The Friday Purple Goldfish Sessions


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I had the opportunity to connect last month with a friend from Twitter named Alison Smith. I was over in Amsterdam presenting at CEX in the City.



CEX in the City is a tremendous one-day event put on by Cool Experience and Marae Business Services. Alison came to the event and I also had a chance to visit her the next day at SCC Business Systems. Here’s part of my e-mail dialogue with Alison:

logosccbizzWe are a small ICT service provider with 8 employees.  Our foray into making our customer service our Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is in its formative stages.  As you are probably aware, good service in The Netherlands is a rare event.  We came to the conclusion that it would be relatively easy to stand out in our world by improving our customer service and upping our communication techniques.  Technicians aren’t generally renowned for their sparkling communication skills and we strive to be different in that respect.  Inspired by your excellent book, the concept of a Purple Goldfish is now well known and talked about in our enthusiastic, small team and the road to exceeding expectations is now a journey in progress. 

The Friday Sessions

We have yet to discover a way of making Lagniappe a standard procedure within the company, but every week we have a half-hour focus group (Friday breakfast) where we discuss;  

1) Where we have experienced a Purple Goldfish in our work or private lives in the previous week 

2) Where we have noted poor service and how we felt about that 

3) Where we feel we went beyond expectations for one of our customers and how that went down   

4) We ask if anyone has thought of a standard bit of G.L.U.E. (giving little unexpected extras) that we can make a rule? 

5) I give a challenge for the week where I ask my colleagues to try a certain new approach  to, say, answering the phone, or asking a certain standard question after servicing a client.  

Here’s a picture from The Friday Session breakfast I attended. I was also joined by Tinky Bart of Knowledgebase:


Takeaway: Finding your purple goldfish is a process. I like how SCC has set this up as a continuous journey. The weekly meeting keeps things top of mind. To take a quote from Gregg Lederman of Brand Integrity about engaging employees, “It’s 1% about training and 99% about reminding.”

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Here’s a video from Brand Integrity on engagement. I like how they break the process into three steps: 1) Defining, 2) Reminding and 3) Quantifying:

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stan Phelps
Stan Phelps is the Chief Measurement Officer at 9 INCH marketing. 9 INCH helps organizations develop custom solutions around both customer and employee experience. Stan believes the 'longest and hardest nine inches' in marketing is the distance between the brain and the heart of your customer. He is the author of Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish and Golden Goldfish.


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