John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog


Top 8 reasons why your Customer service may be failing

The top 8 reasons why your Customer service may be failing 

 

1. Lack of Executive Sponsorship – It is a proven fact that any big initiative, project, or revolution has to have the support of the senior leadership team. Otherwise it will be considered flavor-of-the-month or management-by-bestseller. The senior leadership team has to provide the necessary resources to create long-lasting change. Customer service has to be as important as finance, sales, operations, and technology. It needs to be talked about at board meetings and strategic planning sessions, with leaders and everyone else in the company including front-line employees. See past eService Executive Sponsorship

 

2. No CXL – Regardless of your company’s size, someone in your organization has to be the Customer Xperience Leader; the person in charge of the Customer experience for the entire company. I am not talking about the Customer service reps or call center. That person should not be the President, CEO or owner, but someone who reports directly to him/her. 

 

3. No CX community – One of the most effective initiatives developed by our consulting clients is an internal Secret Agent Team, made up primarily of non-management staff, to support the Customer service initiatives and help gain momentum throughout the front-line employees. See past eService Secret Service Agents 

 

4. No key metric – Companies need to see the impact that Customer satisfaction has on their key metric drivers (i.e., Customer retention, average ticket, re-sign rates, referrals, average contracts, frequency of visits). This demonstrates the ROI, as well as allows management teams to hold employees accountable for providing a great Customer experience at every level of the organization. Measurement tools can be anything from Customer surveys, third-party companies that measure Customer satisfaction, secret shoppers, to statistical benchmarks (such as the average ticket or the number of referrals. These provide a benchmark to measure the impact of the new systems and to determine whether they are being consistently executed. 

 

5. Your business is not special – If you ask 100 leaders why delivering superior Customer service is so difficult, you will hear the same answers over and over again: “Our business is unique.” “In our industry it is so hard to find employees, let alone ones who care about service.” “We can’t afford to pay enough to get quality people.” “We have a totally different Customer, it is much more difficult.” Every business is dealing with the same dynamics, trying to un-commoditize their service or product from all their competitors and not get sucked into price wars. 

 

6. Lack of hospitality training – On average, a company devotes more than 90 percent of its training to hard skills (such as technical and operational skills and product knowledge) and less than 10 percent to soft skills (such as hospitality, relationship building, service recovery, and experiential training). 

 

7. Low Service Aptitude – The quality of your Customer service comes down to the Service Aptitude of every employee you have. From the CEO to the account executive, sales clerk, call center, receptionist, corporate office support team, to every front-line employee — it’s all about Service Aptitude!!! No one is born with it; it is not innate. The vast majority of the workforce has extremely low Service Aptitude. It is not the employees’ responsibility to have high Service Aptitude, it is the company’s job to teach it to them. See past eService Service Aptitude

 

8. Lack of purpose motive – Too many companies underestimate the power a purpose provides to front-line employees, which is critical for having high morale in a workplace. See past eService Purpose maximizers & Service Vision

 

 

Johnism

 

Companies spend millions creating and advertising their brands,
yet the Customer’s experience is what drives Customer loyalty
 

 

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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What’s your company’s service aptitude level?
What’s the real Service Aptitude Level of your company?
 

Company Service Aptitude Test (C-SAT) – When it comes to Customer service, do you know the rating for your company, location or department? The DiJulius Group has created an incredibly powerful tool called the Company Service Aptitude Test. The C-SAT not only pinpoints the Service Aptitude Level of your organization, but more importantly, it lets management know where the strengths and opportunities are in order to get to the next level. The C-SAT is based on the Ten Commandments to providing a World-Class Customer experience from the groundbreaking book What’s the Secret? These are the 10 principles shared by every great Customer service organization. 
 
There are five levels of Customer service – It will take approximately 15 – 20 minutes to answer all the questions. Scores may then be averaged to find an overall company score. Every manager in your organization should take the C-SAT. These are the 10 principals shared by every great Customer service organization. Now your management can take the C-SAT.
 

