Now, don’t get me wrong.  I like grape jelly.  And, you always get it with your toast or biscuit when you order breakfast at a restaurant…from the five-star gourmet type to the “what’s a star” truck stop.  Can you remember the last time you had grape jelly at a restaurant?  Probably not.  You probably don’t recall the salt and pepper either.  And, therein lies the service challenge.

There is nothing really bad about a customer experience that is like grape jelly.  It is functional, meets expectations, ordinary, okey-dokey kind of service.  It gets the job done and fulfills a basic customer expectation.  But, just like grape jelly in a restaurant, it’s not something customers would brag about or even mention.  In fact, if someone asked you specifically about your grape jelly breakfast or your grape jelly service, you would likely remember very little about.

So, what if your service was more like strawberry-rhubarb jelly or prickly pear jelly.

Look for ways to make your service unique, novel, unusual and out-of-the-ordinary.   What if the receipt was a sparkly color?  What if the greeter was in costume much like the bank that dressed their lobby security guard like a Wild West sheriff?  What if all the checkout clerks wore a funny hat everyday, not just on Halloween?  What if the homepage of your website had a treasure hunt or contest or game?  What if the lobby counters in the hotel or bank had fun finger foods—like uniquely flavored jellybeans?  What if you decorated the bathrooms with conversation-starting artwork?  What if every customer left with a small souvenir?  The options are as varied as the flavors of jellies?

How can you make your service experience remarkable…one your customers remark to others about?  What are ways you can ramp up the emotional connection through adding fun, sensory stimulation, delight and joy!  Oh, and please pass me the Grand Marnier Marmalade!!