|Your Best is Unacceptable
This may sound mean or unsympathetic, but one of my least favorite sayings is “I gave my best.” To me, it is an unacceptable crutch. I don’t want to hear it.
My personal feeling is this: when the goal is to accomplish greatness, go where no one or team has gone before. I wasn’t asking for your best effort; your best is what you were capable of in the past. I was expecting you to figure it out, to try a thousand ways; if need be try another thousand ways. I was expecting you to innovate, lose sleep, get around it, find loopholes, research, sweat like you never have before. Every extraordinary accomplishment, invention, or revolution was not a result of someone giving his or her best. Somehow that person or group found a way to do what no one else could do; they did the impossible; they did what no one had ever done before. The real issue is: it’s not the effort that is in question at the moment or during the event; it’s what you put into it leading up to it. Whether you win or lose, get the sale, or ace the test, it is all determined by the effort given in preparing for the event. Every match is determined long before the contest happens. So the next time you fail, before you want to make yourself feel better by saying “I did my best,” consider if you had given your best in the preparation. The actual effort given in the event has the littlest to do with the outcome.
Filed under: Client Services, Customer Experience, Customer Service, Customer Service Consulting, Customer Service Revolution, Customer Service skills, Customer Service Training, John DiJulius
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:
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.
Filed under: Above & Beyond, Customer Experience, Customer Service, Customer Service Consulting, Customer Service Revolution, Customer Service skills, Customer Service Training, John DiJulius
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!
Red Lobster + your server, Taylor
Filed under: Customer Experience, Customer Service, Customer Service Consulting, Customer Service Revolution, Customer Service skills, Customer Service Training, John DiJulius
How to make Customers unable to forget you – One of the best marketers I have ever met was a mortgage lender whom I used back in 1991. He was great to deal with, friendly and informed, worked around our schedule, and did an excellent job of keeping us informed. However, that alone wasn’t what made him exceptional or memorable. Since the buying cycle in mortgages typically has such a long gap in between, I was certain I would have forgotten about him, had he not made sure I couldn’t forget him. When the deal was finalized, I assumed that was it, we would never hear from him again. Did we ever hear from him again? He became an excellent resource who contacted us about several times a year. Every fall, winter, spring, and summer he sent us magnetic postcards with a list of seasonal activities to enjoy. In the summer, the card listed all the water and amusement parks, outdoor concerts, and festivals, including dates, hours of operation, phone numbers, and addresses. In the winter, the card listed where we could see holiday lights, and hear holiday carolers. Each of these postcards had a shelf life of 2-3 months, which meant, nearly twelve months a year, our refrigerator had his postcard on it. Everything he sent out always ended with a note saying, “The highest compliment I could receive is a referral of a family member or friend.” Because he constantly was sending me these seasonal postcards with great information that I could use, I never forgot who my mortgage lender was. As a result, I not only used him every time I either refinanced or purchased a new home, I referred over two dozen people to him.
Filed under: Competition, Customer Experience, Customer Service, Customer Service Consulting, Customer Service quotes, Customer Service Revolution, Customer Service skills, Customer Service Training, Day in the Life, John DiJulius, TravelCenters of America
Filed under: Annette Franz, Client Services, Competition, Customer Experience, Customer Service, Customer Service Consulting, Customer Service quotes, Customer Service Revolution, Customer Service skills, Customer Service Training, John DiJulius, Making Price Irrelevant
Customer experience is the new marketing – Delivering a great Customer experience means that Customers do the marketing for you. In an article, “Customer Experience: Marketing without Marketing,” Annette Franz Gleneicki shares how having this community of loyal fans can save your brand thousands of dollars in marketing. Your company can focus on making the product, service and experience better and not use as many resources to constantly attract new Customers. Gleneicki quotes Robert Stephens, founder of Geek Squad, “Advertising is the tax you pay for being unremarkable.” I love that quote!
Filed under: Customer Experience, Customer Service, Customer Service Consulting, Customer Service quotes, Customer Service Revolution, Customer Service skills, Customer Service Training, FORD, John DiJulius, Patient Services, Secret Service
Biggest Advantage – Let’s talk about a word that is not used regularly, or comfortably, in the corporate world. That word is LOVE. While it isn’t spoken, it is what all executives want: People to LOVE their brand. They want their employees to LOVE working for them. We all want our Customers to LOVE us. Think about the top brands in the world: people don’t buy from Starbucks, they LOVE Starbucks. People LOVE Apple, Zappos, Nordstrom, Chick-fil-A, and Amazon. Think about the companies you personally would never stop doing business with? You may LOVE your hairdresser, or your account executive, manufacturer/distributor; you might even LOVE your banker or lawyer (crazy as that sounds). What makes you LOVE a service provider or business? What did they do to make you LOVE them? How many of your Customers would make heart-shapes about your brand? I LOVE the phrase “Out-LOVE your competition.” Out-Loving your competition is the most distinct competitive advantage a company can have. When enough Customers LOVE your business, you have just made price irrelevant. What do we have to do to make our Customers LOVE us and our businesses?
You have to LOVE them first – LOVE has to start at home. In business terms, that means internally treating your employees with world-class service. What is felt on the inside will be felt on the outside. All relationships begin with a connection. It may only be momentary (your heart skips a beat) possibly originating out of the first three of the Five E’s (eye contact, enthusiastic greet, and ear to ear smile). It grows a little bit more when a conversation is had, executing on the final two E’s (engage and educate). Through this interaction, the Customer realizes it is not about the sale, rather you are truly interested in what’s best for them. Interest and trust has been created. However, emotional connection isn’t made until the business demonstrates genuine care and interest in more than just their pocket book. Falling in LOVE with your brand is not possible until the Customer feels that it is all about them, that they are the most important person in the relationship. The business needs to take the time to learn about them, using Customer intelligence, their FORD — about their Family, Occupation, Recreation and Dreams. Due to the relationship you have created, the Customer cannot recall how they ever got along before you were in their life and could not imagine a world without your business. You now have a brand evangelist.
What we need is LOVE – Let’s teach what kindness looks like, in business, in family, communities and schools. Have employees learn about caring for others with no hidden agenda to make a sale or profit. Teach them how to display genuine hospitality.
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.