Customized Group C-SAT – The DiJulius Group is able to compile and group the results for your entire organization or business unit. When you have every manager and senior executive take this test and then compare the results and individual answers to each question, you will be shocked at how they differ. For example, some leaders will give the highest rating (Extremely Accurate) while others will give the lowest rating (Extremely Inaccurate) for the identical question. It is critically important to uncover the reason why. Obviously someone, or maybe many people, have the wrong assumption that needs to be addressed. See sample report on one question below:

 

   

Shocking varying results –  In the example above, out of 20 managers who took this C-SAT for the same company, 3 managers (or 15%) answered “Extremely Accurate” for this questions, while 4 managers (or 20%) answered “Extremely Inaccurate”.  Those are the complete opposite answers for the same question and for the same company. When you go over this report with your management team, you not only uncover which parts of your organization’s Customer service need to be addressed, you uncover inconsistencies of management thinking.  This unique reporting service comes with a one-on-one consultation with one of our world-class consultants to go over the immediate opportunities that might surface. Contact Denise at denise@thedijuliusgroup.com to learn how this tool can be your first stepping-stone to becoming a World-Class Customer service organization. 

 

 Create raving team members and they will create raving clients 

 

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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Disney launches Secret Service bands; Restaurant shuts down for Attitude Adjustment
Photo courtesy of Disney

Disney launches new Secret Service wrist bands – How can an amusement park who sees tens of thousands of guest daily, offer personalized service? Leave it to Disney to figure it out. The next time your family visits a Disney park, they may experience Goofy walking up and greeting your child by name. This is just one of the new experiences that Disney is capable of delivering as a result of their new trackable guest wrist bands. Here’s how the “Magic Bands” work: Guests who opt to use the waterproof wristbands, which are embedded with computer chips, can then use those as their park entry tickets, FastPass, hotel room keys and a credit card as well. Photographers can also use the system to link photos with the family account in order to buy and print out any photos of the group, should they choose to do so.

 

Restaurant shuts down for Attitude Adjustment – John Herod, who runs Schlotzsky’s Deli

Photo courtesy of KY3

and Cinnabon in Abilene, Texas, shut the doors for two weeks in late November after he said he noticed a decline in Customer service. He fired some workers and retrained the rest. He informed Customers of the sudden closure with a marquee, prominently noting the need for an “attitude adjustment.” The restaurant re-opened on December 9, after employees were retrained on how to properly clean the premises, prepare food and interact with Customers. 

 

Amazon owns UPS’ shipping problem – One of the most popular quotes we say all the time is “While it is not our fault, it is our problem.” A high volume of holiday packages did not make it to their intended destination until after Christmas, sending angry consumers to social media to vent. However, Amazon.com, who is one of the top Customer service companies in the world, and uses UPS for the majority of their shipping, was proactive with their Customers. Amazon responded with an email to affected Customers offering shipping refunds and $20 gift cards as compensation. 

 

Zappos says goodbye to bosses – The Customer-service obsessed company calls its executives “monkeys,” has staffers ring cowbells to greet guests, and offers new employees cash to quit as a way to test their loyalty. The Las Vegas-based retailer is now going even more radical, introducing a new approach to organizing the company. It will eliminate traditional managers, do away with the typical corporate hierarchy and get rid of job titles, at least internally. The company told employees of the change at a year-end meeting. According to Zappos executives, the move is an effort to keep the 1,500-person company from becoming too rigid, too unwieldy and too bureaucratic as it grows. 

 

Valet attendant puts racial slur on Customer’s ticket – After dining at a restaurant, a Georgia couple was startled and outraged after finding “jungle fever” written on their valet ticket. It was reported that the restaurant immediately fired the Valet attendant. 

 

  

Johnism

 

“In most cases our most recently hired, least trained, lowest-paid employee deals with our Customers the most.”
 

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.



