John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog

Russia’s Customer Service Overhaul; Your Director of First Impressions

Director of First Impressions – In a professional office environment, when you might get less than a dozen scheduled visitors a day, a great and easy Secret Service system is to display a sign welcoming people who have appointments that day, i.e. “ABC would like to welcome Joanna Smith.”  At The DiJulius Group this responsibility falls on the Director of First Impressions, the first person our guests see as they walk into our office.With the aid of Social Media platforms, such as LinkedIn, we personalize this sign so our welcome monitor doesn’t just display our client’s name, but their picture and logo as well. This provides a unique experience for the visitor; it also educates the staff on who to expect, at what time and what that person looks like so they can recognize them by name.


Picture the traditional office visit experience: You have an appointment at your accountant’s office or you are interviewing for a new job, you walk into the business and the receptionist says, “Can I help you?” You say, “Yes, I am here to see Mike Jones.” The receptionist asks, “What’s your name?” You tell her, and she notifies the person and eventually Mike comes out to welcome you. 


Now imagine walking into an office for an appointment and you see a monitor that welcomes you by name and displays your picture. The receptionist says, “Hi, Joanna.  It’s is nice to see you. Mike is expecting you, so let me tell him you have arrived. Can I get you some coffee, tea or water?” On top of that, two or three other people greet you by name as they walk by.


Customer Service Huddle – Carter Mario Injury Lawyers has six fully staffed offices across the state of Connecticut. Keeping everyone engaged in the firm’s Customer service culture can be difficult across multiple locations. While the firm conducts early morning “huddles” every day before work begins, Wednesday mornings are especially

reserved to discuss Customer service. Using video conferencing technology, each office can see and hear each other in real time, and discuss topics like “how do you take ownership of challenges in your life?” Everyone benefits by hearing the responses of each office, and it keeps the multiple locations connected with a common focus. See more of Carter Mario’s world-class hospitality best practices.


Russian Hospitality?  An article in the New York Times shared how Russia is trying to remove the stereotype of scowls, cold stares and unfriendly encounters, Russia is attempting to change that image. Russian Customer service has been a hot topic and a transformative trend brought about by the rising demand of middle class consumers. The main message: Smile and be friendly. Some have even predicted that Russia will soon leapfrog the West in Customer service.  Read entire article





 The answer’s yes…now what’s the question?


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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Spend less on advertising; store charges a โ€˜just looking feeโ€™

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 firmโ€™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? โ€œWhile we thought we were client centric, we realized we were relative to injury attorneys, which means we were the best of a lousy group,โ€ says Carter Mario. โ€œIn 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.โ€ That they did! Carter Mario Law Firms are well known for their Customer service. I featured them in my 2nd book, Whatโ€™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 โ€œjust looking feeโ€ at a specialty food store in Brisbane, Australia.  The fee is $5.00. I canโ€™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, donโ€™t punish the Customer.   Obviously they havenโ€™t heard of the saying, โ€œDonโ€™t punish 98% of your Customers for what you are afraid of 2% might do.โ€


Be the Best at What Matters MostWhat if you, your team, or your entire organization had absolute clarity aboutwhat was most important, and thatโ€™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 isnโ€™t about doing everything.  Itโ€™s about doing the most important things.  To get Joeโ€™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.

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