John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog

Amazon’s Drones; Law Firm tears down stereotypes; Lulu at it again; A Gift for your clients

Henson Fuerst Law Firm – You do not typically think of World-Class Customer service when you think of injury attorneys; however, Henson Fuerst Law Firm, headquartered in Raleigh, NC, is rapidly changing that stereotype.  They just launched their company’s Customer Service Vision Statement and “Day-in-the-Life of a Customer” video to their entire staff.  The purpose was to make all their employees, lawyers, case managers, receptionists, etc. have a better understanding of what their clients are dealing with and battling throughout what can be a 24-month ordeal until their injury case is settled.  The Henson Fuerst’s Service Vision and “Day-in-the-Life of a Customer” video really demonstrate the compassion and empathy their associates need to display with every client, on every interaction. Watch the Henson Fuerst Law Firm’s “Day-in the-Life of a Customer” video 


Amazon Gets It – Last week Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, posted a message to his Customers on their homepage explaining how their Frustration-Free Packaging will reduce Wrap rage.  This is why Amazon is one of the top world-class Customer service companies in the world.  They take ownership of the problem, even when it isn’t their fault.  Everything Amazon does is designed around the Customer’s experience.  Check out the video that demonstrates the benefit of Frustration-Free Packaging.


Amazon Flying Drones – Never resting and always on the cutting edge of innovation, Bezos unveiled Amazon Prime Air in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes.”  Prime Air will be a service that delivers packages via autonomous drones. With the service, Bezos said he hopes that the company will be able to deliver packages into Customers’ hands within 30 minutes of the time they place an order.  Check out an actual drone delivery.


Lululemon year keeps getting worse –  Maybe Lululemon’s marketing is trying to emulate Miley Cyrus with shocking antics to steal headline news. This time the company’s founder, Chip Wilson, said in an interview on Bloomberg that Lululemon’s yoga pants are not for women with thighs that rub together. In March, Lululemon had to recall 17% of its pants because they were too sheer, and the company’s stock (and reputation) took a hit. Even then, the company suggested that the pants weren’t the problem, but that women were wearing the wrong sizes.  The public backlash forced Wilson to make an apology video.


Make 2014 the year you take your organization to world class service levels – The Enterprise Revolution Package is the perfect way to improve your service delivery.  Your clients deserve the gift of world-class Customer service. 


The Enterprise Revolution Package Box Set combines in-class education and ongoing phone coaching for the year.  Coupled with the X-Commandments Digital Consulting Suite you’ll have all the training tools necessary to have your clients fall in love with you all over again.  With your purchase before Christmas you can use online discount BOXSET20 to receive $2000 off this training system.  Learn what else it comes with!







You have to start with the Customer experience
and work backwards toward the product, not the other way around


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.

Customer spends $1k to complain; Be the Best at What Matters Most book; Certified Agents

Customer spends $1,000 to complain – Social media has given Customers a power they’ve never  had before (past eService The Biggest influence on Customer service); however, one Customer’s service rage hit new levels. British Airways lost Hasan Syed’s luggage and was slow to respond. Big mistake! Syed took to Twitter, but he didn’t just tweet his frustration. Instead of just tweeting, Syed, who uses the Twitter handle @HVSVN, spent $1,000 buying promoted tweets in the New York and U.K. markets, using Twitter’s self-serve ad platform.


Service Rage – Syed used the same technique that companies use to blitz consumers with their marketing and advertisements; however, he reversed this platform and used it to blast British Airways. His tweet, “Don’t fly @British_Airways. Their Customer service is horrendous,” was aimed at people who follow the British Airways account on Twitter. It didn’t take too long until it went viral, and Syed’s brand assassination was picked up by numerous sources including CNN & BBC.




Who Will Be Next? Mr. Syed did finally get his luggage back and British Airways issued a statement apologizing to him.  However, every business should be on alert that Customers will go to any length to get even if they feel you or your company failed to deliver what you promised and are not willing to make it right (see Zero Risk).  


Be the Best at What Matters Most – Today too many of us are trying to be super human or super companies, trying to be excellent at nearly everything, and as a result of this ambitious plan, we end being average at most. Steve Jobs was a master at simplicity, from his products to his strategy (eService on Steve Jobs).  There are only a few people ever born, and even fewer businesses, that are capable of being extraordinary in numerous areas. That is why best-selling author and business expert, Joe Calloway’s, new book, Be Best at What Matters Most (Wiley & Sons 2013) is so timely.


