Chip Bell

with Chip Bell

Founder of The Chip Bell Group


Sprinkles 899 1200 33Voices

Moe and Chip Bell catch up to discuss how to create awesome experiences through customer service.

The Innovation of Modern Customer Service

Extraordinary service is so rare, that it almost jolts me when I least expect it.   For the past two decades, the one consistent customer experience that I could always count on has come from American Express.  Seldom do I walk away less than fully satisfied, and often I leave an interaction with a feeling of immense appreciation and respect; it’s no accident that it’s been the only card in wallet since 1987.  

Customer service is at the soul of American Express, and unlike any of their competitors, their execution has been flawless, and has been the hallmark of CEO Ken Chenault’s tenure for the past 14 years.  Chenault is a revered leader for many reasons, and topping that list is his value of EQ (Executional Quotient) over IQ.  “A good leader wants to get it done – EQ is the most important thing – to have the focus to get whatever the job at hand is completed.”  Take a look at Chenault’s operating principles and you’ll know why execution reigns supreme:

  • Provide superior value to the customer and clients that we serve

  • Do it in a way that achieves best in class economics

  • Everything we do should support and enhance the brand

Whether you prefer American Express or not, just for fun, try calling American Express and ask for something that you couldn’t get with Visa, Mastercard or Discover, and you’ll likely discover just a little something extra that will leave you feeling better than when you started.  Chip Bell calls that Sprinkles, and just as they do to ice cream and cupcakes, they “adorn, enrich, enliven, and excite.”  He asks, “what would your customer’s service experience be like if it was sprinkled?”  Would a checkout clerk shake your hand, instead of just saying hello?  Would the bank teller give you an extra thousand in play money just to make you laugh?  And, would an operator have humor in her voice instead of just taking your order?  

Chip is a customer experience evangelist, and in this conversation, he’ll challenge you to redefine how you serve, simply by adding a few ‘sprinkles.’

Here’s what we’ll discuss:

  • The difference between value-unique service and value-added service

  • The best service innovations of 2014

  • Why gourmet service starts with an abundance of generosity

  • Why co-creation breeds loyalty

  • What is it about trust that makes customers feel valued

  • The pros and cons of focus groups

  • The seven principles of inclusion