Articles By: Chip & John

Viewing the Customer Journey Through a New Lense

pablo (5)What would he see or think if you brought in Dr. Indiana Jones to help you better understand your customers? Or, better still, if Margaret Mead or Ruth Benedict was your customer anthropology coach?

At the core, anthropology is the study of humanity. Social or cultural anthropologists seek to understand how a culture, tribe, family or clan link together through language, myths, mores, beliefs, rituals, and symbols. What is it that makes the Cochiti, Samoans, Kurds, Navy Seals, Hell’s Angels, Hatfield’s or McCoy’s a linked clique beyond their common history or shared place?

Customers have many similarities; they also have major differences. Their sense of sameness comes through a similar reading of signals and symbols with common interpretation. Their differences lie in their varied reactions to the factors that make them alike. Today’s Wired and Dangerous customers want what they want, when and how they want it. They expect to interact[…] Continue...

How will you answer a Customer Service SOS?


The dinner party was super important because of the particular guests invited.  It was one-fifth entertainment, one-fifth showcase, and at least five-fifths big-deal sales opportunity!  The caterer had delivered over-the-top hors d’oeuvres, the contracted chef had prepared a perfect meal, and the bottles of white wine were perfectly chilled.  Then, disaster struck!

The host opened the first bottle of wine only to discover it tasted like vinegar.  A second, third and fourth reserve bottles were all equally unfit to drink. The dinner party would not have the intended ambiance and style without spirits.  But, as luck would have it, the wine shop owner was famous for his pull-rabbits-out-of-a-hat service.

“Matt,” pleaded the party host, “I have a major problem.” Matt owned the neighborhood wine store.  After a brief conversation, Matt swung into action. He called two of his best wine customers whom he knew lived near the […] Continue...

Guiding Lights for the Customer Journey

Guiding lights

Night lights come in many forms and styles. The one in the room where Chip’s granddaughters sleep when they come for a visit looks like a pink princess crown. We have a friend who is an avid bird watcher—every night light in his house is a different bird. We once saw a night light in a bar that put a Christmas bubble light behind a picture of a guy drinking a mug of beer. The bubble light made the night light animated!

Night lights serve many purposes.  Some light the way along a path in the dark to keep someone from getting lost or off in the bushes. Some night lights are a symbol of hospitality (“We’ll leave a light on for you”). Others communicate an important message—like “we are open” or “this area is safe.” Night lights are powerful symbols of security, attentiveness and caring.

Today’s wired and dangerous customers expect to journey through their experience with your organization without friction, hassle or delay. There are[…] Continue...

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