John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog

“The Summit meeting was invigorating. Upon arrival I assumed that it would be
the same old two day conference listening to boring speakers and taking notes.
Wow…was I wrong. Not only were the speakers amazing, but I really walked away
with a new outlook on how to run the business AND, on a personal level, that one
really MUST live life to its fullest.”
~2011 Secret Service Summit attendee’s feedback

The 2011 Secret Service Summit was one of the highlights of my professional career. It started with selling out 10 days before the event due to the amazing lineup of speakers and companies represented.  The hype didn’t disappoint, as you can see by a sampling of feedback we received, and we received hundreds of similar comments. Best of all was the energy in the room. A world-class customer service conference is unlike any other. Everyone is coming there to find out how they can raise their hospitality and customer experience to the next level. The energy in the room is indescribable — people were literally crying when the conference ended.

Whether you were there seeing it unfold live or you were unable to get away, we audio tapped it and have it available for you to hear or relive the amazing content shared by all the brilliant leaders, authors, and motivational speakers.  2011 Secret Service Summit Audio.

Recapping some of the major takeaways from each of the presenters:

Michael CaitoMichael Caito President & CEO, Restaurants on the Run

“Michael’s presentation was all about his passion. You could see that he lives and breathes with his company, and having an owner/CEO that close to service is refreshing.”

Disciplines for growth – People, Strategy & Execution
1) People – We use a job matrix to create clear expectations for each position and all new hires get a 90 day training plan.

  • selection
  • purpose
  • service

2) Strategy – We built  a strategy statement which defines our objective and strategy for the next 3 years.

  • hedgehog principal
  • advantage
  • strategy statement

3) Execution – We create accountability in the company by using Vital Factor Team Meetings, quarterly planning sessions and 1-1 “mops” with our direct reports.

  • vital factors
  • performance management
  • aligning resources

Jack MackeyJack Mackey VP of Sales for Service Management Group & Professional Speaker

“I LOVED Jack’s presentation. I was WOWED by how much I learned from him. Very impressive.”

Anyone can still make it in America when they bring a spirit of creative discontent to the challenges of winning and keeping loyal customers.

  1. All business is personal, it goes where it is invited and stays where it is appreciated
  2. Your operation is your customer service
  3. People only talk about what’s remarkable
  4. You can market all you like, but people believe what they experience
  5. Customers own your brand
  6. Even loyal customers like to try new things
  7. Innovation is how we compete for the future

Craig Russell-StarbucksCraig Russell, Senior Vice President, U.S. Store Operations Services Starbucks

“I liked how Craig suggested we should empower our employees to make it right, no matter what it takes.
Craig reminded us to always do the right thing for the customer.”
  1. Know your current state of employee’s understanding of what customer service is in your company – go to the front line and ask.
  2. Know your current state of customer service by observation – go to where the customers shop or engage with your company and observe, ask questions, and really try to not be an informed insider — but be a customer.
  3. Validate that you have a customer service vision and if not, BUILD one!
  4. Ensure the pillars that support the vision are actionable, simple to remember, resonate with the front line and are observable and measureable behaviors.
  5. Cascade your vision in a way that connects to your company’s core mission and culture. (At Starbucks it was the apron.)
  6. USE the model (The 10 Commandments) and continuously improve by benchmarking with other great companies!

Michael CoburnMichael Coburn Director of Customer Service, Nestlé USA

“I loved that he took us from bad to great. He took us on the journey and let us see how change can happen when you get the right people to lead it through!”

At Nestlé we needed to change our mindset from being merely transactional to experiential

  1. You’re never too good to get better – continuous improvement in the area of how you interact with your customer is critical to being world class.  In the Business to Business world, take care of your clients who in the end take care of your consumers.
  2. Involve your employees in the solution so that they are the ones driving it forward.  They will take it further than you might have even envisioned.
  3. Daily Huddles – A great way for your teams focused on delivering World Class Customer Service.  Don’t be afraid to force the issue and soon this will be a way of life that the employees could not imagine starting their day without.  Make sure management has a huddle as well, to model the way.

