How many times at work have you heard lines like: “Make you an offer you can’t refuse” (from The Godfather), “Show me the money,” (from Jerry McGuire), “If you build it they will come,” (from Field of Dreams) or “Houston, we have a problem,” (from Apollo 13). You can think of many more.

Watching television was often the impetus for backyard play when we were kids. Watch a baseball game and you were looking for your bat and glove by the end of the ninth inning. If it was cowboys and Indians on the tube, we donned bows and arrows or cap pistols as we headed out back to mimic what we had watched. As adults, we still do. Movies and TV influence our work life.

What movie might depict the essence of service to your customers? When I asked a few classes of participants that same question about service providers that gave them okay, average, or nothing special service, I got answers ranging from Revenge of the Nerds to Transformers. One group picked The Longest Day. One particularly “down on service providers” group humorously picked Dirty Rotten Scoundrels!

But, when I asked about service providers that delivered innovative service, I got answers like It’s a Wonderful Life, Chariots of Fire, The Right Stuff, Places in the Heart and Breathless. It made me suspect The Color of Money might also come with innovative service providers. One thing is for sure. In today’s tough economic times, if customers do not get a consistently great experience they will be Gone with the Wind! Sorry about that!