Who do you want to amaze?

Drive thru

Who do you want to amaze?

Who do you want to amaze?

Recently I was facilitating a Google Your Brain workshop with about 60 leaders. They worked for an international organization that was growing exponentially.


The “Google Your Brain” approach equips leaders to use questions to promote what we call, “Solution-Based Thinking.”


As a case study… I brought up Zappos and a question they use daily.  It’s…


“How can we amaze our customers… today?”



Now as you may know… Zappos’ customer service is legendary.

In fact, if you call and talk with them there is a very good chance that you will be… amazed.  Part of the reason this happens is because their customer loyalty reps are asking themselves this simple but powerful question regularly.

The question might inspire one person to be present and fully engaged with a customer.  It might inspire another to send flowers to a customer who was calling to return a pair of shoes.  Why?  Well the Zappos rep found out the caller had purchased the shoes as a gift for her husband but sadly,  he had recently passed away.  (Read the story in Inc.)

It’s always good to point to organizations like Zappos when you’re on the subject of amazing customers.  BUT I think I surprised my audience of leaders when I said you don’t have to be at Zappos to amaze your clients.


“In fact,” I said, “I was amazed recently.  And it was in the LAST place I ever thought I’d be amazed as a customer.  It was in the McDonalds’ Drive Thru.”


(Yes. That’s right.  I go to McDonalds.  Don’t judge me.)

Seriously though… a few weeks ago I pulled into the drive thru lane at a McDonalds and I prepared myself the typical experience.

You know the one:

  • – You’re not greeted by anyone sounding remotely excited to be there… let alone human.

  • – Then you strain to decipher what’s actually being said through an antiquated speaker system.

  • – All to pull around to present your money to someone who seems slightly miffed that you exist.   (Can I get an amen?)

Well… that’s not what happened on this day.

I pulled up and as I came to a rolling stop, I was greeted with an enthusiastic “Hello.”

Then the voice through the box said clearly and eagerly,

“My name is Tim and I’m happy to take your order.  Take all the time you need.  Just let me know when you’re ready.  By the way, how are YOU doing today?”

I was a little shocked at first.  But then I gathering myself and responded with a…

“I’m groovy.”

(I said it partly to see if he was listening and partly because I felt… well… groovy.)

There was a second of dead air but then a chipper,

“Groovy huh?  Well that’s my first ‘groovy’ of the day.  That inspires me.  I might need to change the music in here.  I think we need to get a little more groovy ourselves.  Oh… and just let me know when you’re ready to order.”

I liked that.  So I ordered.

I couldn’t help notice that I had a goofy grin on my face as I did.

But then it happened.

I pulled around the corner to see the typical pay and pick up windows… but what I saw was anything but ‘typical.’

It was Tim leaning out the little window to wave and smile as I approached.

Sure… in today’s cynical day and age, it was bordering on silly but as I pulled up I also saw that it seemed really authentic.  Tim was actually having fun and just being in the moment.

I paid (again with a goofy grin on my face).  We chatted for a bit.  I got my food.

Then Tim sent me off with a…

“Keep it groovy!”

I was amazed.

What was even more amazing was that Tim was maybe… 18.  He wasn’t the manager.  He wasn’t the owner.  He was simply a team member… who amazed a customer.

It didn’t take a big marketing budget.  It didn’t take cutting-edge technology.  It just took someone committed to being present, having fun and delivering with excellence.

And yeah… that AMAZING experience happened at a McDonald’s drive thru.

What if YOU applied this question?

How do you want to amaze your customers or clients today?

Is it engaging differently?  Is it being present? Is it serving with excellence?

What could it be for you?

What if you did it?

Let’s find out.

Oh… and by the way… if you’re saying, “But Mitch, I don’t really have any customers.”

That’s okay.

You can certainly apply this to other areas of work and life.

A teacher might ask, “How could I amaze my students today?”

A student might ask, “How could I amaze my teacher today?”

A leader might ask, “How could I amaze my team today?”

A dad might ask, “How can I amaze my kids tonight?”

A librarian might ask, “How can I rock the Dewey Decimal system like no other… today?”

Join in the convo.

Click comments and let me know where you might apply the question.

I can’t wait to hear from you!

Keep bringing your awesome.  The world needs you,


  • TJ
    Posted at 16:15h, 03 June Reply

    Groovy message Mitch! I think this question is essential in education today. Our students are growing up with state of the art technology that it’s difficult to amaze them. But those little things of going out of your way to make someone smile or encourage someone in their day-to-day walk are truly amazing, and something we should strive to do. I think my colleagues and I need to be asking this question, “How could we amaze our students today?” Great stuff Mitch! Keep bringing your awesome! 🙂

  • Robyn B
    Posted at 22:11h, 03 June Reply

    As always great post and food for thought. Will have to see how I can amaze shelterland staff tomorrow!

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