The Engaging Customer Experience as a Differentiator

[I’m pleased to feature this special guest post by Chip Bell in honor of his new book, Kaleidoscope:  Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles. Chip is a respected and renowned keynote speaker and the author of several national best-selling books. He can be reached at

Adding a Kaleidoscope Attraction by Chip R. Bell

Is your business a destination location?  How about your website?  Do your customers come to your enterprise as much for the experiences as the product or service you offer.  Millions of viewers are still reeling from Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl half-time extravaganza.  Some still bask in the memory of their last trip Disney World, Bass Pro Shops, or Cirque du Solei.  And, now they deal with your enterprise.  Sensory stimulation is in; dull and boring are out.

Betty’s is an antique all-purpose grocery store in Helen, GA.  Started in 1973, the store provides walls of antiques and a cavalcade of off-the-beaten path items.  They also provide the usual high quality meats, canned goods, fruits and vegetables.  Need 10 pounds of marbles, hard-to-find sodas like RC Cola, NuGrape and Bubble up, a couple of rutabagas, scuppernong wine, or one coffee filter not a whole package?  Betty’s is the place.  But, the most fun part is the fully operational beehive behind the glass where you can watch honey being made.  A small hole in the back enables bees to come and go.  The honey is processed and sold in the store.  An antique tractor is parked out front!

Most Mexican restaurants either buy ready-made tortillas or bake them backstage, so to speak.  Not, Uncle Julio’s.  There is an automated, assembly-line production out where patrons (especially impatient small children) can watch tortillas being made. They sometimes give kids a small ball of raw tortilla dough as a souvenir. The special attraction makes the restaurant stand out in a geography saturated with Mexican restaurants.

Kaleidoscopes engage you on so many levels.  It’s not just the colorful and charming visual fireworks it the fact that you have to turn or shake the toy to get them.  It compels as it enchants.  Want your organization to become a destination location?  What if you added a special attraction?  If you charged admission for customers to visit your place of business, what would you have to add to their experience to make it worth the price?

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