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Guest Blog: Kaleidoscope Service

This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post my colleague, Chip Bell, shares his concept of kaleidoscope service with some great examples. Kaleidoscope service, I like it! – Shep Hyken

When I grow up, I want to be a kaleidoscope! Kaleidoscopes are addictive. They make you privately ooh and ah as you turn the animator and behold the patterns of colorful glass that charm you. The view can be as special as a grandchild’s hug, as exciting as new puppy, and as awe-inspiring as a double rainbow. Innovative service has the same emotional influence and poignant hold on customers. It creates a chain reaction, a tugging at our heart that triggers us to tug on our wallet.

Kaleidoscopes have the attributes of the kind of experiences we all desire—as customers, employees, and colleagues.  Notice how we all like good service, but only boast, shout or tweet about experiences that are unique and produce an emotional connection. “Good” is the key to customer retention; but “unique” is the secret to customer advocacy. Kaleidoscope service is enriching, inspiring, inclusive, unique and sometimes downright ingenious.  Here are a few examples:

Corley Heating, Air, and Electric in Greenville, SC sends their service techs out on Valentine’s Day with balloons and a valentine card for each customer. The service department of my car dealership has a Keurig Coffee Machine.  On the day I take the car in for service, they always make sure there is hazelnut coffee (my favorite). Miller Brothers men’s clothing in Atlanta has a giant, colorful gumball machine next to a dish of shiny pennies in their store entrance. Guess where junior goes when daddy is trying on trousers? Kaleidoscope service at its finest!

When I checked into the Pacific Rim Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver—a noticeably new high tech property–on my industrial strength desk were retro-toys from an early era (a kaleidoscope, yo-yo and a slinky). When patrons of the Restaurant R’Evolution in New Orleans report they are too way stuffed for dessert, the waiter places a large Peruvian jewelry box in the middle of the table. Inside each drawer and behind every tiny door is a miniature petit fours, pastry, or delicate sweet.

How do you create an experience that is so profoundly remarkable your customers remember it for the rest of their lives?  Instead of the usual exemplars as your role models—Disney World, Nordstrom, and Amazon–look to the kaleidoscope as your new metaphors for magic and watch your customers grow—right along with your bottom line!

Chip R. Bell is a renowned keynote speaker and the author of several best-selling books.  His newest book is Kaleidoscope:  Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles.

For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to

Read Shep’s latest Forbes Article: Collect Data Through The Customer Service Center To Improve The Customer Experience



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