Make Customer Service Your Hobby


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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 it need a pro with an industrial strength power washer. Mike came highly recommended.

Mike showed up on time, had a very cheerful attitude, gave me a reasonable price, and offered to do the decks nearby at no extra charge. Watching him work communicated a lot about his disposition toward labor. He looked like he was playing golf or baking a cake or building his daughter a playhouse. It was clearly a labor of love not a laborious chore.

When he finished he knocked on the door. I handed him a check. “Thank you, sir,” he said. “But, before I take your money, I would like to make sure you are happy with my work.” I assured him that I was. And, I was curious about his attitude. “What makes you so noticeably happy doing this type of work?” I asked. I got a quick lesson in purposeful work.

“This is not my job,” he explained, “this is more like my hobby.”
Before I could speak, he continued. “My brother is in rehab. His painful stretches and aching exercises are a job. My nephew has cancer. His really bad nausea after chemo is a job. I decided I was a lucky man to be healthy getting to earn a living on my own terms. The money you give me pays my rent; but getting to do this work is my best payment.”

What if you power-served your customers like Mike power washes concrete? Make serving others an end in itself not just a means to a paycheck.

Chip Bell
Chip R. Bell is the founder of the Chip Bell Group ( and a renowned keynote speaker and customer loyalty consultant. Dr. Bell has authored several best-selling books including The 9 1/2 Principles of Innovative Service and, with John Patterson, Take Their Breath Away. His newest book, Sprinkles: Creating Awesome Experiences Through Innovative Service, will be released in February.


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