John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog

Five Below puts their employees in the shoes of the customer: take the C-SAT: Policy is Bad: forget about the eye-rollers
May 4, 2011, 5:00 am
Filed under: Customer Experience, Customer Service, John DiJulius | Tags:
“Making price irrelevant…”

Five BelowLife in the day of a Five Below customer – The two most obvious things that World-Class service organizations do differently than all other companies are 1) understand that Service Aptitude is not a common trait, and organizations must train for it and certify it; and 2) constantly put employees in the shoes of their customers. I just worked with one of the coolest and fastest growing retailers in the U.S. called Five Below, a trendy, value retailer for teens and pre-teens, currently have 146 locations throughout the U.S.  After hearing me speak, one of their store managers went back and created a simple poster for display in the employee area to help their workers better empathize with what is on the customer’s plate.

No More Policy – Policy is a bad word. Customers hate hearing the words, “our policy is…” and even worse, employees love to use it as a crutch. I recently had a situation with one of my own good managers of John Robert’s Spa, who couldn’t understand why we would “make exceptions” to our policy. For example: ever so rarely, someone will ask for a refund on a gift card or bring back open makeup. Somewhere our policy states we do not do either. However, we have made exceptions, which upset employees who are trying to protect the company by adhering to our policies.  So to make things much simpler, we removed the term policy as it relates to customer service, and now call it “guidelines.”  We ask our employees to use their best judgment, and if exceptions are made, it’s okay.  Now, I know the first thing some of you are thinking is, “If you do for one, you are going have to do for everyone?” When we make an exception and return a gift card or make up, we do not then get a flood of people returning these items. It is so infrequent, and no one has yet gone out and broadcasted on the internet that John Robert’s will give you cash for gift cards.  Training your employees to have high Service Aptitude means they believe in the best of others and do not punish 98% of customer’s for what 2% might do.

If you can’t change the people, change the people – Too many times, when trying to introduce a new system that will help companies improve their customer experience, management stalls because of the resistance they perceive they will get from 10% of what I like to call “eye-rollers.”  Eye-rollers are employees who are cynical and find it hard to buy into anything.  Do not let the eye-rollers prevent you from taking your company to a new level.  Some of the 10% will get on board; the majority will weed themselves out.

Resource of the Week – Do you know your company’s Customer Service level? The DiJulius Group has created an incredibly powerful tool called the Company Service Aptitude Test (C-SAT).  The C-SAT lets management know where the strengths and opportunities are in order to get to the next level.

World-Class Law Firm – If you heard me speak, read my book What’s the Secret? {link to the book] or attended the 2009 Secret Service Summit than you know that Carter Mario Law Firm, out of Connecticut, is the Zappos of professional service firms. A long time client of The DiJulius Group, Carter Mario himself was one of our most popular speakers at our 2009 Secret Service Summit and his law firm was the recipient of the 2009 Secret Service Award. They were featured in the Hartford Courant for continuing to raise the bar for client experience [read entire article].

Quote of the Week

“Money doesn’t produce passion, passion produces money”

~John DiJulius best-selling author, consultant, and keynote speaker, is the CVO of The DiJulius Group, the leading customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on customer experience trends and best practices. John DiJulius is the innovator of a methodology called Secret Service a customer service system which consistently enables organizations to deliver World-Class Customer Experiences. Find out more about The DiJulius Group or The Secret Service Summit, the #1 National Customer Service Conference.

1 Comment

Wonderful break down. Thanks for the post. I’ll never look at customer service the same way again

Comment by stay hydrated get focused

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: