A Cold Night, Hot Soup… and Great Customer Service!

by Martha Brooke on December 11, 2015




Not too long ago, I was checking into a hotel on a damp San Francisco night, when the front desk clerk noticed my sniffling and asked if I wanted chicken soup. “That’d be great,” I replied, assuming it was just a sympathetic comment and not an actual offer. So I was surprised when, only a few minutes later, there was a knock on my door and a server brought me a steaming bowl of soup.


Now this, I thought, is great customer service.


Why did that chicken soup feel like great customer service, even to a seasoned and rather skeptical CX analyst like me?


Because that bowl of soup was the perfect example of a customer experience that built value—for the hotel, the chain and for the customer. Guests expect comfortable pillows and a friendly concierge, but they don’t expect complimentary soup when they’re sick. Therefore, this interaction didn’t just satisfy—it created a positive, memorable moment, and a story worth repeating, showcasing the hotel’s brand as caring and customer-centric.


There are thousands of ways customer interactions build value: sometimes it’s what you say, other times it’s how you say it, and sometimes it’s in the amenities.


Building value to create customers who are more than just “satisfied” is critical, because only emotionally engaging experiences correlate with a lift in loyalty and revenue (email: hello@InteractionMetrics.com to get the research on this by Gallup and others). 


Every interaction can build value—but random attempts and luck won’t create consistent, measurable improvement. That’s why you need a plan to strategically build value into each customer’s experience.


  • One way to add value is to brand outside the box. Providing soup to sick guests brings the brand into the customer’s lived experience—and makes the brand more than just a logo and mission statement.
  • Another way to add value is by providing useful information and tips to customers, which highlights your company’s expertise. Similarly, cross-selling your existing products and services ensures that your customers’ needs are met—including those they don’t realize they have.


The point is that customer service can and should add value for you AND your customers; and it should never just be a cost. Chicken soup is how one hotel at one point in time added value—but the options are endless!


Start adding value. Learn about Customer Experience Planning by Interaction Metrics.


About Interaction Metrics
Interaction Metrics is a customer experience agency that maximizes the value of experience planning, satisfaction surveys, mystery shopping, customer interviews, and customer service evaluations.  Only Interaction Metrics Findings Reports combine actionable customer experience metrics with specific recommendations for how to improve.

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