John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog

Cabela’s Customer Experience Stops Traffic | Hireology Offers Solution to Hiring Problems
Brick & Mortar Competing in Experience Wars

“I think it’s incumbent upon the responsibility of retailers
to create these fantastic experiences that’s going to sweep them away.”

~Howard Schultz

A few weeks ago a friend of mine, Tony Goins, EVP at Cabela’s, invited me to attend Cabela’s grand opening in Avon, Ohio. The grand opening didn’t start until 10 a.m., however, Tony suggested I get there by 8 a.m. As I got close to the address, I assumed there was some sort of accident ahead. There was a long line of bumper-to-bumper traffic and several police cars. After barely moving for several minutes, I realized it wasn’t due to an accident. All the traffic was from several thousands of people waiting in the Cleveland August heat for the new Cabela’s to open. I later found out people had literally been camped out for days to be one of the first 500 to enter the new store.

Read full article here.

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It’s Not All About You | Captain Charlie Plumb Keynoting Secret Service Summit
July 13, 2016, 6:03 am
Filed under: Customer Service, Robin Dreeke FBI, Secret Service Summit
It’s Not All About You

Many successful people know how to build rapport. That is how and why they have risen to the success they have. However, what they don’t know is how to teach it and how to train their employees to do it. Former FBI agent, Robin  Dreeke, shares how to build rapport with anyone, even strangers instantly in his book It’s Not All About “Me”. I thoroughly enjoyed his techniques.

Human Beings Are Genetically Coded to Be Self-Centered

Dreeke shares how studies have repeatedly shown the happiest individuals in the world are the ones with meaningful relationships. “The main objective in all engagements is simple; the person you are engaging must leave the conversation and interaction feeling better for having met you,” he writes. “A great conversationalist and rapport builder will put the entire focus on the other individual. When we aren’t anxious to tell our own story, we also tend to listen and hear better.”


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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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It’s a Wonderful Life; My family credo card

What if your company had never been created? – The classic movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, written by Frank Capra, is one of my favorite all time movies. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the premise of the storyline is about George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart), a man who has given up his dreams in order to help others and whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel. The angel, Clarence, shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in the community of Bedford Falls would have been had he never been born. It is an amazing lesson of how much we can affect the world.  I like to use this movie as an example when we discuss the impact a company can make on their Customers and community. Consider if your business were never created. Would your Customers still be able to purchase a similar services and products elsewhere? Perhaps, but hopefully there would be something significantly diminished as a result of your business not being in their life or community.


The purpose motive – Best selling author and the leading expert on what motivates people, Daniel Pink, shares what he calls the purpose motive in one of the best presentations I have ever seen (see Daniel Pink’s TED Talk video):



Does everyone understand his/her purpose? – Is every employee taught what the organization’s purpose is outside of sales and profits?  Does every employee truly know how his or her individual job and performance impacts that purpose?  This is what world-class Customer service organizations do better than everyone else. (see creating a Service Vision)


Family Credo – After seeing how successful businesses were with connecting their people with the overall purpose, I realized this would apply toward my family. So about a year ago, my three sons and I sat down and created our own Family Credo statement, three pillars, and our family’s Never & Always. What we came away with was 100% my boys’ ideas. At the 2013 Secret Service Summit, I had my youngest son, Bo (11), share The DiJulius family credo. He nailed it!  I hope you enjoy:




Highlights from the 2013 Secret Service Summit  it was our best year ever! In next week’s eService I will be recapping the biggest takeaways from each of the amazing speakers. This was our highest rated Secret Service Summit EVER! See what author and growth expert Patrick Thean had to say in his blog about his Summit attendee experience. It Takes Great Execution to Deliver World Class Customer Service



Re-live the 2013 Summit – Did you miss the 2013 Secret Service Summit? Capture the best moments of America’s #1 Customer Service Conference, held in Cleveland last week. Now you can listen to this once in a lifetime conference on your iPhone, Android, or any other MP3 player. Plus, you can burn a few extra copies on CDs for your team. Get your audio today!








Show me you care more about my business than just getting my business



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.

Should Obamacare operator have been fired for over sharing? Summit sold out

Obamacare Operator Fired – Earlier this week conservative radio host Sean Hannity called the Obamacare hotline and spoke to an operator. The operator, Earline Davis, was honest and told Hannity nobody liked the website. The next day she was fired.  Since then there has been public outcry over this story and how she was the victim.  Check the full story out Fired Obamacare Operator.

She was wrong – While I don’t like to see anyone fired, what she did was wrong. Let’s look at it from a business standpoint and not as a goliath government entity. This happens every day in business by front-line employees. Her job is to address incoming calls and questions and provide people with answers. Her job is not to over share, i.e. ‘nobody likes the website.’  Do I think she should have been fired? Depends.  Was she trained to not over share? If she was, this needs to be addressed and stressed again. If she wasn’t, then there is a serious gap in the Obamacare training of their Customer service representatives.

Never over share – One of the most common Nevers, that my clients have in Nevers & Always, is Never over share.  Everyone loves to over share. Why? Because they want to make sure the Customer knows it wasn’t their fault. “I didn’t know you were here; no one told me.  If I would have known, I would have been out sooner.” Or “shipping didn’t next-day-air the package. I told them, I put it on the order. They do this type of stuff all the time.” I have had this same issue with our call center representatives at John Robert’s Spa.  I would over hear them telling Customers on the phone, “Our computers are always so slow.” While this information is critical to management, the Customer really doesn’t need to know about any dysfunction going on behind the scenes.

Action Plan – Are your employees trained to not over share your company’s dirty laundry with Customers?

