Gold is a Very Rich Color: A customer service story about accountability

When we first came to this country as refugees from Cuba, my parents set about creating a new life for the four Gurri kids. This included buying a television.

My dad, who loved America, the pope, and Sears, headed to his favorite department store. We walked in to discover that there were no “TV experts” on the sales floor. As we turned to leave, a young employee in an ill-fitting suit hurriedly stepped up.

“How may I help you?,” asked Mr. Spiro.

Knowing nothing about electronics, Mr. Spiro couldn’t answer Dad’s questions. But with hoped-for authority, Mr. Spiro pointed to a big gold TV console in the sale section and said, “Gold is a very rich color!”

Amused and moved by his passion to be of service, my father bought a TV. No, it wasn’t the gold one.

Our family still quotes the earnest Mr. Spiro as a rallying call to be our best. In times of service failure in any department, customer service excellence strengthens customers, teamwork, and organizations.

What would you do?

A client lingers in a waiting room. Two employees pass by without comment.

Will you pass them by, or stop, and ask, “How may I help you?” Why not find a solution, make a call, offer water, and follow up to make sure the client has been served?

Accountability across roles and departments is customer service gold. Each simple act of consideration builds your company’s brand.

Look forward to the next service failure. It’s your chance to shine!
Gold is, after all, a very rich color.


Step Up. Make a Difference. Find this and other articles about customer service, conflict, ethics, and speaking skills business leaders and military families at Contact Dr Red Shoes, Margarita Gurri, PhD, CSP at +1-844-Dr-RedShoe (+1-844-377-3374) or

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