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Innovative Service: Making Your Mark

Chip Bell Posted by Chip Bell.

Chip R. Bell is a senior partner with the Chip Bell Group and manages the office near Atlanta. He is the author of nineteen books, including Managers as Mentors (coauthored with Marshall Goldsmith) and Wired and Dangerous (co-authored with John Patterson).


Innovative Service:  Making Your Mark

My nephew came home after his first semester at college sporting a brand new tattoo on his ankle—the Greek letters of his new fraternity! He was very proud of it and eager to show it off. Despite the wintry conditions of the Christmas holidays, he refused to wear socks. His parents were less than amused.

We teased him with the question—“How would you feel today if that tattoo said VBS?” “VBS?” he asked with a puzzled look. “Yes, you were crazy about Vacation Bible School ten years ago?!”

“Oops!” he responded rather pensively, “Guess I better always really, really like Sigma Chi.”

Tattoos come in many forms—some are works of art; some are body graffiti. Some are dark and scary; some are colorful and happy. However, unless you have the money of an Angelina Jolie, tattoos may fade a bit, but they are essentially permanent.

Service is a lot like a tattoo. Once you make an emotional mark on your customers, they tend to remember it a long time. And, their experiences can be as varied as tattoos. As customers, we don’t remember the okay, pretty good, nothing-to-write-home-about service experiences. But, the ones you create that are unique, special and unexpected can engrave on your customers’ memories a picture they are eager to show off. If your service were a tattoo, would your customers forget their socks in their eagerness to share it with others?

Photo Credit: Mbragion

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