John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog

The Results of Your Product or Services has the Least to do with Creating Customer Loyalty
It is not about the results 
Too many customer-facing employees are convinced that if the customer gets the results they were hoping for from doing business with them, the customer will happy & loyal. This is so not true. Think about it, if you have a toothache, don’t you expect the dentist, any dentist to fix it? If you go to a high-end steakhouse, and you order your filet mignon medium rare and it comes out medium rare, are you doing backflips? If you complete order arrives within two days as promised, are you wowed? And if your accounting firm prepares your year-end taxes accurately and the IRS does not open an investigation on you, are you so thankful? Not at all, when you deal with reputable businesses that is what you are paying for. However, if that is all you get, which is the same thing you would receive at any of those company’s viable competitors, you will not be a loyal customer. We need to change the mindset of what we think makes customer loyalty.
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Domino’s Pizza: How did they hit record customer satisfaction scores

Speed of service up, friendly downRPM Pizza is Domino’s largest franchisee. They operate over 130 locations in  three states. In 2011, RPM Pizza made major improvements in its already best-in-class speed of delivery service by improving its percentage of on-time pizza deliveries by 17%. However, according to an independent third-party mystery shopper survey, RPM Pizza ranked last among its major competitors in hospitality. In 2012 RPM Pizza began a journey and relentless commitment to be a world-class hospitality company.

Why pizza? Think about the last time you ordered pizza to be delivered to your home. Why did you do that? It was critically important for their employees to truly understand the “why” piece. Were their Customers hungry? Yes, but they could get food from thousands of places to satisfy their appetite. Why pizza and why Domino’s? This is where RPM’s video titled, “Creating Smiles,” played a major role. To illustrate RPM’s service vision, make it come to life and not just be another company stale quote, RPM’s video needed to show all the benefits of what delivering great pizza in less than 30 minutes really provides to their Customers beyond just filling their bellies. This video showed people being in a rush, with their busy lives, some away from home traveling, others trying to get home from work and get the family fed. In certain instances, trying to please everyone’s tastes, wanting to spend more quality time with each of their loved ones rather than be in  the kitchen preparing food.

It didn’t work – Initially the service vision launch was unsuccessful. “After we rolled out the credo card with the service vision, pillars and never & always, I was expecting instant results. Months went by, and there was really no change in our customer metrics. In fact, some of them actually went backwards,” says Glenn Mueller, President and CEO of RPM Pizza. See what Mueller did to turn it around and why their customer satisfaction scores hit all time highs. Domino’s Service Vision Launch.

Breaking satisfaction records – It was vital that every team member understood that they were not just making and delivering food/pizza, but their purpose, (what their Customers truly needed from them) was easy and simple: Domino’s pizza being brought to their door, exactly how they ordered it, promptly, by someone smiling with genuine hospitality. Thus the Customers smiled because their lives were made easier. This ensured every RPM team member clearly knows why their service vision is creating smiles by making lives easier. By 2013, RPM Pizza’s service culture had made a drastic turnaround. Not only was their customer satisfaction score significantly better than the previous year, it hit the highest score in RPM Pizza’s company history.

What is your purpose at your company? Use the Comments box below…


“If you want to see how a company is doing now, look at their current sales;

if you want to know how a company will perform in the future,

look at their current customer satisfaction scores”


~John DiJulius best-selling author, consultant, and keynote speaker, is the CVO 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.

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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4 Simple Ways to Start Your Revolution

4 Simple Ways to Start Your Revolution

by Dave Murray 

Senior Customer Service Consultant for The DiJulius Group


As the calendar changed from 2013 to 2014, many magazines, websites and blogs began to publish articles about becoming more productive, becoming more organized.  Many of these go under the premise that the first few weeks of the year are slow for most, and they attempt to focus on a few easy ways to kick-start the process in hopes of developing some new good habits.


These articles got me thinking:  What are the best ways to kick-start a Customer Service Revolution throughout your organization?  Don’t get me wrong; the process is not necessarily an easy one.  When we engage our clients to revolutionize their Customer Service, it is a systematic approach that includes multiple workshops producing deliverables such as training manuals, customized training tools and new methodologies designed to maintain momentum.


That being said, what can one do if he or she is looking to simply begin the process of making things better for both Customers and employees?  Here are my top four ways to get things moving in the right direction – and these are all things you can work into your day, whether you are experiencing a winter slow down, or your days are busier than ever.


1)   Use “F.O.R.D.” on your employees – FORD is the acronym we use for the information you need to gather on clients, suppliers, employees, etc. in order to really build quality relationships.  FORD stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams.  All things that people love to talk about, and that will help us grow a relationship.


Think about this for a moment: How much information do you know regarding the people who report to you?  If you can list five things per employee– good for you.  If you cannot, there’s no better time than now to start.  By the way, we are not recommending that you begin interrogating or even re-interviewing your employees for these important bits of information.  Simply make sure that you take the time to have quality conversations with your employees, and work FORD related questions into the discussion when appropriate.


