John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog

Are you getting enough complaints? The Employee Experience Model
March 24, 2015, 6:57 pm
Filed under: Customer Service

The following is content taken from John’s best selling book The Customer Service Revolution (January 2015 Greenleaf Books)

Are you getting enough complaints? Think about the last several times you had a disappointing experience as a Customer. Did you tell anyone at the company? You left a business feeling frustrated, or hung up the phone more stressed than before you called. If you are like most people, you don’t bother to waste your time sharing your displeasure with anyone at the business that disappointed you. Why? Because most Customers don’t think anyone really cares, no one really wants to hear about it, or they will think you are trying to get away with something. So why would a Customer want to waste the time? How often does this play out in your business: Customers leaving unhappy without letting anyone know? If we are not making it easy for our Customers to give feedback, then it is happening to us more than any of us realize. Our Customers have better things to do with their time than hunt us down and complain and then feel that it didn’t make a difference.

Believe in Dreams
March 18, 2015, 2:15 pm
Filed under: Customer Service

I believe we are starting something that is bigger than any of us can truly understand right now 
John R. DiJulius
THE Experience - My entire professional career has been dedicated to “the experience.” My first business, John Robert’s Spa, has always been about providing an experience. My second business, The DiJulius Group, educates companies and their employees on how to consistently deliver an exceptional experience. Today I want to share some exciting news with you. 

The back story - I remember several years ago I was running on a treadmill watching ESPN where they were showing all these kids who had severe medical conditions, getting to meet their sports heroes thru the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I had all these tears coming down my face. I realized how amazing the Make-a-Wish Foundation was, and I was so happy it existed. I wanted to do more, be a contributor, and find out how I could get involved. So I started doing some research. I found out two things: First, Make-a-Wish focuses exclusively on children who suffer from severe medical conditions, which is so important. However, the second thing I found out was there were barely any non-profit organizations helping disadvantaged youths who had non-medical issues. I realized that there were thousands of children who don’t have the same resources and therefore opportunities that many other kids have. Every child deserves to be loved and have hope. Life is so amazing, and the world offers so many wonderful experiences that then produce hope and dreams which fuel ambition. 

Employee Peer Pressure; Most Admired Companies
March 11, 2015, 8:15 am
Filed under: Customer Service

The following is written by Dave Murray, Experience Engineer for The DiJulius Group

Flying High - I am always happy when I get to fly on Southwest Airlines. Not because of their unique boarding procedure, and not because their flight attendants are typically more entertaining than most. The reason that I like to fly Southwest is because I always feel invigorated after reading Southwest’s in-flight magazine. The “You Made Our Day” feature in the magazine each month is made up of letters from Customers that had “their day made” by a Southwest team member. And we are not talking about one or two letters either. Each month, two pages are full of stories sent in from Customers across the country.

Passing the Above & Beyond challenge? Announcing 2015 Secret Service Summit Lineup
March 3, 2015, 2:46 pm
Filed under: Customer Service
Hotel Concierge takes on Guest’s above & beyond challenges - We all know that one of the best jobs you

Photo credit Imgur user FreePsychicReadings

can have, if you enjoy make Customers happy, is as a hotel concierge. However, a guest staying at the Hotel Indigo in San Antonio tested to see how far the concierge would go to accommodate her wishes. And the concierge delivered every time. It wasn’t just once,

Photo credit Imgur user FreePsychicReadings

check out how the concierge handled the guest’s repeated requests. World-Class Concierge. 

Your employees are too scared to go above & beyond? Given a similar situation in your business, would your employees go above & beyond? So often leadership is disappointed with front-line employees’ lack of above & beyond efforts and actions. Employers don’t understand why employees do not capitalize on “low hanging fruit,” when great opportunities present themselves to “wow” the Customer. The key reason? Your employees are scared! This is the number one reason, and I have yet to meet an executive/leader who was not in denial about his/her team’s lack of confidence in going above & beyond for Customers without fear of getting in trouble. I don’t care how many stories you tell, how many times you stand up and preach that there are no limitations on what your employees can do. I guarantee a higher percentage of your employees are hesitant, reluctant, even scared they could get in trouble – maybe for going against a policy. Read the full article I wrote on Are your employees fearless?

Are you a grudge buy? Who will wear the cape next?
February 24, 2015, 4:21 pm
Filed under: Customer Service
Grudge Buy - There are businesses that people enjoy experiencing like a visit to Starbucks, a weekend at The Ritz Carlton, shopping at Nordstrom, or a visit to the Spa. Then there are businesses that Customers dread, wish to avoid, and it frustrates them that they need to waste their hard-earned money there. These are called grudge buys. A grudge buy is something we need or must do, but is the last thing we want to do with our time or money. Grudge buys can be going to the dentist, paying for car insurance, needing new tires, calling for technical support or dealing with your attorney. Businesses that offer grudge buy services and products start off with a distinct disadvantage, versus a spa experience that is pleasurable. However, in many cases there is an advantage to this grudge buy perception. The consumer’s expectation for an enjoyable experience is typically very low. Also, the Customer is at a point of vulnerability, i.e. flat tire, illness. Nothing creates a stronger bond and loyalty than when someone comes to the rescue when another person is in a vulnerable position. 

