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BK Blog Post
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).
Imagine you are a cookie. Life begins as a ball of dough someone kneads and rolls flat. Patted into a circle you are placed on greasy cookie sheet and thrust into a hot oven. After a long wait in a dark oven, you are dragged out for cooling. But, then something happens special. Someone dashes colorful sprinkles on you, converting you into a cookie even a bashful diner could not resist.
Imagine you are a customer. Life begins as a need and expectation someone hears and registers recognition. You are placed on hold or in line and thrust into a state of unease. After a long wait in dark uncertainty, you are called up for service. But, then something special happens. Someone dashes a colorful experience on you, converting your memory into a bright story one could not resist.
My granddaughters tell me that sprinkles really surprise cookies. “They just think they are going to be cooked and eaten,” they tell me. When you are six years old there is live animation in just about everything. Perhaps they are right. “When someone sprinkles a cookie, it makes the cookie feel happy and special. After getting sprinkles, a cookie knows it is not going to be just a regular cookie.” Customers are a lot like my granddaughters view of a sprinkled cookie.
Service sprinkling involves a simple unexpected experience. And, like sprinkling cookies, it is best down with wild abandon and passion. There is nothing precise, calculated or pristine about how service sprinkles are applied. We just rare back and let it go. It is generous, fun, personalized, and respectful. It is a warm smile, a sincere compliment, an extra helping, a tiny gift, astonishing patience and over-the-top courtesy. And, like the cookie, it elevates the moment from conventional to something truly special.