John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog


Where the Hell is Matt? Hotel charges for bad reviews; Making boring task an Experience
September 9, 2014, 3:00 pm
Filed under: Customer Service

Hotel charges Customers for negative reviews - Charging Customers for negative reviews is one of the shadiest things I have ever seen. Companies bury these “fines” in places that most Customers would rarely see. A hotel in Hudson, New York, called The Union Street Guest House, thought it was a good idea. The hotel charges guests $500 for writing negative reviews online. Their policy for events and wedding parties was posted on their website, however due to the media attention this received, the hotel has removed this policy.  It stated:

 

“There will be a $500 dollar fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review of USGH placed on any internet site by anyone in your party and/or attending your wedding even if you stay here to attend a wedding anywhere in the area and leave us a negative review on any internet site you agree to a $500 fine for each negative review.”

 

Policies galore - Reading all their “policies” must really make potential Customers jump at the chance to make reservations at this hotel. The following are just a few of examples of their policies:

  • “We only honor certain gift cards and at certain times/days of the year. We do not accept gift cards or gift certificates without prior notification. You will be charged up front per a regular reservation and refunded when you present your card or certificate upon arrival.”
  • “We only accept cancellations via email and you must receive a response from us in order for you to have an approved cancellation. ”
  • “There will be a $35 charge for any cancellation (per room).”

 



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.

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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.

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Cell Phones are to blame for restaurants’ slow service; The Experience Economy
August 19, 2014, 5:24 pm
Filed under: Customer Service

Are cell phones to blame? I found this study fascinating. After a New York City restaurant kept getting bad reviews for slow service, they decided to compare surveillance footage from 2004 to 2014.  They discovered shocking results. So much so, they posted their findings on Craigslist:

2004:

  • Out of 45 Customers seated, 3 requested to be seated elsewhere.
  • Customers on average spend 8 minutes before closing the menu to show they are ready to order.
  • Appetizers arrive within 6 minutes. Out of 45 Customers 2 sent items back.
  • After guests are done, the check delivered, and within 5 minutes they leave.
  • Average time from start to finish: 1:05

2014:

  • Out of 45 Customers seated, 18 requested to be seated elsewhere.
  • Before even opening the menu they take their phones out.
  • 7 out of the 45 Customers had a problem connecting to the WIFI and ask the waiters for help.
  • Finally the waiters are walking over to the table to see what the Customers would like to order. The majority have not even opened the menu and ask the waiter to come back.
  • This happens again.
  • Average time from when the Customer was seated until they placed their order – 21 minutes.
  • Food starts getting delivered within 6 minutes.
  • 26 out of 45 Customers spend an average of 3 minutes taking photos of the food.
  • 14 out of 45 Customers take pictures of each other with the food in front of them or as they are eating the food. This takes on average another 4 minutes as they must review and sometimes retake the photo.
  • 9 out of 45 Customers sent their food back to reheat.
  • 27 out of 45 Customers asked their waiter to take a group photo.
  • 14 of those requested the waiter retake the photo as they were not pleased with the first photo.
  • Given in most cases the Customers are constantly busy on their phones, it took an average of 20 minutes more from when they were done eating until they requested a check.
  • Furthermore once the check was delivered it took 15 minutes longer than 10 years ago for them to pay and leave.
  • Average time from start to finish: 1:50

Read John’s Full Article on TheDiJulius Group.com

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Taco Bell Employee Shoots Unhappy Customer, Frontier Pilot Buys Pizzas For All Passengers

Taco Bell employee shoots unhappy Customer –  A new technique being experimented with by some fast food restaurants to deter Customers from complaining — is to shoot them! (Not really) However it did actually happen. A Taco Bell employee shot an unhappy Customer with a BB gun and then pistol-whipped him after the Customer became impatient with the drive-up window service. The Customer told police he’d been waiting for his taco order at the drive-thru “for a very long time” and had wanted to make a complaint about the poor service, but no one would help him. The worker was arrested on two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and one count of assault and battery. Continue reading…  

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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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Comcast Massive Fail: Who’s to Blame?

Cable company rep bullys Customer trying to cancel service – A Comcast Customer service representative makes it almost impossible for a Customer to cancel his cable service. The Customer, who recorded the call midway through, is harassed and scolded for nearly 10 minutes by the rep. This story has exploded all over the Internet and received national media attention.  Listen to the recorded call yourself.

 

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