John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog


10 Best Customer Service Articles Of 2016

In case you missed them, the 10 most popular eServices of 2016 were the  following. I suggest printing them out, reading and sharing them with your management team.

10. Things You Don’t Want To Shop To The Lowest Bidder

There are certain things in life that you don’t want to price shop, look for discounts or take the lowest bid. Things like a heart surgeon or new brakes on your family vehicle.

The value placed on these services is extremely high and there is potential for irreversible damage. Which means in these circumstances you cannot afford to choose anything less than the best. How good of a job are you doing at creating value on the expertise and experience of your services? You need to make your Customers fear that if they choose anyone else, there will be irreversible damages. We need to educate our Customers that they cannot afford to go cheap.

9. Six Things That Make Yours The Brand Customers Cannot Live Without

We all have a company or two that we can’t fathom life without. What are the few companies that you would be extremely upset if I told you, “You can no longer do business with them, ever again?”  When I ask my audiences this question, the same brands always get mentioned: Apple, Starbucks, Nordstrom, & Amazon as well as local mom and pop shops. Now the important part is, think about what they have done and what they consistently do to make you so loyal, to make you feel that you cannot live without them. That is power. That is brand loyalty. The more people you can make feel like they cannot live without your brand, the closer you are to making price irrelevant.

8. What A 13 Year Old Can Teach Us About Customer Service

I have had the good fortune to experience and witness many professionals who truly know how to serve. However, there is one person in particular that consistently blows me away on how he builds rapport instantly with strangers and learns so much about other people in only a few minute conversation. This person is my thirteen-year old son, Bo DiJulius. I have been so intrigued by his ability to strike up a conversation with someone he has never met before and have him or her share so many intimate details with a teenager. So I asked Bo if he could share how he does it.

7. u r X

Customers crave recognition and a personalized experience. In short, technology cannot provide genuine hospitality. It cannot express empathy, make people feel good, take care of others, express emotions and vulnerability in a relatable way, or make people laugh. We have subconsciously sent the wrong message to all our employees, that it is about the technology – our website, apps, social media, virtual tour, iPads, kiosks, self-check out. So our employees have started using the technology as a crutch, thinking they have less importance, less of a role with the customer. They rely on the technology to provide the experience. We need to reverse that. Customer experience is 10% technology and you are 90%.
6. Put Your Own Mask On Before Helping Others

We have all heard the preflight safety announcements when the flight attendant says, “You must put on your own oxygen mask before helping those around you.” What use will you be to anyone else if you do not take care of yourself first? Think of how that applies to our life and what we need to do for ourselves before we are capable of impacting those around us.

5. Do You Suffer From RBF Syndrome?

RBF is something to be taken seriously in all of our businesses, with any of our Customer facing/interacting employees, whether it is face-to-face, ear-to-ear, or click-to-click. A smile is just as much a part of the uniform as anything else employees are required to wear: uniform, nametag, hat, and smile. Everyone should have a smile and it should be genuine. A smile shows teeth. In my companies, we have sent team members home for being “out of uniform,” for not smiling. I like to tell my employees, “If you are happy, tell your face.”

4. 100% of Your Sales Come From One Place

Leaders love to talk about revenue streams by showing graphs and charts with the breakdown of sales categories. It is important to know the percentage of sales generated by products or services and to monitor trends, especially growth and decline of your business revenue. However, there is one critical component that every business has in common, which is never discussed. 100% of your sales come from one place. Your customer! When you look at it that way, it sheds a stronger light on why companies need to put more emphasis on building an incredible consistent customer experience that becomes your number one competitive advantage and helps make price irrelevant.

3. The Battle Over Your Advertising Dollars vs. Customer Service Dollars

The average annual global budget spent on marketing and advertising is $500 billion a year compared to $9 billion spent on customer service.  The shortsighted obsession of constantly bringing new customers/traffic to your business is significantly more expensive than building an incredible customer experience. Companies spend millions creating and advertising their brands, yet the customer’s experience is what drives customer perception and loyalty.

2. What Is The Difference Between Customer Service & Customer Experience?

How do you know if you received an ‘Experience’ or just a ‘Service’? How do you know if you have delivered an ‘Experience’ or just a ‘Service’? Customer Service is WHAT you do; Customer Experience is HOW you do it. Turning what was once a mundane transaction into a unique memorable moment means you have to re-evaluate everything you do, every way you interact with your Customer, regardless of the length. It could be a one-hour face-to-face meeting, a conference call, a 10 second check-in, a call transfer, or an email reply.

1. I Collect The Best Thing Anyone Can Collect

My entire life I have been a collector of something very rare and priceless. People compliment me on my collection all the time. I believe it is the best gauge of a person’s character. I constantly stress to my three sons and all my employees that they should collect the same thing I do. What I collect are rare people in my life. The key word is rare, for I am extremely choosy on whom I collect. I collect relationships with uncommon, loyal, unique, high moral, genuine, and most importantly POSITIVE people. If people judge me by who I surround myself with, I am a champion.

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Vision Quest | Your Employees Have Been Brainwashed
57,000% Sales Growth in Three Years

Ever snacked on a Quest Bar? I love Quest Bars. Now I love them even more after learning about entrepreneur Tom Bilyeu, and how this incredible visionary grew his company Quest Nutrition 57,000% in just three years and his team of employees from six to over 1,400. Bilyeu’s company is the second fastest-growing private business in the U.S.

