John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog

Act of kindness goes viral – Who is Mikki?
September 26, 2012, 8:18 am
Filed under: Customer Experience, Customer Service, Patient Experience, Patient Services


The story – a boy was visiting his grandmother in the hospital. Terribly ill with cancer, she complained that the hospital’s soup was lousy. If only she could get a bowl of her favorite clam chowder from Panera Bread! Trouble was, Panera only sells clam chowder on Friday. So the boy called the nearby Panera and talked to store manager. Not only did the manager make clam chowder specially for the grandmother, she included a box of cookies as a gift from the staff. Normally this would make headlines, however the grandson told the story on his Facebook page, and his mother, retold the story on Panera’s fan page. The rest, as they say, is social-media history. The posts generated 500,000 (and counting) “likes” and more than 22,000 comments on Panera’s Facebook page. Panera, meanwhile, got something that no amount of traditional advertising can buy – a genuine sense of affiliation and appreciation from customers around the world. Read the entire story – Small act of customer service reaps huge rewards.


Kindness is the ultimate marketing tool – This is a great example of the power of social media and “virtual word-of-mouth” to boost a company’s reputation. It demonstrates that it is not just negative stories that spread like wild fire on the Internet. It is human service and how companies need to focus more on hospitality versus solely productivity. There is a hunger among customers, employees, and all of us to engage with businesses more than just as a transaction. The pendulum has swung so far over to high tech-low touch, the companies that teach and train their employees to create relationships and create emotionally connections with their customers, are standing out and being market leaders.

Who is Mikki Willams? Mikki has been featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal and ABC did a television documentary about her life, entitled “A Better Way”. She has spoken at President Mandela’s South African home and two times at The White House. As savvy a businesswoman as she is, she beats to a completely different drummer, is completely unique, refuses to conform and remains her authentic self in all situations. She was recently named one of the best speakers in the country, along with Tony Robbins, Bill Gates, Rudy Giuliani, Colin Powell, Lou Holtz, and Zig Ziglar. Here are Mikki’s six philosophies for living her mantra :“Be Outrageous, it’s the only place that isn’t crowded.”

  1. Develop a positive attitude. “The greatest discovery in our generation is that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” Develop an optimistic outlook on life through self-affirmations and visualization techniques. Live in the moment and stop fretting about a past you cannot change, or a future in which you have no control. Look at every difficulty as an opportunity, seize the moment, and be thankful for every moment of “nowness.”
  2. Take action. Winners make things happen, and losers find that “the greatest labor-saving device ever invented is “tomorrow.” Develop an action-oriented mentality, and you’ll always be one step ahead of the crowd.
  3. Look for the benefit. Like the age-old story of a little boy who walked into a room filled with manure and exclaimed, “There’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!” – learn to look far below the surface by turning obstacles into exciting opportunities. The quest for excellence is a life-long process and begins by finding a benefit in the most challenging of situations.
  4. Turn your weaknesses into strengths. Franklin Delano Roosevelt served as President of the United States from a wheelchair. Beethoven composed his greatest symphony when he was deaf. Take an honest look at your weaknesses. Give yourself a mental workout and develop your mental muscles by minimizing your weaknesses and maximizing your strengths.
  5. Get SELF-ish! Develop your SELF-esteem, SELF-discipline, SELF-control, SELF management…Each little accomplishment adds to your own SELF-worth. They become stepping stones to build upon. Take time for yourself by believing that you deserve it. Every opportunity you see, ask yourself these two profound questions: “What did I learn from this experience?” “How would I do it differently?”
  6. Become a goal-getter, not just a goal-setter. When I sold my last business, I didn’t know what was going to be my next career. I had my objectives on one list; the other listed past careers, skills, talents, and hobbies. I kept studying the lists, comparing them until I got an “Aha!” Then I began the necessary steps to achieve those objectives by going back to school and joining various trade associations to learn about different industries. As a full-time professional speaker, I fulfilled all my objectives. I wanted to travel, interact with people and impact lives, be involved in a glamorous career, and did not want a financial glass ceiling. It took three tries: First, the hospitality industry – not quite right. Then, the meeting-planning industry – close, but no cigar. Aha, the speaking industry! Write down your goals. As that greatphilosopher Yoda said, “There is no try, only do!”

Mikki Williams’ Keynote – The DiJulius Group is so proud that Mikki is one of our featuredkeynote speakers at this year’s Secret Service Summit. How you look at the world and react to it will never be the same after experiencing Mikki. 







 Don’t concentrate on making a lot of money,
rather on becoming the type of person with whom people want to do business.

John R. DiJulius III best-selling author, consultant, and keynote speaker, is the President of The DiJulius Group, the leading customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on customer experience trends and best practices. Learn more about The DiJulius Group or The Secret Service Summit, America’s #1 Customer Service Conference.

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