Are Your Customers Experiencing Service from the Heart?

Ramen is a traditional Japanese noodle dish that, well prepared, is a highly-desired delicacy.

That is the back story for the movie, The Ramen Girl.  A young woman finds herself in Tokyo and wants to understudy a master ramen chef who speaks no English; she speaks no Japanese.  He’s impatient and demanding; she works hard to be perfect.

The climax of the movie (without giving away too much) happens when the frustrated chef takes the equally frustrated protégé to visit his mother, the person who taught him to be a great ramen chef.

Creating ramen, the mother tells the young women, is not about mixing ingredients in the proper proportion and cooking the broth at the right temperature.  In order to make a dish that connects your heart to your customer’s heart, you must put your soul into the preparation and presentation, not just your smarts and sweat.

It was a turning point.  The woman let go of her pursuit of precision and embraced the “from the heart” expression of spirit.

Imaginative service is like preparing ramen.

Learn the fundamentals of your quality service.  Bank customers want accuracy; hospital patients desire cleanliness, and airline passengers expect safety.  Then, without losing sight of “the right ingredients in the broth,” put your energy into your customer’s needs and hopes.

Today’s wired and dangerous customers are looking for organizations that consistently deliver the kind of experiences that take their breath away.

Service is not about you.  It is about assisting your customer in a way that makes a difference while making an impression.  My wife and I are currently vacationing at a well-known seaside resort.  We went to a national grocery chain location nearby this morning to pick up a few items.  When checking out the cashier dropped our egg container.  She picked up the container and opened it to see if there was any breakage.  There was and instead of immediately going to get us a new carton of eggs she asked if we wanted to go get a replacement container.

Would your customers judge this experience as “service from the heart?”

© Chip Bell Group, 2023.  Courtesy of John R. Patterson (  Permission is given to download and distribute this article as long as it contains this copyright notice.