READ FULL ARTICLE

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Are You Uber Proof? | Robots Are Taking Over Call Center Jobs
Robots Are Taking Over Call Center Jobs

Remember when we used to hear Prince’s song Party like it’s 1999 and it seemed so far into the future. How about year 2020? Well it is just about here, less than three and half years away. Like the show The Jetsons, it is now a reality. Today, robots assemble our cars and move Amazon fulfillment center shelves around. Many Customers get irritated when talking to Customer service reps who seem to just be going through the motions, giving us scripted answers, rushing because they are trying to adhere to their allowed time per call. If you think that is bad, just wait –the future is here. Within a few short years, we will be talking to actual robots working in contact centers. Many companies that run outsourced call centers are working towards turning these jobs over to machines. An article that appeared in The Consumerist titled As Expected, Robots Are Taking Over Call Center Jobs, tells how advances in artificial intelligence will mean that call center representatives and chat representatives can be replaced with cheap and reliable workers who don’t need sleep or meal breaks.

Read Full article on our new blog…

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ATM delivers world-class service; Restaurant bans all kids; Cell phone turns into hotel room key
A Secret Service ATM – A Canadian Bank, TD Bank, thanks their most regular Customers in the most personalized and heartfelt way. Being a “regular” means you build relationships with employees. And if the employees are trained well, listening and recording your Customer intelligence, a business can provide Secret Service. TD Bank demonstrates this better than anyone I have ever seen, as they turn their ATMs into “Automated Thanking Machines.” Wait ’til you see their Customers’ reactions to the amazing surprises TD Bank delivers in this 4 minute must see video, which has been viewed over 11 million times already.

Read John’s full article on TheDiJuliusGroup.com…



World’s friendliest restaurant; Service Wins in any culture
The world’s friendliest restaurant – Tim’s Place may have my favorite service vision ever: “World’s Friendliest Restaurant.” One rule to creating a Customer service vision statement is it shouldn’t be too over arching, too unrealistic. It needs to be actionable, every time, by every employee, with every Customer. Guess what? Tim’s Place delivers on their service vision! Why? Because service aptitude starts at the top, and their leader, Tim, possesses the highest service aptitude I have ever seen. Tim’s Place is a unique full-service restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico, serving breakfast and lunch. Their service vision statement captures exactly who they are and what one can expect when visiting them. The famous quote from Walt Disney, “If you can dream it, you can do it,” has been the driving force behind the life of Tim Harris. Born in 1986 with Down Syndrome, Tim’s life has been defined by exceeding expectations.

We offer Breakfast, Lunch, and HUGS – After working several years in the restaurant industry as a Host and seeing the impact Tim had on people by the way he greeted them, Tim’s parents decided Tim should own his own restaurant. In 2010, Tim’s Place opened for business, where they offer Breakfast, Lunch, and Hugs. “The key to our concept is the Customer service experience. We believe that people have a huge appetite for being genuinely welcomed, connected with, touched, appreciated, and genuinely cared for. We believe too many experiences in our busy modern lives are impersonal, sterile, and devoid of genuine human connection,” so states the Tim’s Place website. You have to watch this amazing three minute video on Tim and his restaurant. I guarantee you will want to share this with your staff.

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Can your Customers live without you? Apple #1 at brand loyalty

Apple -Top Brand Customers cannot live without – For the third consecutive year, Apple was named the top brand consumers can’t live without. Other companies that consumers couldn’t live without were Amazon, Dell, Coca-Cola, Google, Microsoft and of course Starbucks – former presenter at the Summit.

Are you brave enough to ask the tough questions? Most companies that do Customer satisfaction surveys ask the typical questions:

  1. How satisfied are you?
  2. How likely are you to continue to do business with us?
  3. How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or associate?

These are all good questions that should be asked. However, they don’t measure true emotional connections made with the Customer. That requires a different set of questions, a different mindset, company confidence and the courage to ask.

Can you imagine a world without Ritz-Carlton? The Ritz-Carlton has a strong tradition of measuring Customer satisfaction. However, if you ever stay at The Ritz and are asked to take their satisfaction survey, you may find some questions that seem a bit unusual like, “I can’t imagine a world without Ritz-Carlton.” While this may seem like an odd question, the Ritz-Carlton Hotels are not merely trying to measure guest satisfaction, but rather Customer engagement. It is a better metric of the emotional connection and perceived fit held by a Customer toward a business, and overall Customer loyalty.

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Permanent Brand Loyalty; Baseball owner tells fans to stay home; Back to school tradition

Major league baseball team owner tells unhappy fans to stay home – Service Aptitude starts at the top, and it is clear that Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort could use a seat at the summit. The team isn’t playing well, which typically results in fans venting their frustration. Shockingly, Monfort has chosen to respond to fans’ emails with responses like: “By the way you talk maybe Denver doesn’t deserve a franchise, maybe time for it to find a new home. Thanks.” And another that said, “If the experience is that bad, don’t come to the games.” As a result of the backlash from the fan base, Monfort was forced to issue a public apology.

 

A Widow gets a pleasant surprise from a server – Up until the husband passed away, a couple spent 31 wedding anniversaries together at the Red Lobster. After the husband’s passing, the widow’s daughter took her mother to the Red Lobster on their anniversary date.  Instead of a bill, they were surprised to receive this note from their server:

We are sorry to hear about your husband’s passing, but we appreciate your loyalty in spending 31 years of your anniversary with us. For your appreciation your meal is on us! We look forward to spending your next anniversary with us!

 

Sincerely,

 

Red Lobster + your server, Taylor

Read John’s full story on TheDiJuliusGroup.com.

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