Who are you? You don’t answer that question, your Customers do. What do people think when they hear your name or your company’s name? That is what this book is about: being great and making an impact at what you were born to do, finding what your purpose is, and doing it better than anyone else. This is a concept I live by.  I have built two businesses around this philosophy. Be great at one thing, know what that one thing is and do not deviate from that one thing. Take for example The DiJulius Group. What do you think of when you think of TDG? Customer service consulting. TDG is a one-trick pony and we are proud of it. We turn down business opportunities every week from companies looking for sales training, motivational presentations, or any other inquiries we get that fall outside of what we do. However, we are the best at what matters most to our clients — Customer service.


Joe Calloway interview – In my interview with Joe Calloway, we discuss his book, Be the Best at What Matters Most.  Joe explains the need for quality and consistency.  Today’s busy pace and need to multi-task often leads us to spend too much time on things that ultimately are not very important.  Spreading ourselves too thin is all too common.  Joe’s concept helps us find clarity on what is most important to our business.  Joe also talks about how the need to simplify allows you to achieve greater results. Watch the entire 20-minute video interview with Joe Calloway.


null Super Joe – Joe Calloway is a leading performance expert who helps great companies get even better.  He helps organizations focus on what is truly important, inspires constant improvement, and motivates people to immediate action.  Joe has been a business author, coach, and speaker for 30 years and his client list reads like an international “Who’s Who” in business, including a range of companies from Coca Cola and IBM to Saks Fifth Avenue and American Express.


He’s back and better than ever – Joe keynoted at the 2009 Secret Service Summit and remains one of the highest rated speakers we have ever had at the summit. Due to his recently published, Be the Best at What Matters Most, we decided it was the ideal time to bring Joe back to speak at the  2013 Secret Service Summit in Cleveland November 4th & 5th.


Get your FREE copy of Be the Best at What Matters MostEVERY attendee to this year’s Secret Service Summit will receive a copy of Joe’s new book Be the Best at What Matters Most.




A sale is something that happens while you are immersed in helping to serve your Customer

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.

Ashton Kutcher; Reverse Secret Service; Chick-fil-A’s Mission; Small companies losing

The Great Retail Experience Race: Local vs. National – Recently, Ashley Verrill, a Customer Service Analyst at Software Advice, did a six month study comparing the Customer experience of small, local-based retailers versus comparable national chain stores. The research was based on a team of 20 secret shoppers who conducted 200 site visits, each lasting at least 15 minutes. These secret shoppers were focused on things such as whether employees told them about sales or specials during their visit, or if anyone tried to upsell or cross-sell them.   


Small Businesses Losing Big to the Big Guys – In every industry category but one, the national store outperformed the local shop.  It appears the national retailers understand better the inherent value of upselling, cross-selling and running specials, and how those tactics maximize the marketing dollars spent getting that Customer in the door. This is an interesting article and features best-selling author Shep Hyken’s advice on why the national brands outperformed the local brands.


Starbucks puts names on their apron – There is nothing revolutionary about having name tags for your employee; however, until now, Starbucks has never done it. I am actually surprised it took them this long since Starbucks’ mission is to create an emotional connection.  I love the idea and was embarrassed that in over 20 years, John Robert’s Spa has never instituted this simple but extremely effective tool to help build stronger relationships with Customers. The more Customers know our name, the closer they feel, and vice versa. Each name tag is going to have three lines on it; team member’s first name, the year they started with JR and the third line will read, “My passion is…” and each person’s passion will be personalized to them.


Reverse Secret Service – This is reverse Secret Service, where clients learn and remember things about us and it helps start a conversation and connection for future visits.  I got this idea from Westin Hotels, who designed to encourage deeper relationships between hotel employees and guests. Westin executives said that the passion tags opened a dialogue between the company’s staff and its guests, and when guests start talking, they are much more forthcoming about any issues that might concern them during their stay.  A simple phrase on a nametag encourages guests to talk and engage, and find out similarities and common interests, thus helping to break down barriers and create emotional connections.


Chick-fil-A Mission is to be RemarkableThis means provide an experience that makes people ‘remark’ about it. I recently received an email from someone who works at a client The DiJulius Group consults with;


Hi John,


I now can see why you use Chick-fil-A as an example in your presentations. I recently visited one of their locations for lunch. When we entered, the door was opened for us and we were thanked for coming in today. That day it was raining really hard. When leaving Chick-fil-A, an employee walked me out to the car with an umbrella over my head so I wouldn’t get wet.  I have never had a WOW experience like that from anywhere, especially a fast food restaurant. When we were leaving after I got in the car, we were thanked for dining with them today.  They have increased the service level I now expect. That’s why, starting now,  I plan on not going to any other fast food restaurant.


