National Customer Service Week is October 7-11, 2013. It is a week we spotlight the power and prosperity found in delivering an innovative customer experience. In the days leading up to Customer Service Week we will offer a key principle you can use to elevate the delight in your customers’ experience. We continue today with The Big Boy Event Principle.

The night before my annual physical examination I received a text from my physician reminding me that the morning exam would be started with a blood test. “Remember, no food after midnight and only water or black, unflavored coffee in the morning.” I am a big coffee fan!

As soon as the nurse took two vials of blood the next morning, she escorted me to the examining room for me to don the high fashion hospital gown we all enjoy wearing. As soon as I was in my most pitiful stance sitting on the examining table waiting for the doctor to start the exam she stepped into the room with a large cup of coffee. “I believe you like your coffee black,” she said with a smile on a face…”and hazelnut, right?” She had gone to the Keurig coffee machine in their break area. Nurse Melody became Saint Melody. I felt like a respected member of their family!

The big boy principle is all about delivering unexpected respect to customers. When I was a kid, I used to accompany my grandfather to town in his pickup truck to buy a few bags of feed for his cows. We talked about “stuff” like two old friends, not like an elder speaking to a kid. And, he always introduced me to the people he countered as Mr. Chip. If the sales person at the feed store asked him how many bags he wanted loaded, he would point toward me and declare, “Mr. Chip can tell you.” As a 10 year old, I felt very grown up. It is that same type of declaration and affirmation that customers enjoy.

What can you do to apply the BIG BOY EVENT Principle? Use “sir” and “ma’am” to people you do not normally address in that manner. Thank someone who never gets expressions of gratitude—the janitor in the bathroom, the cashier in the checkout line, the invisible and taken-for-granted maintenance people. Listen to customers as if you were at a raffle, hoping to hear you have the winning number. Be a proactive guardian of your customers’ dignity. Always do what you say you will do. Respectful service entails an extra helping of help, an enduring act of benevolence and a sincere interest in making a difference in the welfare of those around you.

Tune in tomorrow for the Purpling Principle!