Book Review: Kaleidoscope


Chip R. Bell, renowned service guru, keynote speaker, and the author of several best-selling books, has released a new book called Kaleidoscope.  I was sent a preview copy and here is my review.

In this book, Bell focuses on nine key traits or values that drive innovative service: Enchantment, Grace, Trust, Generosity, Truth, Mercy, Alliance, Ease, and Passion. The book  emphasizes the importance of delivering a unique experience, not just a good or satisfactory experience.  Over and over he points to being genuine yet innovative by finding new ways to delight and ‘wow’ customers.  In his own words, “Graceful service takes more than routine effort…it is contribution beyond what is reasonable.”

While at times a bit overly sentimental and sweet for my taste, this book, nevertheless, gives not only practical advice but profound thinking that has the potential to inspire and provoke discussion.  Given the short, focused chapters, I can see this book as a perfect vehicle for managers in weekly team discussions.  Almost suggesting this activity, Bell gives us what he calls “Animators” at the end of each chapter that summarize key points.  I think these summaries would be perfect launch pads for substantive and culture-changing dialog.

Overall, Bell has contributed a short read that will make you want to go out and serve in unique and surprising ways, at work, at home, and in life.

Some favorite quotes from Kaleidoscope…

“Examine your customers’ experiences as if you were an “experience auditor”…

“Graceful service takes more than routine effort or everyday contribution: it is an abundance of spirit; it is contribution beyond what is reasonable; it is altruistic.”

“You can start igniting grace with a simple, ‘I am here to serve and daringly make a difference in your life.'”

“To serve well is to enter into a covenant with a customer that guarantees worth will be exchanged for worth and in a way that keeps central the customers’ best interests.”

“…if we employ a giver mentality, the customer will take care of the bottom line.”

“White lies are unadulterated deception, regardless of their benevolent intent. They help us save face but do little to promote a solid relationship.”

“Great service recovery lets a disappointed or angry customer know you are there to fix, not to fight.”


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