Ashton Kutcher words of wisdom – I read on Verne Harnish’s ezine (excellent resource for fast growth companies) where he wrote about three ideas Ashton Kutcher (Steve Jobs in the movie Jobs) addressed in his Teen Choice Awards speech last week – a 4 minute speech that was applicable for teens and adults. I actually sent it out to all my managers.  



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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Email Never & Always standards; how hotel handles ridiculous request

Customer Bill of Rights – One of the most effective ways to elevate your company’s Customer service level is by instituting Non-Negotiable Standards (Commandment III in What’s the Secret?)  I like to call them the Customer Bill of RightsIf anyone is going to wear your uniform, name tag or represent your brand, there needs to be a small set of 6-12 actions/standards that your employees live by. These non-negotiable standards are also referred to as the Never & Always list (see several company examples in the eService Burden of the Brand).


Never & Always list – Creating the traditional non-negotiable standards is a favorite for our consulting clients; rolling out a short, simple list that is common sense.  Yet the majority of businesses and front-line employees too often are guilty of executing the Never List and rarely do what’s on the Always List.



Email Never & Always list standards – What we’ve noticed since helping our clients create and roll out these non-negotiable standards is that it’s lacking for people who work in jobs where they mostly communicate electronically, i.e. via email (home offices, internal support positions, Customer service reps, etc.).  So the following are examples from some of The DiJulius Group’s consulting clients’ Email non-negotiable standards:



  • Deliver bad/negative news via email
  • Respond with just an answer (5 words or less)
  • Never use jargon/slang
  • Never treat e-mail like a text message
  • Use all caps
  • Respond to “All” when the entire list doesn’t need to know
  • Get anything off your chest in an email


  • Use a professional signature, even in replies
  • Use the Customer’s name every time
  • Open with something personal when dealing with an existing client  
  • Close with a nice line, i.e.
    • It was a pleasure…
    • Looking forward to working with you,
    • Let me know if there is anything else I can do
  • Respond within one business day (even if it is to let them know you don’t have an answer yet)
  • Use clear subject line wording
  • Use Secret Service when dealing with existing clients
  • Use BCC when sending to a large list to protect others’ email addresses
  • Call them if your first email was not clear
  • Call them directly if you cannot provide them with what they are asking for

Please share any we haven’t thought of!


Hotel Fulfills Guest’s Ridiculous Request – When a guest made a reservation online for a room for himself and his girlfriend at the Woodlands Resort near Houston last month, he decided to test the resort’s Customer service. When he came to the “special requests” section, the guest requested that the resort provide him with three red M&Ms and a picture of bacon. See how the hotel handled the Ridiculous Request.


The last Secret Service Certification class of the year – This September 24 & 25, is the last Certification Class of 2013. Taught exclusively by John DiJulius, this class will teach you how to create your own Secret Service Systems at your company.  This class is by application only.  Download application here and email as PDF to or fax back to 440-484-2373.


Very limited seating.




We are at our best when creating enduring relationships and personal connections.
 When we are fully engaged, we connect with, laugh with, and uplift the lives of our Customers,
 even if it is just for a few moments. It is about the human connection.

-Howard Schultz


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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Walking the Talk


Walking the Talk – This past March (2013) The DiJulius Group held a Secret Service Certification class, where we had over 30 attendees for this two-day advance Customer service Train the Trainer.  During the class, unknown to nearly everyone, including myself, one of the attendees, a sweet woman from Connecticut, stepped out of the room because she wasn’t feeling well.  Next thing we hear is that she has been admitted in the Cleveland Clinic Hospital, where she apparently had a minor stroke.  She spent four days in the hospital.  Thankfully today she is doing incredibly well and on the road to a full recovery; however, I want to share a letter she sent to me about two weeks after she got back to Connecticut. I feel so proud of the amazing team we have here at The DiJulius Group. It is one thing to talk about it; it is another thing to live it.




I am sending this email to let you know how much I appreciate what David and Nicole did for me while I was in Cleveland.  As you know, my visit there turned into a hospital stay.


I was at the second day of the certification class and started to feel very strange.  I did not know what was happening, but I knew I needed to get to the hospital.  I left the classroom and went out into the lobby and asked David to take me.  He never asked any questions as to why, he just jumped into action.  From that point on, he took such good care of me, and I am not someone that he knew outside of the business.

Once I realized that it was very serious and that I would be staying in the hospital, I let him know and from the time that I went up to my room, he almost never left my side.  He knew that I was all-alone in Cleveland, and he knew that I was very scared.  He even made sure that he kept in contact with my sister in Connecticut, giving her the status of my care.    At one point in my stay, I had to have an incision in my scalp due to a cyst that had developed.  He immediately rushed to my side and held my hand.