Top 7 eServices of 2013

In case you missed it – The 7 most popular eServices of 2013 were the following. (I suggest printing them out, reading and sharing them with your management team.)

 

 1.     The Next 30 Years – I had the honor of being asked to present at my high school’s 30th reunion. I hope you enjoy this and find some things here that are applicable to your life’s journey. The Next 30 Years

 

 2.     11 Rules to a World-Class Customer Service Mindset – This list is the acid test if you, the leader, truly want to create a world-class service culture.  You must have the following mindset; 100% with no wavering. If any of these 11 rules are difficult to swallow or you don’t fully agree, you are not yet there. 11 Rules to a World-Class Customer Service Mindset

 

 3.     No problem is a Big problem – The biggest street slang terms used in every business today are the responses, “no problem” or “not a problem.” Find out why No problem is a Big problem

 

 4.     To Change the world by creating a Customer service revolution – 

 

  

We are so proud of the fact that hundreds of organizations all over the world have adopted this as their vision of how they want to build their business and distance themselves from the competition. However, for it to be truly successful, for it not to be just another mantra, annual theme, platitude, or flavor of the month, it is critical you understand what creating a Customer service revolution really means.  Breaking down the definition of Changing the world by creating a Customer service revolution — to its core.

 

 5.     Email Never & Always standards – We’ve noticed since helping our clients create and roll out these non-negotiable standards, that it’s lacking for people who work in jobs where they mostly communicate electronically, i.e. via email (corporate home office, 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.

 

 6.     Nine worst Customer service retailers – The good news is, Customer satisfaction with retailers is at an all-time high.  The bad news is, some well-known brands are not pleasing their Customers. Check out who the nine retailers with the worst Customer service were.  Are you surprised by who is on the list?

 

 7.     To be the most Customer-centric company in the world – I love Amazon.com both as a consultant and Customer of their world-class service! They are one of the top 10 Customer service companies in the world. Jeffrey Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO, is fanatical about the Customer experience. Most Customer-Centric company in the world

 

2014 Secret Service Certification Schedule Announced – Apply to the most coveted Customer Experience Certification Classes of 2014.  Learn how to train your team, your company, your clients on how to become world-class Customer experience providers regardless of industry or size.  When you become certified, you’ll receive the tools used by the top Customer service companies in the world!  Learn more.

 

  

Johnism

 

Do not ask the Customers what they want, give them something that they cannot live without.
 

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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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!

 

Johnism

  

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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Own every moment; the party bus

Not content with Five Star  – This month Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is launching their updated “Day in the Life of a Customer” video, Customer Service Vision Statement & Pillars, and their Never & Always standards to all their 800+ associates. You might ask, why? Why would a resort like Nemacolin, one the few properties in the world that can boast that they are both Five Diamond and Five Star, feel it necessary to be rolling out so many new Customer service initiatives?

 

Own Every Moment – One of the dangers that can happen when you work at a huge property that has people enjoying weddings, business conferences, and honeymoons, is that you can think that a guest’s satisfaction is based on how those grandiose events turn out. However, Nemacolin realizes it is not only about excellent food, the room being ready and clean, good spa service, a beautiful wedding; but rather it is more the sum of dozens of individual moments that make up how a guest will feel about their experience and the memories they will take with them.  That is why Nemacolin’s Customer service vision statement is to Own Every Moment by being excellent, being engaged and being empowered. You can see from their credo card how they define each of those pillars.

 

The Party Bus – I spent this past Labor Day weekend at Nemacolin, along with a group of friends (about 25 other families, totaling over 90 people), and it was a great time. One moment that really stood out was when a group of about a dozen of us waiting for a shuttle bus to take us from dinner back to our hotel at around 11 p.m.  Nemacolin is such a large property that they run shuttle buses all day and night to transport their guests from one part of the property to the next.  A shuttle pulled up and as I started to enter it, the rest of my group said, “That’s not Helen!  We called for Helen. We will wait.” I looked at them and said, “Are you crazy?  It’s late, let’s get on the shuttle.” The kids were exhausted, and I just wanted to get back to my hotel room at this point. However, the rest of my group wouldn’t budge. They were dead set on waiting for Helen. So out of curiosity I waited to see what all the fuss was.  Soon after, a shuttle pulled up and the doors swung open and the party started.

