I was recently tagged in a Twitter post about customer service.

Normally, it’s a reader having a rant and suggesting the culprits ‘check out @MichaelHeppell and get your staff trained’.

They never do … but I’m honoured for the shout out.

This particular tweet was about a simple but effective design in a hotel room to aid sleepy guests on the inevitable middle-of-the-night loo runs.

The idea is as brilliant as it is simple.

When you step out of bed, a sensor detects your fumbling foot and turns on low level lighting. No waking your partner, searching for light switches or losing a retina when you accidentally hit ‘the big light’.

But why bother?  If customers don’t know about such innovation why introduce the expense and hassle of installing these new-fangled devices?

Because good service becomes brilliant service when you solve the problem the customer didn’t even know they had.

Stop.  Just read that last sentence again.

You know what’s next.  What problem could you fix for your customer, one they didn’t even know they had?

And I’d love to know your best examples of where you have done this or where you have experienced it.  Please leave your comments below and I’ll send a copy of my best-selling customer service book – 5 Star Service – to our favourite.

Be Brilliant!


PS The response to my How To Be A Super Speaker Masterclass taking place in Leeds on July 5th and in London on July 12th has been amazing.  The two places for the price of one super early bird offer is almost full, but there are other great offers available for the swift.

Click here to find out more.


  1. May 2nd 2019 by Dan Thorpe

    Great post again, Michael. As for me I teach guitar and the thing is most students don’t know they are playing with crippling tension and literally fighting the guitar, pressing too hard and actually playing in pain. They think this is normal, but I fix this on lesson one and they then play with much more enjoyment and in a much more relaxed way. It’s a great feeling helping them on something that most people don’t even know about. The thing is a lot of other teachers are unaware that beginners play like this.

  2. May 2nd 2019 by Peter Williamson

    La Trattoria, Key West – server took the order, different people brought the food and drink to the table, always putting things in front of the right person without needing to ask “Who is having the …?”. When I asked about his at the end of the meal the server said thank you for noticing and showed me the “secret”. Next to each item ordered they put a little diagram of a table with a dot showing which seat. Simple, effective and impactful.

  3. May 2nd 2019 by Gerri Moore

    Michael your post is really interesting as I think many people think good service is being restive in a positive way instead of proactivity

  4. May 2nd 2019 by J

    I love this because I live in Devon….. It’s the third world dominated by numbnuts that barely do their actual jobs irrespective of the industry. Just today courier who delivered a parcel 11 days late, paint supplier who supplied half filled cans and a garage who just didn’t bother doing the whole job in the first place. They’re beyond being brilliant I’d genuinely settle for mediocre right now! There is simply not enough Mr Heppell to go round when my attempts at brilliant are defeated by the disinterested. Solutions greatfully received!

  5. May 2nd 2019 by J

    Update on comment above my patience is wearing thin…. Just chased work given to another supplier who promised to complete it the following day, 10 days ago, no update in mean time, response ‘sorry work not done best you come get them as won’t be done for at least another week! ‘

  6. May 4th 2019 by Maggie

    This may not be what you were expecting Michael – but one thing that has been brilliant for a number of vulnerable deafened people is providing a safe place to have a cup of coffee.
    Don’t let your imagination run wild because of the use of the word ‘safe’. I work with people who have lost their hearing and while they get a lot out of attending support and ‘how-to-cope’ sessions, they invariably withdraw from the world when it becomes just too difficult to hear what people are saying. They long to do ordinary things like have a cup of coffee with friends but become too afraid to meet up in the local café. So we started coffee meet-ups in a café used by ordinary, hearing people and because the deafened people know that the others attending will understand their difficulties they get up their courage and take the plunge and attend. When they realise how safe they feel being with other people having the same difficulties, they blossom and enjoy themselves doing what is so easy an activity for hearing people.

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