Is Your Service Legendary?

Recessed in the side wall of the sanctuary of my 200+ year old Methodist church is a glass display lined in royal blue velvet.  During the worship service the contents of the display are bathed in a soft spot light and reflect the colors of the nearby stained glass windows.  The object on display in the case is a solid silver pitcher once used in Holy Communion.  But, the real emotional affinity for the elegant piece is its unique history.

When Major General William Sherman engaged in his Atlanta to Savannah “March to the Sea” during the civil war, his goal was to rob the South of both its potential and psychology to wage war against the Union.  When his troops came through the town where the church is located, the ladies of the church took the silver pitcher and buried it nearby.  It became a poignant story of their devotion to their faith and the important symbol of their worship.  And, the memory of their commitment has been passed down through many generations!

When customers deal with your organization, they end up with two outcomes—they get their need met (or not) and they get an experience.  The degree their experience remains in their mind as a memory depends on how good or how bad it is.  The more compelling the memory, the more it becomes one they want to pass on to others.  The memories of service that made a major difference, or added significant value, or  delivered with an unexpected surprise become the stuff of folklore and legend.  What can you do to deliver legendary service to your customers?


About Chip&John

Chip R. Bell and John R. Patterson are customer loyalty consultants and the authors of several best-selling books. Their newest book is "Wired and Dangerous: How Your Customers Have Changed and What to do About it."
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