How to Actually Shock Customers – Give Them Authentic Attention

Invariably it’s happened to you. While seeking service (in-store, online, or on the phone), you encountered a distracted customer service representative. Worse yet, you’ve left the people you serve (customers, team members, vendors, friends, or family members) feeling the same. It happens when we convince ourselves that no one will know if we check a sports score while on a conference call or if we glance at an incoming text in the middle of a meeting with a customer.

Given these lapses, I’m challenging myself (hopefully, you will accept the same challenge) to flawlessly demonstrate “focused attention” and the “three steps of service” throughout 2023. You can find more details about the “three steps of service” in a section of my book The New Gold Standard – titled “It’s Not About You.” As you likely know, the “three steps of service” are practiced by the ladies and gentlemen of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. Here they are in a nutshell,

1) Offer a Warm Welcome – If possible, use the other person’s name as you extend a smile and enthusiasm for their presence (be that on the phone, in your store, on your website, or in your home).

2) Fulfill the stated and unstated needs of the guest – Typically, customers won’t “state” a need for undivided attention; however, by focusing on them, we fulfill their need to feel valued and heard. We also increase our ability to resolve their stated needs and anticipate upcoming issues.

3) Provide a fond farewell – While “warm welcomes” are relatively standard in human interaction, “fond farewells” are not. We are more likely to hold the door open for someone when they enter our business rather than when they leave. In 2023, fond farewells will be one of the most significant opportunities for improvement. Especially since people tend to remember how interactions end.

Here’s my aspirational pledge for 2023. Will you join me in making it:

For everyone I serve and during every interaction, I will:

  • offer a warm welcome
  • provide undivided attention
  • fulfill their stated needs
  • anticipate unstated needs, and
  • offer a fond farewell

Are you in? In the spirit of my commitment, thank you for taking the time to read this post!

To discuss ways to ensure attentive care of those you serve, please get in touch with me at

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Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli

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