2)   Make a connection – Use your Customers’ names.  You have heard it before, and it is true – the sweetest sound to a human being is his or her own name.  There is no better way to connect with another human being than using their name, whether it is on the phone or in person.  If you are in a phone center or a Customer-facing area, challenge your employees to get the Customer’s name and then use it.  Many times getting the name is the easy part.  So many of us are in situations where the Customers must give us their names. But do we all use the very useful information other than just looking up an account?


It is one thing to tell your team to use names, yet it is quite another to show them.  In a meeting, take some time to roll out the plan to connect, and use role-play to demonstrate to your team your anticipated end product.  Set a goal for the number of times (many organizations shoot for three times during an interaction), and then use the role playing to show how the name usage should be natural, never forced simply to hit a number.  Decide if your organization wants to address Customers by sir name, or if you want to connect on a first name basis.  In my opinion, this is primarily based on the standards that already exist within your industry.


3)   Give your team ways to say, Yes – Many companies say, “The Customer is always right,” or “No is not an option,” but very few companies teach their front-line teams how to say, Yes.  How do you do that?  One great way is to get your team together and ask them to track the top three to five things that they must say ‘no’ to over a period of time.  Then, as a group, find ways to say ‘yes.’  I am not suggesting that we change the way we do business, but what I am suggesting is that if there is a request that does require a ‘no’ for a legitimate reason, arm your team with alternative solutions.  Can’t refund the purchase? Make sure offering an exchange is top of mind, if feasible.  Get your team thinking that they are in the resolution business.  No challenge is too tough; find a positive in every negative.  Once you have set this guideline in motion, re-enforce it with the “No-No Game.”  As a group, throw out difficult ‘no’ questions, and make your team members come up with positive solutions on the spot.  It is a fun way to maintain momentum and celebrate successes.


4)   A day in the life – There is no better way for your employees to really focus on and connect with your Customers than to build empathy for them.  Empathy is that magic emotion that helps our teams to NOT treat the next person in line, or on hold, like a number.  Empathy helps our teams remember that this is the Customers’ time with us – no matter how many times we have heard their question today.


Many companies write, develop and create award-winning quality videos focused on the day in the life of Customers  that are then shown to existing team members during a kick off event, and then made part of the orientation process for all future employees.  The first step of this process when we are working with clients is to have team members break into small groups and write scripts based on combined real-life experiences they have had.  The real fun begins when the small groups are asked to act out the script they have created.  While you will not be producing an Oscar winner, you will be creating a fun way for your team to put themselves in the shoes of the people they serve – and hopefully begin to charge their way of thinking.   You will also be gathering some great storylines for when it comes time to create your video.


I hope that you will find with just a little time and effort, these four ideas can really get you moving in the right direction.  I am open to answer any questions, and hopefully hear some of your success stories! 





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Customer gets fined negative review; surprising landlord above & beyond; 2014 Certification

Company fines for negative online review – Social media has given consumers a megaphone to share their experience with hundreds of others. One way to avoid negative posts about your company is to improve your Customers’ experience and responsiveness when things go wrong.

If you’re not willing to do that, another option is to do what a company called KlearGear has done.  KlearGear has built in a clause in their “Terms and Conditions” at the time of sale that, if accepted, prohibits any Customer from posting anything negative about the company.

“Your acceptance of this sales contract prohibits you from taking any action that negatively impacts, its reputation, products, services, management or employees.”

It appears that one Customer ordered a package but never received it. After not being able to get in touch with the company, she wrote a negative post about her experience on Ripoff Report.  Three years later she received a notice saying she had 72 hours to remove the negative review or she would be fined $3,500. KlearGear also has a clause that if you cancel your order, even for a reason like you never received it, you get charged $50.00. Check out the complete story on

Ugly Trend – I fear that more companies will adopt KlearGear’s tactic of building in a “no negative review or posting” clause in their Terms & Conditions — something no one reads or checks.  The government will have to get involved quickly or consumers will lose all power and the ability to speak up, while companies can hide behind hidden clauses.

New perspective – When you read the  definition of what a Customer Service Revolution is, one part reads, “It permeates into people’s personal lives, at home and in the community.” Here is an excellent example: I recently had a super successful Service Vision workshop with Nitel, a telecom company headquartered in Chicago. Shortly after the workshop, I received the message below from Nitel’s Director of Marketing, about how the workshop changed his approach to a personal situation.

Do you have a Certified Agent at your company this Holiday season? We are now taking applications to my next Secret Service Certification Class this March 4th & 5th in Cleveland.  As a Certified Secret Service Agent you will have the knowledge to train your company or clients in the same “Secret Service Systems” used by the top Customer service companies in the world. This class is by application only. Email your application as a PDF to or fax back to 440-484-2373.  Limited seating. 



A Customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work – he is the purpose of it.  We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to serve him.

– Mahatma Gandhi



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