Several years ago we spent a part of the winter holiday on the beach in North Florida with our family.  It was too cold for the beach one day so we took our granddaughter, Kaylee (then three years old), to Saint Augustine.  As we entered the downtown area, she spotted the colorful carousel you see pictured here.  It was her first time to see such a site.

As we later toured the ancient city, she could not wipe the big grin off her face after enjoying the elegantly decorated horses going up and down, the happy music of a calliope, the colorful lights, and the squeals of the kids around her. For the remainder of the day, she kept wanting to go back and ride the “big horsies!”

Innovative service is like a carousel. Customers enjoy service that is animated—as alive as the big horses felt to Kaylee. It means finding ways to ramp up the joy in the customer’s experience. When my business partner and I exited the Hertz bus to get our rental car in the middle of the winter near the Hartford airport, we commented on the extreme cold. The Hertz driver grinned and teased, “Now, you guys know that in Hartford we do weather as entertainment!” It warmed our spirits even if our hands stayed cold.

Customers enjoy service that is a sensory cornucopia, not plain vanilla. The Hotel Monaco takes your eyes-ears-nose on an amazing adventure when you stay at one of their properties. Bathrobes are zebra or leopard print, not boring white. They can arrange for a goldfish to stay with you in your room. The special soap, fluffy socks, always-a-surprise item left on your pillow at turn-down (not the proverbial lackluster chocolate) and colorful room décor all send a unforgettable message that this is not your father’s hotel!

Innovative service changes the service game from ordinary and functional to exciting and adventuresome. It not only elevates the spirit of customers; it uplifts the morale of those in charge of service delivery. Put a halt to ho-hum service and put a carousel in your customers’ experiences. It will provide your customers not only with a great story to share, but a strong desire to “go back and ride the big horsies.”

Photo of “J&S Carousel” courtesy of