We have a volunteer plant. It stands tall, beautiful, and mysterious. It is a volunteer—a plant that grew up spontaneously without our doing anything. It likely came from something planted years ago by the previous owner of the property. We refer to it as our wild plant. What if service delivery was like a volunteer plant?
Customers love volunteer service—something that occurs without regard to pattern, agenda, or marketing plan. Like getting an unexpected birthday card from some friend you haven’t heard from in years, volunteer service makes customers feel like they are a part of an adventure or some whimsical show. It is the customer service version of a flash mob performance.
Volunteer service breaks the set, upsets the status quo, and turns humdrum into awe. It engages the heart, envelopes the spirt, and transforms plainness into kaleidoscope, conventional into sprinkles. It can come in the form of an experience highly “customerized”—that is, made just for you, not just customized or made for someone like you.
It might include something mysterious, inventive, or inclusive. It could feel to customers like a puzzle, a celebration, or an improvisation play. It might enchant, enlighten, or educate. But whatever its form, it should speak the language of bold and sing the song of extemporaneous. It is the essence of amazement.
Our wild plant could care less about the nearby “pretty daises all in a row.” Volunteer service signals you are daringly innovative and willing to reach for a brighter future and not be shoehorned by your proper past or your practical present. So, shoot for the service moon. As the late Norman Vincent Peale wrote, “Even if you miss, you will end up among the stars.”