You are really important to us — in 21 days – Look at the automated response United Airlines sends out to their Customers who contact them (below). “Thank you for contacting United Airlines. Our Customer Care team is currently responding to most inquiries within 14-21 business days…We look forward to assisting you.



Are Customer Service vs. Customer Experience the same? I just read a great blog written by Annette Franz on the difference between Customer Service and Customer Experience. The following has some insightful highlights.

Secret Service Summit Sold Out!  For the fifth year in a row, the Secret Service Summit is sold out! If you didn’t getyour tickets, you will be able to purchase the audio presentations of every presenter of the 2013 Secret Service Summit. 


Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.
It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time


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.

Only 10 Days left; Experience Epiphany; John’s Summit Agenda

Revolutionizing an Industry – A revolution starts with a clear vision of a world that is different than the one we live in today. A revolution is the ability to take a concept to a new direction that was never contemplated before, and rally a group of people around that cause and its benefits to the world. It moves a society forward-occurs when someone is obsessively passionate about a particular subject that improves the human condition. The people who obsess over these ideas cannot imagine doing anything else. Thinking about the subject consumes them, energizes them, and ultimately inspires them to create breakthrough companies, products and services. Think about the companies that literally revolutionized their industries: Southwest Airlines, Zappos, Amazon, Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, and Apple. Each of those brands used a radical approach to trashing the traditional industry mold and re-writing history.


Experience Epiphany – An Experience Epiphany fills a gap Customers didn’t know they had. What was once considered impossible is now the standard experience everyone else is trying to duplicate.  Experience epiphanies rarely occur in familiar surroundings. The key to “thinking differently” is to perceive things differently, through the lenses of a trailblazer. And to see things through these lenses, you must force your brain to make connections it otherwise would have missed.  See past eService featuring companies that created Experience Epiphanies in their industry – UniQlo & Quiktrip


Experience Epiphany Exercises – Get a group of people together from your organization who are progressive, innovative thinkers. In order to brainstorm and not allow people to think about current limitations, (i.e. budget, lack of technology) make it about the experience your company will deliver in 2018 (five years from now).

  • List out the traditional experiences that your good competitors provide.
  • Compare it to the experience your company provides.
  • Ask what service defects and frustrations your Customers have when dealing with your company — and any company in your industry or similar type of industry.
  • Ask how you can make it easier to do business with you.
  • Ask how you can predict what your Customer wants and needs, and anticipate those needs before they even know what they need.
  • Ask why. Why do we do it this way? Does it have to be done this way?
  • And finally, ask what our experience would look like if we charged 10x as much.

You will see that the vast majority of your answers to all those questions can be implemented now, at very little cost.


John DiJulius Secret Service Summit presentation – Here is what John will be presenting on at the 2013 Secret Service Summit:

  • Monday November 4th – Keynote “State of Service” — The top seven reasons why good companies cannot get to world-class Customer service status, and what the best Customer experience companies do differently than everyone else.
  • Tuesday November 5th – Interactive workshop on “Creating Employee Evangelists in Your Organization.” This workshop will focus on how you can build a service culture by attracting better employees, and transforming the existing employees to workers with a true sense of purpose. Ones who understand the part they play in the success of the organization by choosing attitude over aptitude.  There will be several exercises that you and your team can take back and implement immediately.  

10 Days to America’s #1 Customer Service Conference – The Secret Service Summit delivers the best Customer experience education including a solid plan to take your company’s Customer experience strategy to the next level and make price irrelevant.


Don’t lose this opportunity to learn from these experts how to deliver a world-class Customer experience, increase retention, referrals, repeat business and change the world by creating a Customer service revolution.


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.

Secret speaker is…; party bus video; Trump towers

The Party Bus – A few weeks ago I wrote a very popular eService about a shuttle bus driver named Helen Humphrey, who works at Nemacolin Resort and provides an incredibly entertaining three- minute bus ride for her passengers (read entire eService about Disco Helen). Nemacolin was nice enough to share a 57 second video interview with Helen so you can see why she is so legendary.  Check this video out


The Memorable Experience Challenge – You need to show everyone in your organization both the eService about Helen and video interview of Helen and ask them this: “If a shuttle bus driver can find a way to provide such a uniquely memorable experience, how can each of us do the same when we interact with our Customers?”


Periodic acknowledgement- I was recently checking in at the Trump Towers Hotel in downtown Chicago and experienced something so simple yet extremely effective in assuring waiting Customers of their importance. I was standing in line waiting to check in for my room, and about a minute into my wait, the front-desk receptionist, who was checking in the guest in front of me, said, “I will be right with you sir.” I smiled and didn’t think anything of it and shortly there after I was being checked in. About a minute into her checking me in, she acknowledged the person standing behind me by saying, “I will be right with you ma’am.”  It was something so small, but I loved it. This simple, periodic touch told the next guest that I am aware of you and will be right with you, without making me feel as if she was hurrying with me. 


The ‘Secret’ Speaker is … We have several surprises at this year’s Secret Service Summit that will unfold throughout the event and are guaranteed to make it the most memorable summit we have ever produced. However, we have to share the identity of one of our surprise presenters for this year– international speaker and author Reon Schutte! While a member of the elite Special Forces, Reon was captured on a mission in 1990 and spent nearly 13 years as a prisoner of war in Zimbabwe’s infamously brutal Chikurubi prison.  There he came to understand universal truths that allowed him to be free, even while imprisoned.




Set Yourself Free – DO NOT MISS Reon Schutte’s keynote at this year’s Secret Service Summit.  It will be a presentation that will leave a lifelong impact!




Annual Customer service training is like deodorant, pretty soon it wears off and the smell comes back

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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