John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog

Best Practices from the Best
June 27, 2012, 8:29 am
Filed under: Customer Service
 Secret Service Agents

Secret Service Agents in your organization – One of the best tools developed by The DiJulius Group for our consulting clients is an internal Secret Agent Team made  up primarily of front-line employees to facilitate the rollout of initiatives.

What is it? Internal Secret Service Agents are typically employees who volunteer to be an extension of the executive team’s customer service steering committee.

How do you find these people? It is suggested that you post the opportunity for your employees to apply to be Secret Service Agents. You want people who:

   A) Get it. They understand how important this is to the competitive advantage for the organization

   B) Are motivated to contribute and help the company become World-Class.

This has been instrumental in several ways: It helps get front line buy in for new initiatives, the executive team gets front-line perspective, and the Secret Service Agents become your ambassadors for getting the rest of the organization excited about what is being rolled out.

Best Practices – There have been many companies that have instituted the Secret Service Agent program in their organizations; however, three companies that have done it the best are Nestle, TLC Laser Vision, and Restaurants on the Run. We asked each to share how they created such a strong program, and here are some of their answers.


1. Explain how you went about getting people on the team (is there an application/selection process)?

TLC      Agents were hand selected by their Regional Directors for consistently                 demonstrating a commitment to “Compassionately Changing Lives”                   and delivering a Gold Standard Patient Experience with every patient                 interaction.


2. Who heads it up?


NESTLE      The facility manager or Customer Service Manager                          meets with the SSA’s, but they lead themselves on                          ideas and programs.

3. What types of positions are made (just front-line/employee or management too)?

TLC      Front-line employees only.

4. How do you coordinate meetings/calls from different areas?

ROTR      The meeting leader schedules ROTR meetings and outlook requests                    are sent. Members locate off site can call in for the meeting.                                  Typically we set a reoccurring schedule and time.

5. How often do they meet/talk?


TLC      Initially team-held conference calls occur every two weeks, minutes                     are taken to ensure follow-up execution.

6. What are their responsibilities?

NESTLE       Gather ideas about the Nestle Experience and figure out ways to                         reinforce and drive active engagement by all employees.  Ensure                         the huddles are taking place in each of the teams every day.

7. Are they compensated/rewarded, and if so, how?

TLC     They get to attend the Secret Service Summit every November in                        Cleveland, and with personal growth and fulfillment – knowing your                    contribution significantly changes people’s lives both internally and                      externally is empowering.

8. What ideas/innovations/benefits have come from these groups?

TLC      Creation of a Service Binder which includes our Vision,                   Promise & Values, “Never & Always,” “Non Negotiable                 Service Standards,” “Daily Focus,” “Telephone Etiquette”               and Detailed Monthly Service Values. Service Vision                       Calendar highlighting our teams having fun, Service Vision Poster that               is personalized and displayed in every TLC center.

9. What other benefits have come out?

NESTLE        Teams have taken Huddles, Nestle Experience, and the monthly                          games and contest far beyond what management could have                                envisioned.  They quiz each other and memorize all the material                          that testing would not have reproduced.

10. What is the hardest thing about having a secret service agent group?

ROTR     Trying to maintain the standard of what constitutes a winning                               nomination. You want to recognize everyone, but need to maintain a                   standard for what we are expecting. Sometimes an employee will get                   nominated but not get selected.


11. What has been the most rewarding thing about having a Secret Service Agent team?

TLC     Having the chance to attend the Secret Service                        Summit — which is amazing. Also sharing/                              brainstorming ideas, creating materials and building a world-class                        internal culture!

12. Any other info you can add that is relevant to share?

ROTR      Having a multi-state company, these stories share our common                            purpose and values. This also shows employees that we mean                              business when it comes to service and we are investing in a program                    that rewards the service behavior that we are looking for.

We want to thank Nestle, TLC Laser Vision, and Restaurants on the Run for taking the time to share their best practices. You can read each of their answers to every question here: Secret Service Agent Program

FEW SPOTS LEFT for the Secret Service Certification July 19 & 20

May 2012 Graduating Class

Secret Service Certification – be part of the next select few who become a Secret Service Certified facilitator. Registration is now open to our next, one of a kind, customer service training program taught by THE authority on world-class customer service John DiJulius. This July 19 & 20 become one of an elite group of Secret Service Certified Agents.

These train the trainer programs are based on the ‘Secret Service’ methodology by John DiJulius. Taught by him EXCLUSIVELY, this 2-day class will provide the tools necessary for you to become a specialized customer service trainer in any industry. You will:

  • Become a Certified Secret Service ™ Agent and train others to provide world-class customer service
  • Learn to facilitate the Customer Experience Cycle™ Workshop to companies in any industry
  • Receive all tools necessary to create your own keynote
  • Gain rights to the use of the Secret Service logo™, facilitator guides, and handouts
  • Get unique agent discounts and incentives on educational conferences and resources like books and online training

Download your application HERE and submit it via email to or fax it to (440) 919-0306. With any questions call us at 440-443-0022.


 Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened  

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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[…] Plan – With your Secret Service Agent team create a small set (6-12 actions/standards) that match the following […]

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