Brand-building Customer Service: Are You Making It Possible?

dulima 3When it comes to your brand, there are no bit players.

Recently, I spoke to a group (the CEO Club of Boston) that held their event at the Charles River Country Club. After my presentation, I was famished. I could see staff removing the buffet items, but noticed that the shiny silver covered trays that housed eggs and bacon and the other hot entrees were still there. So I went over to get some scrambled eggs.

Unfortunately, when I lifted the lid, I was greeted by an empty container. The tray that held the eggs had been removed. The staff member who was breaking down the buffet, Dulima, asked me if I wanted some eggs.

I was frankly surprised at her offer. Usually, my experience has been that even in the hospitality industry, the attitude is “when it’s over, it’s over”. There’s not a whole lot of interest or willingness to respond flexibly.

I thanked her and said that would be wonderful. I thought she meant she would find the tray, and spoon out some of the eggs, which would have been great.

Instead, she said “I’ll have some fresh ones cooked up for you. Also, would you like some bacon and sausage?”

I couldn’t believe it.

“Sure…that would be wonderful!” I replied.

She flashed a warm smile, left, and a few minutes later came back with a plate filled high with scrambled eggs, Eggs Benedict, sausage, and bacon.

The value of a Dulima cannot be overstated.

The value of a whole team of Dulimas…priceless.

If you want employees who can deliver Brand-Building service, who create customer or client experiences that make people want to tell others, there are certain things you must do to make that possible.

Here are nine questions to help you assess if you are doing what it takes:


  1. Are you hiring people with the “Service Gene”…people who have an inherent interest in being helpful to others and the skills?
  2. When you conduct new employee orientations, are you clear about what equals great customer service? Do you give examples? Do you tell stories?
  3. Do you ask customers or clients for feedback so you can both share stories like this one with your team as well as “here’s how we could do it better” stories?
  4. Are you continually sharing stories of great service in action with all employees—like the Ritz Carlton does twice every week?
  5. Are you as mindful of, and attentive to, your employees as you want them to be with your customers or clients?
  6. Are you constantly “catching people doing things right” and celebrating excellence?
  7. Are you practicing Servant Leadership…i.e. are you asking your team how you can help them be their best and do their best, including removing unnecessary obstacles?
  8. Do you make it comfortable for your people to speak up, so you’re able to address and resolve potential morale-damaging situations?
  9. Are you continuing to grow your skills as a leader, so you both become even better at fostering a culture that inspires great service, and so you are as good as you can be at modeling the behaviors you want?

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