Chip Bell

Who Sized Your Customer Hat?

There is no one on the planet smarter than an eager beaver just back from a best practices conference. When my dad encountered such a person he would quietly tell my mother, "If I ever get that smart, I want you to slap...

Service Leadership in a Floodlight

The new billboard proclaimed the El Casa de Adjetivo on 2nd Street as having the best Mexican food in the area. We had driven by this restaurant many times but never given it a try. We are major fans of great Mexican...

Could You Offer a Service Experience Guarantee?

Lifetime warranties are a common feature in the product world. These covenants essentially say "we guarantee that the object you bought will work as long as you own it. If the product ever fails, we promise to replace it or repair it...

“Your Service Sucks!”

Some of us are still reeling from the political season of hyperbole. For months we listened to the scream of the media and learned, according to some pundit, that every candidate was a saint, insane or Satan. Most people dulled the drone...

The Service Side of Loss Leader

Loss leaders are those marked-down-below-wholesale-cost items designed to lead you into the store. For example, if milk is normally $4 a half-gallon and you see it advertised for two dollars, you are more apt to go to that store if you need milk....

Customer-Centric Crisis Management

On January 28, 1986, the world watched in horror as the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of all of its seven crew members. Part of the massive media coverage was the fact that Christa...

Who Are Your Service Guardian Angels?

It was a tragedy of errors! My cousin's daughter underwent major surgery for a rare and aggressive stomach cancer. Unable to get all the bad stuff, she was sent half way across the country to be admitted to the world famous MD...

Service with a Back-Up Plan

I love Faconnable! Not only do I enjoy their high quality apparel, I value their over-the-top customer service. And, one of my most recent discoveries is their back-up plan built into the service experience. I bought a navy blazer at the Faconnable...

Naughty or Nice? Your Customer’s Checklist

Santa Claus is in your neighborhood; just like your customers! And, according to the holiday song, Santa is making a list and checking it twice to find out who's been naughty or nice. Just like your customers! Let's examine the naughty...

Service and the Art of Grilling

Holidays are excellent times to sharpen your grilling skills. I am an avid steak griller. When entertaining guests, it is important to begin the grilling process by gathering a bit of steak intelligence. From rare to well done, guests differ in...

Where Are Your Service Exits?

Hide and go seek is a game every child knows. When I was growing up on a large farm we took that game to a whole new level. Not only was the space for hiding extensive the choices for hiding places were...

Serving with Pride

Today is the day we cerebrate our veterans. I am a veteran and served as an infantry unit commander in combat with the elite 82nd Airborne. Every single time someone tells me, "Thank you for your service," I swell with pride. ...

The Fall of Summer

Fall leaves are a lot like customers. They typically don't depart simply due to the lure of a competitor like gravity invites a leaf to the ground. They are pushed out by the negative force of poor service or indifferent service. All my...

Are Stupid Rules Hiding In Your Organization?

When Alexander II was the Czar of what is now Russia in the mid 1800's, he looked out of his palace window and observed a soldier guarding an area of the palace lawn. The area under surveillance seemed to be little more than...

Great Service is Summer Camp

We are just beyond the season of summer camp! My eight year old granddaughter, Kaylee, went to her first overnight camp in July...for two weeks and in another state! Before she went, if she talked with her two sisters about summer camp,...

You Are Not an Island

It all started with a missing sub-woofer speaker cord. I had purchased a set of high end stereo speakers which the new receiver promptly blew. The electronics store was an hour from my home. But, I drove the distance to take...

The Storm of Customer Discontent

Sitting by the window on the top floor of a high-rise Dallas hotel provides an amazing panoramic view. Weather becomes up close and personal. I watched a major rain storm crawl across the distant plains to deliver a hard punch to...

Taming a Service Volcano

Working in Nicaragua I was surprised to see active volcanoes with large craters and smoke seething from their peaks. Volcanoes usually offer a warning before "blowing their tops." Sometimes it is added smoke bellowing into the skyline; sometimes it is a series...

The Power of Customer Forensics

Columbo was a wildly popular television series in the 1970s. Peter Falk portrayed Lieutenant Columbo, a seemingly uninformed and disorganized investigator attempting to unravel a crime. Most episodes started by showing the culprit committing the crime. The entertainment of the program...

Panning for Service Gold

A fun activity for my grandchildren when they visit my North Georgia weekend home is panning for gold. The sand comes from a sandy river bank near a sight that was a part of the gold rush in the early 1800's. Panning...

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