Sprinkles: An antidote to the demise of customer surprise

When I was ten years old, I did a very naughty thing. I secretly watched my parents hide all the Easter eggs.

As my cousins and siblings rushed into our backyard on the hunt for brightly colored eggs, I calmly went straight to all their hiding spots! I “found” a lot more eggs! But, they had a lot more fun. They squealed and grinned when they found an Easter egg; I was far less enthused.

Customer service for many years had more than its share of “squeals and grins.” My hometown grocer would give my sister and me a free fireball when my parents were there to buy groceries. Fireballs were a super popular hard cinnamon candy. It was not that long ago the mechanic would repair something he spotted defective when my car was on the rack and repair it without a fee. And, the baker behind the display case would sometimes throw in an extra cookie or donut if I ordered a dozen. Today, such generous, unexpected behavior is rare. Today, we know where the eggs are hidden.

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