Nicole was also there for me.  She came to visit and sit with me, brought me some fabulous hair products, got me earrings so I could feel like a human being and went to pick up my prescriptions, not once but twice, so I would not be without the medication I needed.  I was scheduled to be discharged on Friday and fly home.  My flight was cancelled so she quickly found a hotel for me and took me and made sure I was settled in my room.  David and Nicole are still checking up on me today.

I now know that God puts people in your path for a reason, and that David and Nicole are my guardian angels and lifelong friends.  Even if I don’t come back for the rest of my class, I will be back to see all of you.  

Thank you so much for everything.   




Congratulations – David and Nicole, you exemplify world-class personally and professionally!



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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Out-love your competition

Out-love your competition – This is one of my favorite new phrases. Think about it. Nearly everything can be copied: the products or services that you sell, your décor, website functionality, menu, and prices. Can you really out-work your competition?  Out-think them? However, the one area you can get a distinct competitive advantage is by out-loving the businesses you compete against. The only way to do that is stop the typical squawking that goes on about how difficult Customers can be, and start just appreciating them.  


Celebrate your Customer – I am not talking about simply having a Customer appreciation event or week, or starting a VIP program, which are all good practices to implement. What I am talking about is having internal Customer appreciation awareness campaigns.  This will dramatically change the mindset of your employees, even yourself. Far too many businesses sit around and discuss how difficult their Customers can be, how demanding they are, how they have unrealistic expectations.  You hear employees and managers too often talk about that one Customer who is never happy and always wants something for free.  I truly believe that this is a minute percentage of our Customer base; however, it seems like so much more because of how often they are discussed.  Do you want to have high service aptitude? Do you want your employees to have compassion and empathy for your Customers? Well start having employees talk about their favorite Customers, the ones who make them love their job. Have your employees tell stories of the times when they have had the biggest impact on a Customer’s day. Companies need to create several outlets where employees can share and hear about how lucky they are to have so many good Customers who count on them and are great to do business with.  This will change the tone from us versus them, to genuine care about your Customers, and make everyone on your team grateful that your Customers are giving you their business versus your competition.  As you think of ways to out-love your customers, please share with me how you make your staff more appreciative of your customers at I am not asking how you take care of your customers, best answers will be used in future eServices and possibly my next book! 


Let your Customers tell their story – World-Class Customer service organizations do an excellent job of soliciting and sharing Above & Beyond stories from their Customers Commandment VIII.  They do it by making it easy for Customers to share their experience at checkout, online, etc.  Then these companies have excellent internal communication to make sure all employees hear how one of their co-workers went Above & Beyond for a Customer, which stimulates and increases everyone’s service aptitude and perpetuates this type of behavior.  I recently heard of a very unique way an Office Depot employee did exactly this. After being told by a Customer that she loved coming into the store because of how nice everyone who works there is, the Office Depot employee asked the Customer if she would like to share what had just been said with the entire staff. The employee then proceeded to hand the Customer her headset and the Customer repeated her comment, this time for the entire store to hear. Then she heard applause coming from all over the store. What a great example of capturing a Customer’s raving fan moment and inspiring the rest of the team!


Have you listened to your voice mail recently? I am shocked by how many professionals, (top executives on down)
have very unfriendly voice mail messages on their office phones and cells. From the sound of their voice to the lack of enthusiasm, I am not looking forward to actually speaking with them, nor do I want to do business with them. Many of these people are very nice; however, like most, when they created their own voice mail greeting, it was rushed and came off sounding so inhospitable, or too scripted and robotic. Recreate yours and make sure it encompasses your enthusiasm, sincerity, and offers options (i.e. “If you like, you can always email me, or call my assistant at…”).


Actually if you really want to ‘wow’ people, download YouMail to your smart phone.  This application is one of the best Secret Service examples I have ever come across — and it is free!  It has many features, but the best one is the personalized voice mail greeting. Any time someone who is already in your contact list calls you, they will hear a personalized voice mail greeting. There are two ways this works: 1) The easy way – you can choose a generic voice to automatically say, “Hi Brian (or whatever their name is), John is unavailable right now, but will call you back as soon as he can,” or 2) For the people who call you the most, (I did this with my three boys,) you can record a personal greeting just for them with your voice in 20 seconds, i.e. “Hi Cal, I am tied up right now, but I want to talk to you really bad. I will call you back as soon as I can, promise. I love you.” 





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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