we create loyalty

Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash Creative Commons

Is there anyone that doesn’t like the classic holiday film It’s A Wonderful Life? Such a great reminder of what’s really important in life. There are lots of iconic scenes, but one that is familiar to most people is when Clarence tells George that every time a bell rings an angel gets their wings.

And of course at the end of the movie, when George has realized that he really does have a wonderful life, the bells on his Christmas tree ring, signifying that Clarence has returned to heaven and earned his wings.

That’s the stuff of movie magic, of course, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if customers had the chance to make a little magic too?

Ringing A Bell For Great Service

I’m a great tipper…once I get great service, that is. Great service is so seldom found, that when I find it, I want to reward it.

I was on the road recently and I stopped for dinner at a restaurant bar and I had two of the best bartenders, ever. Wow! They were outstanding and they do exactly what my team and I teach: they met expectations on the business/product (good food, good drinks) – but they exceeded expectations on the service. That is the key to an exceptional customer experience because when you do that, you earn customer loyalty. This team of servers absolutely exceeded my expectations on both – which is rare – and thus, I didn’t hesitate to give them a huge tip.

I thought the story was over, but then they did something I didn’t expect. They rang a bell! (CLANG-CLANG) They rang a bell for the whole restaurant to hear, which I guess means “we just got the best tip EVER!” So what does that bell signify?

I don’t believe it was to say to the other patrons – Hey Mr. or Mrs. Customer, give me a big tip and I’ll ring the bell for you too.

I’d like to think it means – We’ve got the right stuff. We bring it big for our customers. And when we do? We’re rewarded for it and we want to say ‘THANK YOU’ back to the customer real loud…in the form of a bell.

Fantastic experience.

Secret Bells Can Do The Trick, Too

This story reminded me of the “kitchen doorbell” at the Hope and Olive Restaurant in Northampton, MA. As customers leave the restaurant they can ring a doorbell and tell the kitchen staff (the invisible team of chefs whom customers rarely see), “GREAT JOB! We loved the meal you prepared for us.”

The restaurant can’t hear the bell, but the kitchen staff can. And if you listen closely, you can hear a muffled cheer from behind the wall knowing they did such good work that their customers took time to ring the bell to let them know. And then back to work they go.

So where is your bell? And why aren’t you ringing it with your employees to celebrate the great work they do too? CLANG-CLANG!