John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog

2012 Secret Service Summit Highlights


­2012 Secret Service Summit Highlights





2012 Secret Service Summit – The summit is over, and it was incredible! As a result of enormous success for 2011 Secret Service Summit, we moved the event to a larger venue to accommodate the increase in demand.  However, due to the amazing lineup of speakers and companies represented, it still sold out, over 400 attendees! The hype didn’t disappoint, as you can see by a sampling of feedback we 

received (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 came to find out how to raise hospitalityand customer experience to the next level. The passion in the room was indescribable, and many people were sad the conference ended.


Whether you were there seeing it unfold live or you were unable to get a ticket, we now have it available for you to hear and share with your entire organization. We captured the amazing content offered by all the brilliant leaders, authors, and motivational speakers of the 2012 Secret Service Summit Audio Series.


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


Mikki Williams – Author of Mikki Mouth


“Just loved her presentation! She used great stories to bring home her points. She will be aspeaker that I will never forget throughout my career. I’ve already used her theory of “Ask. Ask First. Take Risks” at work with my boss. The only way it could have been better would have been to hear more from her!”


    1. Ask!  Ask First!  Take a Risk!!
    2. Be a car fixer, not a horn honker and take action!
    3. Do good things, then remember that you did them
    4. Be Outrageous!


    Rory Vaden – Author of Take the Stairs


    “Fantastic presentation – great engaging speaker. Enjoyed his insight on procrastination and discipline. Only wish he could have spoken longer and covered more of the Take the Stairs book.”


      1. Waiting Makes it Worse – Procrastination is the most expensive invisible cost in business today because we always pay a price. We either pay the price now, today, or we will pay it later. Procrastination and indulgence are nothing more than creditors that charge us interest.
      2. Paradox Principle of Sacrifice – Easy short-term choices lead to difficult long-term consequences. Meanwhile difficult short-term choices lead to easy long-term consequences. So learn to leverage long-term vision to endure those short-term sacrifices.
      3. Buy-In Principle of Commitment – The more we have invested into something, the less likely we are to let it fail. So you increase your commitment, and thereby increase the likelihood of your success by intentionally creating the question, “How” rather than accidentally relenting to the question, “Should.” (Don’t be a “should-head.”)
      4. The Rent Axiom – Success is never owned; it is only rented – and the rent is due every day.


      So the next time you are in front of a set of escalators and some stairs, Take the Stairs because success comes from doing things we don’t always want to do.



      Arnie Malham – cj Advertising


      “I mean WOW!!! What an inspiring leader. I wanted to relocate to Tennessee just to have achance to work for this man. In all honesty, to me this is how secret service is successful, by having poignant, inspiring, caring leadership. Secret Service can only truly work if you first as a leader care about your people. I thought he did an amazing job at showing everyone that this was the way to have the best and most efficient employees. Honestly amazing!”


      Make your culture intentional and align with your goals.  My top moves that aligned well for me included…

        1. Appreciating my team by respecting their kids, their pets, and their dreams.
        2. Making sure my team members specifically know what success looks like for them individually.
        3. Investing in training at intense and insane levels to make sure they have all the tools they need to be as successful as possible.


        John C. Morgan – George W. Bush impersonator


        “Do you have a score of “12” for this guy? How great was it to see him come and shake hands! People really thought he was the real deal. Not only did he look like the former President – he also spoke like him. I laughed so hard I almost cried. What a way to start off the conference! Loved him!!!!”


          1. You have to start with passion and belief. Believe that your employees and customers are worth the best service you can plan and implement. Be passionate about that truth to give you the motivation to see it through.
          2. It takes real work planning the Secret Service Systems and even more to implement the level of service that creates a scenario wherein price is irrelevant, but it becomes second nature after the systems are in place and have been working a while. 
          3. The payoff is more than monetary, although it certainly does include financial gain. The real payoff is in knowing that you are giving your all to serve others and your community, and creating a better life for those you touch. Lastly you gain the satisfaction of knowing that for those watching, you are living a life worthy of imitation.



          Dr. David Moffet – Ultimate Patient Experience


          “I enjoyed that he benefited from using Secret Service and how it changed his practice. He was funny and absolutely adorable.  I loved his concept of ‘offer the offer.’ Since the end of the summit, I have already used that phrase at least 5 times!”


            1. Think outside your industry. See what others in other industries are doing and ask how you can use that in your industry.
            2. Don’t write your circumstances off.  In your opinion, you may work in the wrong industry, or the wrong area/country for world-class customer service, but it doesn’t matter.  Apply the principles to your workplace, and then watch the opportunities appear for you, and watch your business grow!!
            3. Remember to systemize your whole office. Look at every step your clients experience in their customer experience cycle. No point is greater in one step while you’ve not covered other steps, or ALL other steps for that matter.  Cover all the bases.


            Alan Lovelace – RPM Domino’s Pizza


            “I thought it was great how he incorporated secret service into his family’s life.  I enjoyed that Alan truly exemplified the commandments for World-Class Service at home and at work.”



            1. World Class Leadership at Home is key before you can lead successfully at work
            2. Treat your Team Members the same way you treat external Customers 
            3. Don’t rush the rollout process.  Maintain standards at the same time.




            Michael Coburn – 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!”

              1. Don’t hesitate — change when change is not obviously needed (i.e. improving customer service even when you already have high scores).
              2. Engage your front-line team to deliver results you never imagined (i.e. Secret Service Agents).
              3. Try something bold; your team will follow you (i.e. daily huddles).


              Roy Bivens & Darryl Greene – authors of Experiencing Improvement


              “I loved the chemistry between Roy and Darryl.  Enjoyed their relaxed humor and real world experience.”


                1. Three guiding principles dominate our approach to working with leaders who want to pursue the work of improvement:  – Meet people where they are
                  – Provide tools to help
                  – Coach and nurture them to sustain it   
                   2. When caregivers are allowed a chance to experience improvement, they are able to see value for themselves and patients. They can connect what they are doing with what they consider important, which enables engagement. High customer satisfaction follows.  
                3. Experience Improvement -> Enable Engagement -> High Customer Satisfaction   



                Denise Thompson, Chief Xperience Officer – The DiJulius Group


                 “Denise was a great speaker. She did a nice job of introducing all the speakers and giving a quick synopsis of their backgrounds. She was energetic and kept the crowd going on their learnings/takeaways. She’s so friendly – like you are just talking with one of your best girl friends.”

                • Don’t expect to change a culture overnight.  Be relentless — small steps lead to big change. 
                • Record your victories along the way.
                • Create community to start a successful revolution. It motivates people, and people are influenced by others.  When people are involved in a project they are more likely to take steps to act and hold themselves accountable rather than just think nice thoughts about ‘what if…’
                • It is not necessary to reinvent the wheel.  Look at what others are doing that’s successful and tweak it to make it your own.
                • Recognize what team members are doing to go above and beyond.  Acknowledge, post and share stories.  This will create a snowball effect encouraging others to participate, too.

                John DiJulius – The DiJulius Group


                “John always does a great job! His content was amazing and significant to the group and to getting the point across.”


                How to be a Zero Risk Organization


                1. Make sure you are extremely easy to do business with by making policy invisible and eliminating negative cues.

                2. Create a better systems and processes to reduce service defects.

                3. Create World-Class service recovery and protocols, actions and tools for when they do occur so your front-line employees can execute and create even more loyalty from your customer as a result.

                4. Find an alternative to every “NO” you have had to say in the past.




                Watch the highlight clip from the 2012 Secret Service Summit





                While you may feel like your client is demanding, your competition won’t 

                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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