GUEST BLOG: Applying the 23 MPH Principle


In his first guest article for CSIA, Customer service keynote speaker and award-winning author Chip Bell shares his insights on how to provide an enchanting customer experience – CSIA Editorial Team

Walk into the lobby of the five-star Mansion on Turtle Creek hotel in Dallas and the first thing you notice are the extraordinary flowers in the middle of the lobby.  They do not look like they came from the local nursery; they look like they came from the jungle.   Order a fruit plate at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles and it might contain something unexpected–passion fruit, heirloom figs, or slices of kumquat.  Weston Hotels sport everywhere a signature fresh memorable fragrance called white tea.  It is the uncommon sense of senses displayed on steroidThe Hyatt at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale blends the aroma of mesquite wood burning in the giant fireplace with romantic candle lighting and the sounds of a guitar-piano-steel drum ensemble quietly playing near the lobby to craft an atmosphere as mystical as the Native American artifacts that adorn the walls. And, the Spa at Cap Juluca Resort in Anguilla, BWI not only puts fragrant plant material (like bougainvillea petals) in the bath before a massage, they blend the same scent into the oil used by the masseuse and put a sprig in the bottom of the guest’s locker so the special fragrance is “worn” by the guest after they leave the spa.


The 23 MPH Principle is all about ramping up the five senses of your customer’s experience.  You might miss noticing a speed limit 25 mph sign, but who would miss a sign with an out-of-the-ordinary number?  What do the required forms of your enterprise look like?  What do your customers hear in the background when they contact your call center?  What messages are being sent by the color, font, tone, images, or language used on your website? What does your parking lot, lobby or waiting area telegraph about your attentiveness to your customer’s experience?


What should your service experience smell like—sound like—feel like—look like—taste like if you wanted to excite your customers’ memory with an enchanting experience?  Interview customers with your antennae up high for any preferences for sight-sound-smell-feel-taste.  Examine your customer’s experience through the lens of organizations known for a sensory-driven experience—Disney, Ringling Bros., or Cirque du Soleil. Service is memory-making; make yours out of the ordinary.

Dr. Chip Bell is considered a world-renowned authority on customer loyalty and service innovation. He has authored numerous award-winning books. His newest book is the best-selling Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles. Visit his website at

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