John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog


Can your Customers live without you? Apple #1 at brand loyalty

Apple -Top Brand Customers cannot live without - For the third consecutive year, Apple was named the top brand consumers can’t live without. Other companies that consumers couldn’t live without were Amazon, Dell, Coca-Cola, Google, Microsoft and of course Starbucks – former presenter at the Summit.

Are you brave enough to ask the tough questions? Most companies that do Customer satisfaction surveys ask the typical questions:

  1. How satisfied are you?
  2. How likely are you to continue to do business with us?
  3. How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or associate?

These are all good questions that should be asked. However, they don’t measure true emotional connections made with the Customer. That requires a different set of questions, a different mindset, company confidence and the courage to ask.

Can you imagine a world without Ritz-Carlton? The Ritz-Carlton has a strong tradition of measuring Customer satisfaction. However, if you ever stay at The Ritz and are asked to take their satisfaction survey, you may find some questions that seem a bit unusual like, “I can’t imagine a world without Ritz-Carlton.” While this may seem like an odd question, the Ritz-Carlton Hotels are not merely trying to measure guest satisfaction, but rather Customer engagement. It is a better metric of the emotional connection and perceived fit held by a Customer toward a business, and overall Customer loyalty.



Permanent Brand Loyalty; Baseball owner tells fans to stay home; Back to school tradition

Major league baseball team owner tells unhappy fans to stay home - Service Aptitude starts at the top, and it is clear that Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort could use a seat at the summit. The team isn’t playing well, which typically results in fans venting their frustration. Shockingly, Monfort has chosen to respond to fans’ emails with responses like: “By the way you talk maybe Denver doesn’t deserve a franchise, maybe time for it to find a new home. Thanks.” And another that said, “If the experience is that bad, don’t come to the games.” As a result of the backlash from the fan base, Monfort was forced to issue a public apology.

 

A Widow gets a pleasant surprise from a server – Up until the husband passed away, a couple spent 31 wedding anniversaries together at the Red Lobster. After the husband’s passing, the widow’s daughter took her mother to the Red Lobster on their anniversary date.  Instead of a bill, they were surprised to receive this note from their server:

We are sorry to hear about your husband’s passing, but we appreciate your loyalty in spending 31 years of your anniversary with us. For your appreciation your meal is on us! We look forward to spending your next anniversary with us!

 

Sincerely,

 

Red Lobster + your server, Taylor

Read John’s full story on TheDiJuliusGroup.com.



How to ensure Customers never forget you; Proof of Dead Cat

How to make Customers unable to forget you – One of the best marketers I have ever met was a mortgage lender whom I used back in 1991. He was great to deal with, friendly and informed, worked around our schedule, and did an excellent job of keeping us informed. However, that alone wasn’t what made him exceptional or memorable.  Since the buying cycle in mortgages typically has such a long gap in between, I was certain I would have forgotten about him, had he not made sure I couldn’t forget him. When the deal was finalized, I assumed that was it, we would never hear from him again. Did we ever hear from him again? He became an excellent resource who contacted us about several times a year. Every fall, winter, spring, and summer he sent us magnetic postcards with a list of seasonal activities to enjoy. In the summer, the card listed all the water and amusement parks, outdoor concerts, and festivals, including dates, hours of operation, phone numbers, and addresses. In the winter, the card listed where we could see holiday lights, and hear holiday carolers. Each of these postcards had a shelf life of 2-3 months, which meant, nearly twelve months a year, our refrigerator had his postcard on it. Everything he sent out always ended with a note saying, “The highest compliment I could receive is a referral of a family member or friend.”  Because he constantly was sending me these seasonal postcards with great information that I could use, I never forgot who my mortgage lender was. As a result, I not only used him every time I either refinanced or purchased a new home, I referred over two dozen people to him.

 

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Lebron delivers World-Class service To Cleveland

 

The Shocking Decision – By now you have heard that LeBron James is headed back to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the place he grew up. Like LeBron, I love Cleveland, it is my home and I am very proud of it. However, to be honest, I never thought Cleveland had a chance to get LeBron back. Why would he return? Why would he choose Cleveland, Ohio, over Miami, Florida? The contract was exactly the same. Miami is thought of as one of the best cities in US, and Cleveland is stereotyped as one of the worst. Miami has the better weather, nightlife, and beaches. Miami has been to the NBA finals the last four consecutive years and has won the championship twice. Cleveland has not won any championship in any major sport since 1964. Seems like an easy decision for any professional athlete, especially one like LeBron who could be considered the best of all time; that is if he wins several more championships. So you can see my total shock when he announced he was coming back to Cleveland.

 

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Customer Experience is the new Marketing

Customer experience is the new marketing – Delivering a great Customer experience means that Customers do the marketing for you. In an article, “Customer Experience: Marketing without Marketing,” Annette Franz Gleneicki shares how having this community of loyal fans can save your brand thousands of dollars in marketing. Your company can focus on making the product, service and experience better and not use as many resources to constantly attract new Customers. Gleneicki quotes Robert Stephens, founder of Geek Squad, “Advertising is the tax you pay for being unremarkable.” I love that quote!

