Motivation Expert Daniel Pink on Customer Service

by Chris Bjorklund

I had to share this blog entry that I came across with you.

The 44-cent solution

Tom Peters calls it “the pursuit of wow.” Seth Godin calls it being “remarkable.” None of us do it enough — which is why it’s so spectacular when we see it in action.

Case in point: Sunday night at the J.W. Marriott in Phoenix. I’ve got a letter to mail, but no stamps. So I go to the front desk and the following conversation ensues:


ME: Is there a place in the hotel where I can buy a stamp?
MARRIOTT PERSON (pointing to my letter): I’ll take it for you.
ME (handing her the letter and taking out my wallet): Great. I just need one stamp.
MARRIOTT PERSON: No, I’ll just stamp it for you and stick it in the mail. No charge. Not a problem.
ME: Really?
ME: Wow. That’s remarkable. (So much so that I spaced and didn’t get the employee’s name.)


Now, maybe this happens all the time to you, but it’s never happened to me. And in the grand scheme — of customer service or of life in general — this isn’t a big deal. It’s not going to bulletproof the Marriott brand, salvage the travel economy, or feed a hungry child.

And yet — and yet — I’ve told several people about this experience and I’ve felt compelled to tell a few thousand more with this post. Which got me thinking: Why aren’t I doing more stuff like this? What insanely inexpensive steps am I not taking to delight the readers, customers, and clients on whom I depend?
Doing great work is tough, of course. But sometimes it’s possible to do really good work — remarkable things that make us saw “Wow” — for just 44 cents.

Let me know when you come across some really good work and I’ll help you spread the word.