I got an envelop in the mail a couple of days ago. Its address was something like "Legendary Philosopher Extraordinaire Tom Morris" - and that, of course, got my attention. I tore it open and out fell a postcard picture of a new book, a write-up on the book, some other things, and a little jar of candy sprinkles in many colors. "What's this?" was followed by a big smile.
The package was from my old friend, the global customer service expert, Chip Bell. Chip was one of the first people to proclaim that what we need for what we do is not customer satisfaction but something much stronger - Customer Love. We need to create a product or service so great that our clients or customers become raving fans and walking ads for us, telling their friends and colleagues about us with enthusiasm. Chip himself walks the talk.
The new book, Sprinkles: Creating Awesome Experiences Through Innovative Service, is due out in February, but it's already available for pre-order on Amazon. It's apparently all about providing amazing experiences to people through thoughtful and creative service. And, knowing Chip, it will be full of great stories, insightful guidance, and real wisdom.
I was sitting next to a well know architect on a plane ten years ago, and we must have talked for an hour. He told me that the luxury condo buildings he designs can't just be about beauty and convenience any more. They have to be about "Wow" experiences. From the moment you see the building, then at the moment you enter it, and throughout, he needs to craft opportunities for impressive aesthetic experiences. He has to sprinkle the wow factor all through his buildings.
This was the first person to tell me that we're now in an experience economy, and that it's the engine that fuels our experience culture. People's buying decisions take into account all sorts of factors, but, he said, most important of all will be the consideration of experience. If we want great customers, we need to provide them with great experiences.
My friend Chip has been exploring this concept for a while now, and I bet his new book will be liberally sprinkled with new ideas and wisdom about how we can provide incredible experiences to the people we care about, in our work, and in our lives. Check it out.
I expect the new book, like the sprinkles that arrived in the mail, to put a big smile on my face. Sprinkles do tend to do that, wherever we see them.