Mama’s Manners: A Guest Post by Chip Bell

In honor of the launch of my newest book, Would You Do That To Your Mother?, today’s guest post is from Chip R. Bell, the best selling author of the 9 1/2 Principles of Innovative Service, and many other customer service oriented books.

Chip is also a customer service keynote speaker who educates organizations on how to create a customer-centric culture. By offering innovative customer-driven strategies and tactics, Chip has helped many Fortune 100 companies enhance their bottom lines and marketplace reputation.

In today’s post, Chip shares some lessons learned from his mother, which have guided him in his life and career, demonstrating the importance of being the best version of yourself and putting the customer first. 


Others Deserve Your Best

I was shocked when I moved to Texas. Guys wore their cowboy hats to the dinner table! My mother would have had a hissy fit if I tried a stunt like that. In fact, I would have likely lost my hat for good. Then, I learned that in Texas a hat is considered a part of your outfit, not just something to keep the sun off your head. It would be the equivalent of a woman removing her ear rings to come to the dinner table.

Manners are customs—ways of demonstrating civility. Where I grew up it was also the way you exhibited you had received a proper upbringing. “I didn’t raise you to act like that” was a typical response I heard when I failed to show good manners.  “You made me proud” was what I heard when I did.

Avis Bell is coming up on 102 years old and will still remind me of my manners. A classy Southern belle, she has practiced good manners all her life. As a high school home economics teacher, she gave classroom instruction in good manners. She not only has lived a highly cultured and proper life, she takes pride in her three children doing likewise.

Mama’s manners are the centerpiece of great customer service.  They represent an amalgamation of respect, kindness, and courtesy. Mama’s manners require treating others with dignity.  “We are all God’s children,” she would say. They take elevating the class of the experience. “Everything needs extra…,” she would say. And, Mama’s manners involve being a perpetual host. “We want ya’ll to come back,” she would say.

Manners might start out as a mimicked response to commands: “Put your napkin in your lap; say ‘excuse me;’ shake his hand; or, say ‘you’re sorry.’” But, they become ingrained into a deeply held belief that others deserve your best. When that belief is demonstrated in how your customers are served, they are influenced to come back, buy more, forgive more, and advocate on your behalf. Make all your customers want to say, “Your mama would be proud.”


How would your company act if every customer were your mom?

How do we cut through the rigmarole of business to give customers the treatment they desire, and employees the ability to deliver it?  Customer experience expert, Jeanne Bliss recommends making business personal to get the traction you need by focusing on one deceptively simple question: “Would you do that to your mother?”

Learn More 

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