Creating customer wow in business

25/05/2019 Door Alison Smith

At SCC, excellent customer service and good communication are the focus of our conversation every Friday morning. We gather the whole team for a short meeting where we collaborate on open customer issues, solve problems as a team and talk about how we can improve our communication and service. We call this our Purple Goldfish meeting after a theory and a book by American Customer Service Guru, Stan Phelps. Stan’s theory is all about exceeding expectations and doing the extra things which make a business stand out from the competition. The rewards are long-term customer loyalty and trust, positive feedback and hopefully word of mouth recommendations.Stan Phelps was kind enough to join one of our breakfast meetings during a visit to Amsterdam in 2013. We were very privileged to be able to pick his brains and ask him in person about his ideas.


So why a Purple Goldfish?The average common goldfish is four inches long, yet the largest in the world is almost 5x that size! The size of a goldfish is determined by 5 factors, which can be translated to any business, whether product- or service-based.

  • Environment (= The Market) The larger the bowl, or pond, the bigger the goldfish can grow.
  • Number of Goldfish in the Environment (= The Competition) Affects the growth factor. The more goldfish, the less growth opportunity.
  • The Water Quality (= The Economy) The better the quality the larger the growth potential.
  • How they are treated in the first 120 days of life (= StartUp Phase/Launch) Stronger start with all correct nutrients means larger, healthier specimen.
  • The Genetic Make-up of the individual specimen (= Differentiation)

If your business is beyond the “start-up” phase, you cannot control the first 4 influencers. Only Differentiation is really in your grasp. In a bowl of golden fish, how can you therefore make yourself PURPLE and stand out from the rest?

At SCC we strive to differentiate ourselves through good communication and excellent customer service and we continue to work on this every week. We do our best to keep our customers updated on the status of ticketed issues, prevent potential snags when our monitoring system sends us a red flag and advise our customers when software or hardware needs updating or upgrading. Our project work is strictly planned and check-listed so that we can always tell you where we are in the plan and what you can expect, and our declaration system means everything we do for our customers is documented and accountable. We realise that good communication is not a quality normally associated with technicians, so at SCC we strive to do all this in a language that our customers understand; usually Dutch or English, but not TechSpeak. We continue to improve through constantly revisiting this theme, every Friday morning, keeping good Customer Service and Communication techniques at the forefront of our mind. It’s a work in constant progress but repetition makes the master!