 

Helen Owns Every Moment – Helen Humphrey has been a Nemacolin legend for over 9 years. Guests love her and request her shuttles all the time because she plays music and flashes the interior lights to the beat of the music (which is why she is also known as Disco Helen).  She interacts with guests via the intercom, asking who has never been here (i.e. “who is a Nemacolin Virgin), finding all sorts of ways to entertain her passengers. She has the “Party Bus.”  Helen has been known to go shopping for guests and bring them items so they never have to leave the property. She also received the “Fan Mail Award” in 2011.  This is given to the associate who receives the most positive name mentions.

 

 

Johnism

  

Customer Engagement is a contact sport

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.



Lululemon blames the Customer

 

Like Netflix – I love Lululemon as a consultant and as a Customer. For years, Lululemon was a case study for retailing excellence, creating an excellent Customer experience in their stores. I still use their innovative model as an example for my consulting clients. However, 2013 has not been a good year for the Canadian-based athletic apparel company.What Lululemon is doing to itself is almost as bad as what Netflix did to themselves in 2011. Netflix decided to increase their prices 60% overnight, and as a result, Netflix had to staff hundreds of extra Customer service reps to handle the incoming calls of irate Customers.  They also had to deal with 4,000 negative posts on their blog. If that wasn’t enough, they got 80,000 posts on their Facebook page.  Their president didn’t make things any better when he sent all the Customers a letter defended Netflix’s decision. As a result, Netflix lost over 1 million subscribers and their stock fell 75%.

 

Lululemon Meltdown – Every company goes through ups and downs. Lululemon had a few things go wrong this year:

      1. Produced yoga pants costing around $100 that were too sheer when their Customers bent over. (See past eService)
      2. When Customers tried to return the yoga pants, store associates asked them to put them on, bend over and prove they were too sheer. (Watch this hilarious video, Lululemon asks Customers to bend over)
      3. The pants were recalled, resulting in nearly $40 million lost
      4. Shareholders are suing the company
      5. CEO Christine Day resigned.

      A Customer experience LEMON – The secret to meltdown survival is to minimize the downturn. As if the above wasn’t bad enough, amid all the criticism the company has been getting for these mishaps, they issued a press release to media yesterday stating that continued complaints of sheer yoga pants is caused by Customers who are wearing pants that are too small!

       

      The problem may be that “guests don’t have the benefit of doing an in-store fit session with one of our educators to make sure the fit is right for them,” the company said in a Frequently Asked Questions section of its website.

       

      Customer outrage – “I find this statement completely idiotic, disgusting and unprofessional, and I really truly feel Lululemon needs a new media management team that can effectively communicate publicly without insulting and alienating their entire Customer base.  What exactly is the point of a press release like this one other than to excuse themselves to their shareholders and, in effect, kissing away their loyal Customers,” says one irate blogger.

       

      Moving forward – Lululemon needs to fix their product and, more importantly, stop doing and saying ridiculous things.  Making Customers bend over before returning pants, and insulting Customers by implying they are buying the wrong size, just further hurts their brand.  I am shocked that a company as good as Lululemon could put their foot in their mouth so badly. This is a brand I really believe in, and I hope they will get back to what they do so well versus trying to cover up for their lack of — covering up. 

       

      Watch how you can fix these problems – This November 4th & 5th, learn how the top Customer service organizations in the world tackle issues as complicated as these at the 2013 Secret Service Summit. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to join the ranks of the best companies in the world and pay tribute to the one aspect of business that remains the secret to success: the Customer experience.  

       

      Johnism

        

      People don’t remember what you said as much as how you made them feel.

       

      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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