 

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How to make Customers fall in LOVE with your brand

Biggest Advantage – Let’s talk about a word that is not used regularly, or comfortably, in the corporate world. That word is LOVE. While it isn’t spoken, it is what all executives want: People to LOVE their brand. They want their employees to LOVE working for them. We all want our Customers to LOVE us. Think about the top brands in the world: people don’t buy from Starbucks, they LOVE Starbucks. People LOVE Apple, Zappos, Nordstrom, Chick-fil-A, and Amazon. Think about the companies you personally would never stop doing business with? You may LOVE your hairdresser, or your account executive, manufacturer/distributor; you might even LOVE your banker or lawyer (crazy as that sounds).  What makes you LOVE a service provider or business? What did they do to make you LOVE them? How many of your Customers would make heart-shapes about your brand? I LOVE the phrase “Out-LOVE your competition.” Out-Loving your competition is the most distinct competitive advantage a company can have. When enough Customers LOVE your business, you have just made price irrelevant. What do we have to do to make our Customers LOVE us and our businesses?

 

You have to LOVE them first – LOVE has to start at home. In business terms, that means internally  treating your employees with world-class service. What is felt on the inside will be felt on the outside. All relationships begin with a connection. It may only be momentary  (your heart skips a beat) possibly originating out of the first three of the Five E’s (eye contact, enthusiastic greet, and ear to ear smile). It grows a little bit more when a conversation is had, executing on the final two E’s (engage and educate). Through this interaction, the Customer realizes it is not about the sale, rather you are truly interested in what’s best for them. Interest and trust has been created.  However, emotional connection isn’t made until the business demonstrates genuine care and interest in more than just their pocket book. Falling in LOVE with your brand is not possible until the Customer feels that it is all about them, that they are the most important person in the relationship. The business needs to take the time to learn about them, using Customer intelligence, their FORD — about their Family, Occupation, Recreation and Dreams.  Due to the relationship you have created, the Customer cannot recall how they ever got along before you were in their life and could not imagine a world without your business. You now have a brand evangelist.

 

What we need is LOVE - Let’s teach what kindness looks like, in business, in family, communities and schools. Have employees learn about caring for others with no hidden agenda to make a sale or profit. Teach them how to display genuine hospitality.

 

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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Amazon pays employees to quit, Starbucks Tweet-a-Coffee, NY Restaurant provides Secret Service

NY Restaurant provides Secret Service – The maître d’ at New York’s Eleven Madison Park has created a fascinating way to provide Secret Service and make an emotional connection with guests. He Googles guests who have reservations at the restaurant, searching for Customer intelligence such as where they are from, birth date, profession, anniversary, so he and his employees can personalize the experience from the moment the Customer walks thru the door.

 

Tweet-a-Coffee – World-Class Customer service companies make it extremely easy for their Customers to do business with them. This means they make it extremely easy to spend more money with them.  For example, Starbucks has launched Tweet-a-Coffee, allowing Customers to purchase a coffee for anyone, anywhere via twitter by tweeting @tweetacoffee and then the person’s twitter handle.  Within seconds, a $5 gift card (or tweet) has been given and can be redeemed the next time the recipient goes to Starbucks.  How easy is it to do business with you?

 

Amazon copying Zappos’ paying employees to quit – In his annual letter to shareholders (page 3, paragraph 6), Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, announced his Pay to Quit program, offering employees a quitting bonus to leave Amazon. Each employee gets the offer once a year. The first time, it’s for $2,000. The offer increases by $1,000 each year thereafter up to a maximum of $5,000. Sound familiar? Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, the online retailer, acquired by Amazon back in 2009, invented this concept.  He refers to it as, “The Offer.” Why are world-class Customer service organizations such as Amazon and Zappos offering incentives and making it easy for employees to leave? Bezos says it well, “In the long run, an employee staying somewhere they don’t want to be isn’t healthy for the employee or the company.” World-Class Customer service organizations are not for everyone, nor should they be. They are for a small percentage of people who buy into that company’s vision and are willing to work harder and be more committed to seeing that the vision gets realized. This Pay to Quit program also turns the table on the company and its leaders. Once a year employees get a chance to evaluate where and whom they work for, which puts pressure on management to continue to strive to create a great company culture.

 

Pre-shift Huddles that work – The Maids International, based in Omaha, Nebraska,is a professional home-cleaning service with franchisee locations all over the United States. In an effort to encourage consistent, constructive huddles, each location received a “Brilliant at the Basics” laminated poster.  The poster can easily be hung in any area of an office, and then re-used daily with a dry erase marker.  It guides huddle leaders through TMI’s three pillars, gives an opportunity to discuss specific quality issues, and lastly has an area to celebrate recent Above and Beyond behaviors.  At very little cost, TMI has developed a customized huddle format, which has been deployed across the organization. Also, TMI has announced a fun way to ensure this new tool is being used.  They are holding a video contest seeking the best huddle.  TMI locations are encouraged to video tape what they consider to be their best version of a huddle.  Prizes will be awarded to the winning team.  What a fun way to encourage usage of this effective tool on a daily basis!  See TMI walking the talk.

 

Jack Daly’s new book - A sales guru and past keynote speaker of The Secret Service Summit, Jack Daly’s newest book and soon to be bestseller, Hyper Sales Growth, was released Tuesday, April 22, 2014. Jack knows sales and how to help companies grow. Hyper Sales Growth dives into three critical areas: Building a winning culture in your business, Sales Management, and Sales success. I promise that if you will take the time to read it and take action, your business will grow and achieve a greater amount of success. 

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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