John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog

What is your Smile index; how would you handle…?

Smile Index – CEO Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels, shares a great example called the Smile Index in his book, Emotional Equation. Whenever he visits one of his properties or any business, he says he can get a true sense of the place within seconds by observing the quantity and quality of the employees’ smiles. “My emotional antennae could pick up whether they were genuine or just a mask. Similarly, when interviewing job candidates, I could intuit a person’s emotional state within ten minutes, so that I knew whether the position would be a healthy habitat for him or her — or not.”


Employee Service Aptitude Test – The most critical piece to building a world-class Customer experience organization is developing employees’ service aptitude constantly. One of the best tools you can ever create is an E-SAT (employee service aptitude test). An E-SAT is a 25-75 multiple choice test that The DiJulius Group’s clients give to all new employees to certify them before they start interacting with their Customers.  See how you and your employees would handle the scenario below.


How would you handle… – Your client misses a conference call with you that they had confirmed via email. You reach out to them to see what happened, and they say they had it down for a different time/day. You…


A.    Apologize for the miscommunication, and ask when would be the earliest convenient time that would work for them

B.     To ensure they didn’t think you made the mistake, you forward them the email that they confirmed

C.     So not to be pushy and to see if they are really interested in doing business with you, you wait for them to re-schedule

D.     Other…


More E-SAT resources – Here are two other great examples of e-sat scenarios you can learn from: Hallmark Cards E-SAT and John Robert’s Spa E-SAT.  Commit to making your company’s E-SAT now!


Domino’s really delivers – A great client of The DiJulius Group, Domino’s Pizza, has been making huge strides the past three years in taking their Customer service to new levels.  Many of you saw Alan Lovelace speak at last year’s Secret Service Summit on how they are going about it.  The three pillars to Domino’s Pizza are Operational Excellence, Customer Delight and Deliver the WOW.  If you don’t think a Service Vision and Pillars can have an impact on how employees think, check out this video of how a Domino’s driver crashed his car and still delivered the pizza to the Customer –Delivering the WOW.


We Mean Business I was recently interviewed about how companies can provide a world-class Customer experience. You can check it out here, We Mean Business TV interview.



It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.


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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Is Gamification right for your company? Can you pass an E-SAT?
February 21, 2013, 9:16 am
Filed under: Customer Service, ESAT, Gamification, Service Aptitude

Gamification – Being a Customer service/support rep can be one of the toughest jobs in any company. That is why so many different organizations try innovative things to improve these positions. Software companies are a good example. They want to turn Customer support into a game known as gamification. This “game” keeps score of how well a CSR is doing by awarding points for tasks and then instituting some sort of system for turning those points into rewards.  It might be a “badge” attached to their online profile, or perhaps prizes or bonus pay.  Many software companies help businesses add gamification to existing software, while other outfits are adding game mechanics directly to their own applications.  Recently a startup debuted with a private social network designed for contact centers that included a gamified training system. UserVoice offers a gamified help desk app that includes something called “Kudos,” which lets Customers award points to agents for a job well done. Agents are then rated on a leaderboard.


The Great Debate – Gamification has a lot of merit and is gaining momentum. People respond to the sort of rewards offered by these new-age applications. Many companies and employees have agreed that practices like the use of the Kudo Leaderboard, which tracks the number of kudos each Customer service representative gets from Customers, has created competition in the office — one in which our Customers are the true winners.  However, there are others that believe gamification may do more harm than good. The opposition points out that gamification replaces an intrinsic reward with an extrinsic one. It shifts a participant’s motivation from doing something because it is inherently rewarding, to doing it for some other reason that isn’t as meaningful. I personally find it an interesting debate and want to research more. My initial opinion is there is a place for gamification, like anything in moderation. I love rewarding employees for doing their job well. I also appreciate that the Customer service rep position is tough, tedious, and very repetitious, and if gamification helps break the monotony and adds even the slightest distraction and personal self fulfillment to their days, I am all for it. You can read more about it in this article  How “Gamification” Can Make Your Customer Service Worse.

Employee Service Aptitude Test (E-SAT) – One of the best tools for measuring if an employee’s service aptitude is high enough to start interacting with your Customer is the Employee Service Aptitude Test, created by The DiJulius Group. The E-SAT is a customized test that asks 50 to 75 multiple-choice questions of the most common situations that may arise between the employee and their Customer, ranging from non-negotiable standards, service recovery, above-and-beyond opportunities, to uncomfortable and awkward situations that are not uncommon. We suggest the E-SAT be given before and after the new employee goes through their initial training to monitor how their service aptitude has increased. At John Robert’s Spa, a new employee cannot start working in their actual position, or interacting with our guests, without scoring 100 percent on their E-SAT.


Test your Service Aptitude – Creating your own E-SAT is one of the best things you can do for increasing the Service Aptitude of all your employees.  Here is a more advanced question for John Robert’s Spa:


A guest, who just had a full-head highlight service ($120.00) with you (the service provider at John Robert’s) yesterday, calls up and says she is not 100% happy. It is not the color she requested, and she would like the highlight re-done. What do you do?


A.    Redo her highlights and charge her full price ($120.00)

B.     Redo her highlights and only charge her product cost ($30.00)

C.    Redo her highlights and charge her nothing

D.    Other


Did you pick the correct answer? Think about what your best answer would be and then click here to find out what is the correct answer.





A complaint is like a consultant giving us vital information for free


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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