy...

Decorating the Last Touch

Your mama told you: "A first impression is a lasting impression...and, you don't get a second chance to make a good first impression." For customers, that is especially true. Here is what is also true: "A last impression is a first memory...and,...

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