Are Your Customers Telling Stories?

Are Your Customers Telling Stories?

Stripes is one of my favorite movies. Starring Saturday Night Live comedians Bill Murray and John Candy, the 1981 hit movie features a scene in which new Army recruits (including Murray and Candy) are in a “get-acquainted” circle with their basic training platoon...
The Egalitarian Delight-Maker

The Egalitarian Delight-Maker

When famed anthropologist Margaret Mead first visited Samoa in the South Pacific, it led her to write in the preface of her book Coming of Age in Samoa, “Courtesy, modesty, good manners, conformity to definite ethical standards are universal… It is instructive...
Value-Unique Trumps Value-Added

Value-Unique Trumps Value-Added

Value-added literally means taking what the customer expects and adding more.  As new value is added, up also go the customer expectations setting up a path to a dead-end street.  At some point, the additions exceed what is cost-effective.  The solution: innovative...
If Cracker Jack’s Ran Your Customer Service

If Cracker Jack’s Ran Your Customer Service

A large brokerage company added a twist to their toll-free telephone cue—“…punch 6 if you’d like to hear a duck quack!” Word of the playful feature spread and soon millions of people were weekly calling to hear the duck. The company had to remove the unique...
Serving through the Lens of a Mentor

Serving through the Lens of a Mentor

Kitchen floors in the 1950’s and ‘60’s were largely linoleum. I remembered getting chored with cleaning those floors with a harsh abrasive like Ajax or Comet and then waxing them. My scrubbing days ended, however, when Armstrong came out with the innovative Solarian...