Truck driver’s grudge buy - Often a truck driver does not want to have to come to the truck repair center of TravelCenters of America. If they do, that means something is wrong with their truck, which means their day is on the brink of disaster. TA has created an incredible training video titled, A Day in the Life of a Driver. It depicted a typical day for a driver who has not been home or seen his family for an extended period of time. It shows all the demands he has personally and professionally. His goal is to make it home for his son’s basketball game that evening. He hasn’t seen his son play, and his son wants him at this game. He finds out that more and more drivers he works with are being laid off, which makes him concerned for his job. He finally makes all his stops and is headed home to see his son’s game. Just then, one of his tires blows and he shouts, “Not now, not a tire!” And you hear his son’s voice saying, “You’ve got to make it home tonight. You have to see me play!” You realize he probably isn’t going to see his son’s game as a result of his flat tire. The last thing you see is the driver pulling into a TravelCenters of America truck-repair location. It is gripping. That is how a day-in-the-life-of-a-Customer video should end-like a cliffhanger. What happens next? Hopefully, the right employee, who got to see this driver’s day unfold, will be saying to his or her coworkers, “I got this one, I got this next driver coming in.” They are going to be determined to help him get back on the road and home in time. In the case of TravelCenters, that is every driver’s situation. No matter what they have going on in their life, no one wants to have a truck break down and be late for the rest of the stops and have to work much later than planned. So it is realistic that nearly every driver walking in has that similar state of mind. 

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Am I a hypocrite when I say you should offer a price match guarantee?
February 17, 2015, 1:57 pm
Filed under: Customer Service
Employee mindset is wrong - Ask your employees this question: If your Customers told you that they could get what you sell from some place else for significantly less, what would you do? What would you say to keep them? You will probably be disappointed at their answer. Too often when faced with that same scenario, employees act almost apologetic, and start offering the Customer more, or even worse, they discount to justify the price gap. The problem is, your front-line employees may not understand the true value of the services and products they are selling to the Customer. 

New Paradigm on price match guarantees - I was inspired by reading Jeff Shore’s blog, Don’t Wage a Price War. Win Sales by Eliminating Your Competition. A paradigm shift is needed from selling a commodity someone can get anywhere to an experience Customers can only enjoy with your company. Everyone in your organization needs have this mindset: 

We are the ultimate experience provider. We will not be oversold. In fact if you can find it more expensive somewhere else, we will raise our prices and match it. 

Don’t compete in price wars; compete in experience wars - Sound crazy? Well if that was truly your mindset, if it was everyone’s mindset in your company, it would change your approach to the experience you provide. It would force us to deliver the ultimate experience. Personally, I get upset if I find out that someone is charging more for something either of my businesses sell. I start to think, what are they providing that we aren’t? Is it quality, consistency, or Customer service? What is it? We need to improve our game and be proud of what we charge relative to the experience we deliver.

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Most people could care less if 92% of brands disappeared; The Harvard of CX
February 11, 2015, 8:50 am
Filed under: Customer Service

Is your brand meaningful to people? The Meaningful Brand Index, conducted by Havas Media Group, is used to measure the benefit brands bring to people’s lives and ranks over 700 brands among 134,000 consumers in 23 countries using 12 “areas of well-being.” Each brand is ranked based on the effect it has on quality of life for consumers. This study revealed some interesting findings, two that struck me, 1) brands in the Meaningful Brands Index beat the stock market by 120% and 2) most people in the United States would not care if 92% of brands disappeared tomorrow. 

 *Related: How you can become the brand your Customers cannot live without

201B & the 5:30 haircut - All businesses battle with going on autopilot and, from time to time, becoming numb to their Customers’ conditions. While consulting with a large hospital, I found out that too often their  nurses and doctors would refer to patients as “201B.” Saying something like “201B needs their medicine.” They were saying room 201, bed B, instead of the patient’s name. At John Robert’s Spa, we are guilty of doing something very similar. Our service providers can look at their next guest as a “5:30 haircut.” However, we have guests who ask their family members to purchase them a gift certificate to our spa for their birthday. After they get it, they request a day off from work, have it on their calendar, and are counting down the days until they can get away from work, relationships, kids, and all the other stresses in their lives. They look forward to coming into the one place where they can relax and be rejuvenated, so they can leave and continue giving to everyone in their world. I can’t have my service providers looking at their next Customer as their 5:30 or their third-to-last appointment of the day, before they can go out or home. I need them to be present with each and every guest.

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