John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog

Hug your Haters; Starbucks serving same-sex marriages support; Jay Baer keynoting
June 9, 2015, 12:20 pm
Filed under: Customer Service
Don’t copy Zappos’ ‘no-boss workplace’ just yet – The on-line retailer adopted a management philosophy called Holacracy, which is basically a boss-free company. Zappos has zero managers to oversee employees (who are supposed to decide largely for themselves) how they get their work done. Earlier this month, Zappos said about 14%, or 210, of its roughly 1,500 employees had decided Holacracy wasn’t for them, and they will leave the retailer. Employees say the new system has been confusing and time-consuming. Beyond initial snags, some employees wonder how they will win pay raises and advance their careers with no management track. Research shows that the value of flat organizations is mixed, though highly motivated workers who thrive on creativity generally are best suited for going bossless. The results at Zappos will be watched closely because the company has long embraced employee independence even while striving to meet exacting Customer-service standards. 

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Your competition is not who you think
June 4, 2015, 1:33 pm
Filed under: Customer Service

Who is your real competition? If you ask employees this question, most will list five companies from their industry that sell exactly what they do. However, in most cases that isn’t your competition at all. All they really are is the beneficiary of your lack of Customer loyalty. Whether you are a law firm, insurance agent, jewelry store, salon, or accounting firm, the comparison of your competition to you is really pointless. After your Customer receives a haircut, they don’t leave your salon and then go visit another one and say, “Wow, my salon is so much better.” Your firm’s client doesn’t hang up with you and call another accounting firm. After your Customers deal with you, they then interact with other businesses. They finish their errands, go to the dry cleaner, do shopping and make a few other calls to totally different businesses. All day long Customers are hearing “no,” “it is not our policy,” “too late,” “hold please,” etc.  What you want is for your Customers, when dealing with any other business, to feel like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz –clicking her heels and saying,  ” I wish everyone else treated me as well as (your company).”

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Forget the Noise and focus on the Experience
May 28, 2015, 10:29 am
Filed under: Customer Service
Don’t let the Noise distract you – Every business in every industry has noise, and the vast majority of businesses get distracted by it and lose focus of what is truly important to the Customer. Noise is what is going on that is out of your control: the economy, government regulations, competition that is heavily discounting and not playing by the same rules. In the cab/limo industry it is Uber, in the hotel & resort industry it is Airbnb, in retail it is on-line and Wal-Mart, in the salon industry it is the booth rental salons. Most companies waste their time on trying to figure out how to prevent these companies from entering their markets through lobbying against them, and eventually they just become the victim of pricing wars. 

Forget your competition and focus on the Experience – The majority of the time if the Customers were receiving a great experience, the industry wouldn’t be so ripe to attack. When was the last time you had a great cab ride experience? Enter Uber. World-Class Customer service companies spend zero time on what their competition is doing; they focus on how to deliver the best possible experience, constantly raising the bar, so they are not vulnerable to price wars. Here is what Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon has to say: “When given the choice of obsessing over competitors or obsessing over Customers, we always obsess over Customers.” 

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What Happens in Your Organization When Someone Says ” I Quit”?
May 19, 2015, 4:36 pm
Filed under: Customer Service

The following is written by Dave Murray, Senior Customer Experience Consultant for The DiJulius Group

On a recent Linked-In post, Fred Reichheld wrote a very entertaining and insightful article about the right way to treat employees when they quit your organization. The article titled, “Four Reasons Not to Be a Jerk When Employees Say Goodbye,” focuses on how you should treat departing employees, along with some pretty compelling reasons as to why. For those of you who do not know, Fred is the creator of the Net Promoter System, as well as an author and sought after speaker on the subject of loyalty.

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Employees would rather be criticized than ignored; Toys ‘R’ Us fights in Experience wars
May 12, 2015, 1:46 pm
Filed under: Customer Service
Spirit Airlines dead last in Customer Satisfaction scores – While JetBlue and Southwest Airlines battle it out between who is #1 at satisfying their customers, Spirit Airlines and Time Warner Cable had their own battle for worst, as they ended up tying for the last place in Customer satisfaction. Very few people are surprised at Spirit’s low performance. While they offer low prices, they skimp the most on customer service and have for a long time. One classic example is when Spirit would not refund a Vietnam veteran the pre-booked $197 airfare after he found out he had terminal cancer and couldn’t travel. 

Toys ‘R’ Us fights to compete in Experience Wars versus Price Wars – After years of losing ground to on-line rivals and discount chains, Toys “R” Us Inc. plans to revamp its stores to be places where kids come to play. Trying to compete with mega-discounters like Walmart and on-line vendors like Amazon on price, their new strategy is to get kids in the door by creating an experience — not just a place to buy toys. They’re planning a prototype store that will feature large play spaces for kids, and demonstration units for technology for them to experiment. They are also aiming to train employees better, arm them with more product knowledge, and make the stores into something different that general retailers can’t compete against. 

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Starbucks making price irrelevant; fired for not smiling; Delta Airlines surprise & delights
May 6, 2015, 1:42 pm
Filed under: Customer Service
Starbucks making price irrelevant – The coffee chain reported a higher quarterly profit with a 7% increase in sales in their U.S. stores as compared to Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. sales, which only only rose 2.7%. Why are Starbucks sales up so much? Three reasons: 1) Starbucks’ Customers are spending more money per visit due to an expanded product offering; 2) Some of the new products on their menu such as “Flat White” espresso and Teavana iced teas plus baked goods, have a higher price tag; and 3) Starbucks consistently delivers an exceptional Customer experience. People will pay for that! What is next? Starbucks is slowly rolling out selling of alcohol in different markets.

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In the World of Customer Experience: How dare you be ordinary!
April 29, 2015, 2:40 pm
Filed under: Customer Service

The following is content taken from:

The Customer Service Revolution: Overthrow Conventional Business,

Inspire Employees, and Change the World

Who are you to be ordinary? I don’t want to live an extraordinary life so I have a bigger bank account, nicer car, house, and more angledtoys. I know that if I live an extraordinary life, so many others will as a result. And if I do not find a way to live an extraordinary life, I will probably end up cheating thousands of people. Undeveloped potential cheats those around us, those we touch, influence, and impact, as well as deprives ourselves of joy, satisfaction, and opportunities. Living our life to its fullest potential is not an opportunity; it is our responsibility.


Who are you to deny greatness? It is an obligation to be the best version of ourselves we possibly can be, every day. Not just for us and how our life will benefit, but also for all the people depending on us: our spouse, children, friends, employees, coworkers, Customers, and our community. Living an extraordinary life is living fully. I believe that we all have enormous potential inside each of us, and if there are parts of that potential that we do not develop, we are cheating the rest of the world out of the contribution that we could have made. So if I don’t live fully, I don’t just deny myself a lot of joy and satisfaction; I deny the rest of the people in the world the benefit of what I could have contributed. Success is when you are firing on all eight cylinders, mentally, physically, emotionally, with family, socially, in your career, financially, and spiritually-all of those are part of you and they all deserve your very best. Living an extraordinary life is like when the flight attendant says, “You must put your own oxygen mask on first before helping those around you.” When you first hear that, it actually sounds a bit selfish. However, what use will you be to anyone else if you do not take care of yourself first?

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