John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog

Spend less on advertising; store charges a ‘just looking fee’

Spend less on advertising – Research has shown that world-class Customer service organizations spend less on advertising than the rest of their industry.  Why? Because they have an unpaid sales force — their existing Customers. See: Smoking Gun blog post


Brand Evangelists – Carter Mario Law Firm, specializing in personal injury, has six locations throughout Connecticut and is a classic example of this theory. When Carter Mario started tracking the source of incoming calls, (the backbone of their business) in 2006 roughly 30% of their calls came from word of mouth/referral sources and the approximately 70%, came from paid advertising. By the graph below, you can see the positive growth of the law firm’s word of mouth calls, (2006-2012) and last year they eclipsed 60%!


A world-class hospitality law firm – What changed or what was the driving force behind this movement? “While we thought we were client centric, we realized we were relative to injury attorneys, which means we were the best of a lousy group,” says Carter Mario. “In 2007 our entire organization including receptionists, in-take specialists, administrative positions, and attorneys, became obsessed with being a world-class Customer service company, benchmarked against anyone in any other industry.” That they did! Carter Mario Law Firms are well known for their Customer service. I featured them in my 2nd book, What’s the Secret?, and Carter Mario himself shared his story at our Secret Service Summit, where his company won the Secret Service System Award, presented to only one amazing Customer service organization per year.”


Store Charges Customers ‘Just Looking’ Fee – A store has had it with Customers walking around the store without buying anything. As a result, Redditor Barrett Fox posted a picture of a sign informing shoppers of a new “just looking fee” at a specialty food store in Brisbane, Australia.  The fee is $5.00. I can’t make this stuff up.  Look at the sign below.


Begging to go out of business – This is one of the worst policies I have ever heard of.  No business makes it very longtreating Customers like this. If people are not buying from you, you need to figure out why; is it price, product, or service? Then fix it, don’t punish the Customer.   Obviously they haven’t heard of the saying, “Don’t punish 98% of your Customers for what you are afraid of 2% might do.”


Be the Best at What Matters MostWhat if you, your team, or your entire organization had absolute clarity aboutwhat was most important, and that’s where all of your energy was focused?  Imagine the force multiplier of that kind of shared sense of direction, purpose, and priorities. My mentor, idol and friend, Joe Calloway has just released his newest book; Be the Best at What Matters Most!  Be the Best at What Matters Most reveals the one essential strategy for business leaders, entrepreneurs and those who aspire to lead.  Simplify the way you think about your business.  Success isn’t about doing everything.  It’s about doing the most important things.  To get Joe’s new book click here


Real Customer service should be called ‘custom’ service. 


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.


[…] measures to deter Customers from showrooming and have started to penalize them by charging a “just looking fee”.  In fact, of the nine retail companies with the worst American Consumer Satisfaction Index […]

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“Looking Fee”

There are currently two stores that charge the customer to “look” and are very successful – Costco and Sam’s Club.

Positioning makes all the difference.

Comment by Mark

thanks Mark, i would love to see what that looks like!

Comment by The DiJulius Group

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