Field of sunflowers and hot air balloon

Sunflowers Service – Guest Blog by Chip Bell

Enjoy this guest blog by customer service author and speaker Dr. Chip R. Bell, which uses the sunflower following the sun as a powerful metaphor for providing a great, customer-focused experience. Click here to view the original blog.

Sunflowers face east before sunrise. Its face also looks bright yellow and cheery, just like the sun it faces. And, during the day, that face of the flower constantly turns to follow the sun with its flower ending the day facing west.  Sunflowers symbolize loyalty in most countries, thanks to the myth of Clytie and Apollo (Google it). In China, sunflowers symbolize vitality and good luck. And to Native Americans, sunflowers symbolized a good harvest. These symbols make the sunflower a powerful metaphor for a great customer experience.

I entered a small restaurant. The hostess told me to take any seat. As I moved toward a booth in the back left side of the restaurant, out of the corner of my eye I watched a waitress with menu in hand, moving with me from the other side of the room. By the time my bottom hit the seat, she was standing beside me, with her Steinway smile ready to take my order. It was sunshine service.

My wife and I entered the retail area of a Cracker Barrel restaurant. My wife spotted a nightlight that changed colors and made sparkles like a snow glow toy as the heat of the nightlight warmed the liquid inside. But she needed an electric outlet to see what it looked like plugged in. The checkout clerk left the cash register and told her, “Follow me.”  On the other side of the restaurant, store was a receptacle. My wife bought two. It was sunshine service.

Sunshine service involves making the customer the center of your attention like the sunflower does the sun. It means channeling your service energy to best respond to the customer’s needs and expectations. It means not being distracted while maintaining your laser-like focus. And customers are so warmed by the special attention they gladly give you their loyalty and their funds. 

P.S. The sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine. Have you ever seen more loyalty of country and unwavering focus on the light of freedom?

Chip Bell headshotChip R. Bell is a world-renowned authority on customer loyalty and service innovation. In fact, in 2021 for the seventh year in a row, Global Gurus ranked him in the top ten keynote speakers in the world on customer service.  His newest best-selling book, Inside Your Customer’s Imagination, won a 2021 Axiom Business Book Award. For more information about Dr. Bell, visit his website

Share this post

Customer Service Institute of America