John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog

FAB FIVE “Es” | Pre-hire screening tool | Engagement Indicator | Service Aptitude Index | Quote of the week

FAB FIVE – I hate platitudes. Don’t tell your employees to be present or to make or exceed expectations. Tell them how, make it black & white, and make it measurable. One of my new favorite systems for making a customer connection are the “5 E’s.”

  1. Eye Contact
  2. Ear-to-Ear
  3. Enthusiastic Greeting
  4. Engage
  5. Educate

Why? – I love these for five reasons:

  1. They are so simple to do
  2. They can be effective with every customer
  3. The first four take zero time to execute
  4. They demonstrate genuine hospitality
  5. No one else is doing them

Applies to B2B – Before I lose my professional service providers or internal customer service/support/call centers thinking this is only for retail-to-consumer models, it absolutely applies to you! It’s 100% if you are meeting customers face-to-face, and if (or when) your touch point is over the phone.  Numbers 2-5 should be non-negotiable every time.

Eye Contact – This eliminates the head down, uncaring, robotic feeling when the front-line just asks, “next?”  A great training method for this is to audit the employees by periodically asking them, “What was the color of the customer’s eyes?”

Ear-to-Ear – Smile.  A smile is part of the uniform, and a smile has teeth. Demonstrate a positive attitude and tell the customers that you are happy to serve them.

Enthusiastic Greeting – Your greeting must demonstrate genuine warmth and not just a trained greeting. It should be one that shows enthusiasm in the voice coupled with a smile and eye contact.  You are now giving genuine hospitality as if the customer was an old friend visiting at your home.

Engage – THIS IS THE ONE, the secret ingredient that most companies do a poor job of mandating, training, showing its importance, and hence they provide little direction to employees on how to execute. This doesn’t have to be a ten-minute conversation.  Every single customer can be engaged within the time it typically takes to serve them, be it 90 seconds in the fast food environment or a 45 minute meeting. This action demonstrates that they are not a herd of cattle, or one of a hundred customers.  It eliminates the “too task focused on the transaction” versus having an “interaction” with someone.  In the incidences where you know the customer — make that known.  Utilize any customer intelligence you can, from info in a database to recognizing their name badge, or a picture of their twins on the desk, a hat, college shirt, tie, glasses, or anything else you can point out.

Educate – This is the one that may slightly affect time of service in industries that are built around rapid pace (fast food) and may have to have an above & beyond action when it is warranted, i.e. a new customer unfamiliar with a menu. For the rest of us it should have zero impact on productivity and be demonstrated every single time. Think of companies like Nordstrom and Apple stores. Their employees are brilliant about their products and application.

Engagement indicatorAmazing new pre-hiring screening tool – If you are looking for people who have the potential to be customer centric service providers, auditing the first 4 E’s might be your most powerful tool.   Many of my consulting clients have incorporated the first 4 E’s into their interview process, literally counting the times an employee candidate demonstrates each.

Service Aptitude potential index – The 4 E screening does not mean employees have the Service Aptitude necessary to be service stars. Rarely do your new employees (or, unfortunately, existing) have the Service Aptitude level needed to deliver a world-class experience. It is your company’s job to have soft skill training initially and on going that dictates Service Aptitude. The “E’s” tell you if they have the Service Aptitude potential.

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        Quote of the week

“Never underestimate the capability of people, including you. Another person’s capability will overwhelm you. Never think that the person can’t do it, just because he or she may have failed the first couple of times.”

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~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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