Matt StewartMatt Stewart CEO, National Services Group

“Matt Stewart is definitely a great speaker…he kept the audience so engaged w/his humor! I totally agree that we are all accountable for customer issues and his point of how we have to get past the place of right/wrong.”

The “Inner Marketer©” is what tells us we can do what others think we cannot.  It is what causes us to invent better, faster, cheaper ways of doing what we do today.  It is THE driver of change and improvement.   It should also be controlled.  We can savor the “Inner Marketer©” while we savor the utility of contrarian opinion:

  1. When addressing customer complaints we can look for the truth in every complaint and look to learn (we should never write off even the most ridiculous complaints.)
  2. When dealing with co-workers we can identify what is useful in even the most non-constructive feedback.
  3. When working with suppliers we can identify means of growth for our organization even when opposing a bad deal.

Applying this to customer service specifically… even the most ridiculous complaints contain some validity.  There is truth in ever rumor.  If we spend time identifying the valid, getting to know the complainer, and looking for improvement we can cease attacks from clients that will severely damage our brand and company.  Even one angry customer can cause incredible damage due to the power of the Internet today.  Beware of those looking to build Pinocchio websites that harm your company.

David WagnerDavid Wagner Author of Life as a Daymaker

“David’s presentation was so inspirational. I read his entire book on the plane ride home and was even more inspired to be a Daymaker myself. His talk about how we will live our “dash” was an excellent way to challenge all of us to go out and inspire others.”
  1. Talent without passion is a job. Passion without talent is a hobby. Being passionate about what you are talented at is your calling.
  2. Giving with no strings attached to customers, coworkers and people in general takes less energy than giving with expectations of what’s in it for you.
  3. How will you live your dash? Everyone has one; how will yours be defined? 1959 ?

Mark MoraitakisMark Moraitakis Director of Service Innovations, Chick-fil-A

“I read Truett Cathy’s book prior to hearing Mark speak at the event and I can definitely see why the Cathy family promoted Mark to the position he’s in today. I loved the, ‘Day in the life of..’ video Mark showed. It really supported his discussion on never knowing who you’re serving and serving your customers from the heart. The 2nd mile behaviors he talked about are also very important to
make price irrelevant.”
  1. Guests will remark about their experience – let’s do what we can to be sure the experience is REMARKABLE.
  2. Use what you’ve got.  For Chick-fil-A that is “craveable” food, our COWS, and our people.
  3. Food:  we freshly prepare our products – no freezer- to- fryer approach at Chick-fil-A
    COWS:  they are on a self-preservation campaign – they can be unexpectedly fun
    People:  we want our guest to feel cared for by going above and beyond.  This happens when we teach our team to offer world-class hospitality.
  • Be genuine:  serve from the heart to show honor, dignity, and respect
  • Be proactive:  anticipate the needs of others
  • Be personal:  connect in a way that create fond memories

John DiJuliusJohn DiJulius The Authority on World-Class Customer Experience

“DiJulius was amazing.  As always, I was again feverishly taking notes to get down all of the activities I could do w/my staff. I loved the never/always list, creating a day in the life of your customer, and creating an anti-no zone.”

7 Rules to Creating a Customer Revolution in your Industry

  1. Superior Quality
  2. Simplicity
  3. Easy to do business with
  4. Employee Evangelists
  5. Educate versus Sell
  6. Experience Epiphany
  7. Customer Engagement

Dick HoytDick Hoyt Motivational Speaker, Author, Father of the Century

“Dick is an amazing human being. Dick is incredible, as a father and a human being. His presentation was moving and inspiring. Made me want to get up and run!!! Made me cry!!! Inspired me that anything is achievable!!!! What an amazing story. I have shared it with all my friends and family, and can’t wait to share it with my staff.”
  1. Yes You Can
  2. Yes You Can
  3. Yes You Can

2011 Secret Service Summit Audio

2012 Secret Service Summit November 1st & 2nd.  Tickets are on sale now. Before the 2011 Summit was over, we had a rush of people buying for next year. We believe the 2012 Summit will sell out well in advance. Make your reservations now!

~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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