Serving “Eagles”


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An eagle got the neighbors talking. My backyard fronts a large lake with a cove wrapping around each side of the lot. Peering out the side window early one morning, we spotted a giant American eagle struggling to get out of the shallow water in the cove and up onto the nearby sea wall. Our first reaction was the eagle was injured.

A call to the neighbors on the other side quickly produced a cheering section along the bank. It turned out the eagle was challenged with a very large fish it had caught but was not willing to abandon. But, the eagle seemed bolstered by the encouragement of the humans nearby and with great effort managed to get the fish to the bank. Shifting his talons for an easier grip, it proudly flew across the lake, barely clearing the surface of the water.

Customers today are struggling to lift too large a burden—challenging economics, depressing world news, pessimistic politicians, and the threat of losing a job or not finding one. When they turn to you for service, they are also seeking encouragement. And, they want real service—a sincere smile, a kind hand, extra patience, empathy, and above all, animated optimism. They come to you for help, but they also need hope. They come to you for value, but they also need joy.

Like the eagle, customers are often too proud to ask or too anxious to reciprocate. Remember, true service is by definition generous–not tit for tat. Give your customers great service, not because that is what you do, but because that is who you are! What can you do to help your customers soar again like a “proud eagle”?

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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