Serving with Pride


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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. I feel honored to have had the privilege of serving my country. Organizations also use the word “pride” a lot…”Proud sponsor of…” or “manufactured with pride.” But, what makes customers feel proud.

Pride can be an echo. When a company takes a noble stand, we can vicariously take the same stand and share their sense of pride. Every time I board a Delta flight and see their strong allegiance to raising money for breast cancer, I feel proud. When a company publicly acknowledges an error, we can feel proud for their assertive alignment with their core values. When Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, apologized for Apple’s mistake in abandoning Google maps on my Iphone5, I felt proud of their boldness.

Pride comes strongest when the ambassadors of a company (employees) show strong pride in their work and the customers for whom their work is intended. Employee pride can be a guide-on for the entire company…a flag that fronts their culture. It telegraphs a passion for quality and a zeal for excellence. It envelopes customers into an elevated position of worth. Pride is an expression of identity. And, when great works from employees shine on the customers they serve, it invites those customers to share in the pride.

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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