I am excited to help celebrate the first anniversary of Chip R. Bell’s book The 9 ½ Principles of Innovative Service. It is a great book that will inspire you to create better service experiences in all you do. To read a sample chapter click here.
The following is a guest post from Chip.
The night before my annual physical examination I received a text from my physician reminding me that the morning exam would be started with a blood test. “Remember, no food after midnight and only water or black, unflavored coffee in the morning.” I am a big coffee fan!
As soon as the nurse took two vials of blood the next morning, she escorted me to the examining room for me to don the high fashion hospital gown we all enjoy wearing. As soon as I was in my most pitiful stance sitting on the examining table waiting for the doctor to start the exam she stepped into the room with a large cup of coffee. “I believe you like your coffee black,” she said with a smile on a face…”and hazelnut, right?” She had gone to the Keurig coffee machine in their break area. Nurse Melody became Saint Melody. I felt like a respected member of their family!
The big boy principle is all about delivering unexpected respect to customers. When I was a kid, I used to accompany my grandfather to town in his pickup truck to buy a few bags of feed for his cows. We talked about “stuff” like two old friends, not like an elder speaking to a kid. And, he always introduced me to the people he countered as Mr. Chip. If the sales person at the feed store asked him how many bags he wanted loaded, he would point toward me and declare, “Mr. Chip can tell you.” As a 10 year old, I felt very grown up. It is that same type of declaration and affirmation that customers enjoy.
What can you do to apply the BIG BOY EVENT Principle? Use “sir” and “ma’am” to people you do not normally address in that manner. Thank someone who never gets expressions of gratitude—the janitor in the bathroom, the cashier in the checkout line, the invisible and taken-for-granted maintenance people. Listen to customers as if you were at a raffle, hoping to hear you have the winning number. Be a proactive guardian of your customers’ dignity. Always do what you say you will do. Respectful service entails an extra helping of help, an enduring act of benevolence and a sincere interest in making a difference in the welfare of those around you.
A renowned, highly sought-after keynote speaker, Chip is the author of 20 books, including Wired and Dangerous (co-authored with John Patterson), Take Their Breath Away (also with John Patterson) and Managing Knock Your Socks Off Service (with Ron Zemke). He is founder and senior partner with the Chip Bell Group and serves as a consultant, trainer and speaker to many of the most innovative brands in the world, many of them Fortune 500 companies. Chip was a highly decorated infantry unit commander in Vietnam with the elite 82nd Airborne. He has appeared live on CNBC, CNN, Fox Business Network, NPR and ABC. His work has been featured in Fortune, Business Week, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine and Fast Company.