John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog


Restaurant refuses to allow boy to call 9-1-1

Restaurant refuses to allow boy to call 9-1-1 – A young boy had an asthma attack at one of the Tim Horton’s restaurants in London, Ontario. He asked store employees if he could call 9-1-1 for an ambulance. They refused, according to The Inquisitr. Why/how could such poor judgment be made? The employees say because of company protocol, Customers are not allowed to use the store phone under any circumstances.  The employee did tell the boy that there was a pay phone across the street.  Thankfully, another patron in the restaurant saw what was going on and used her phone to dial 9-1-1. To make matters even worse, reports are that when paramedics finally arrived, the Tim Horton’s employees wouldn’t let them come through an exit-only door.  Thankfully, the boy was eventually taken to the hospital and is said to be doing fine.  The Tim Horton’s chain said they would use this incident as an opportunity to teach emergency response protocol to staff. 

 

Lesson #1 Remove “Policy” from your employees’ vocabulary – This has become such a big issue, a crutch that reduces employees’ service aptitude and causes them to sometimes make horrible decisions because they are afraid of going against “company policy.”  See these two excellent previous examples. Company policy ends up costing a Customer’s life, and How a company doesn’t help a non-subscriber who locked baby in her car

 

Lesson #2 As a company, own up – Don’t make excuses about why or how it happened. Just come out and say it was handled incorrectly, and you will make sure it never is handled that way again. It could happen to any company and has to many, even companies with a great Customer service reputation. (read Asking your Customer to bend over and Can you afford not to train on Service Aptitude?)

 

Johnism

 

You can only live a perfect day when you do something for someone who will never be able to repay 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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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.

Johnism

 

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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9 worst Customer service companies

Blame it on the youth- Due to the fact that technology has dramatically reduced face-to-face interaction, the younger generation has fewer inherent people skills than previous generations, which ultimately means lower service aptitude.  As a result, managers and companies complain about how difficult it is to employ “the youth,” and they are the reason why their companies deliver such poor Customer service. I totally disagree!

 

Big Anomaly – This has been perplexing me for years, and it is the one thing about Customer service that I just can’t figure out. It goes against all conventional logic.  I have found, in my own two companies (The DiJulius Group & John Robert’s Spa = 150 team members) as well as in all the world-class Customer service companies I have worked with and studied, that of their front-line employees, a large percentage of them fall into the 20-30-age range. They deliver outstanding Customer service! In many cases the younger generation is better at hospitality than the previous one who was forced to have more human interaction.

 

How can it be – If the younger generation grows up with less face-to-face interaction and as a result has weaker people skills entering the workforce in their early twenties, then how is it possible that certain ones become world-class in Customer service? Is it because there has been such innate interactive deficiency that once they get it, they are like a man in a desert finally getting water to quench his thirst?   It is happening all over the place? Zappos.com, Chick-fil-A, John Robert’s Spa, Nordstrom, The Ritz-Carlton, and the Disney’s of the world have young, fully engaged team members.

 

The younger generation is hungry for hospitality – Hiring is a big part of it; however, just as important is their service aptitude training. Think about this: If today’s younger generation lacks the skills gained from human interactions, who is responsible for improving their people skills and increasing their service aptitude? The businesses that hire them! We can’t skip this generation and hope the next will be any better at people skills. We need to have better training programs, not just training on product knowledge and the technical side of the job, but also training on the soft skills. The companies that deliver world-class Customer service are the companies that understand this fact and provide training in Customer service skills.

 

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?

 

Ecommerce tops brick & mortar – The trend continues: online retailers consistently out-perform brick and mortar businesses in Customer satisfaction. Retailers wonder and complain about why Customers are “showrooming” (shopping at stores and then making the purchase online) and defecting to the Internet for their purchases. Now they know why.  Some retailers have even taken drastic measures to deter Customers from showrooming and have started to penalize them by charging a “just looking fee”.  In fact, of the nine retail companies with the worst American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) scores, only one was an online retailer, Netflix.

 

From first to worst – The surprising thing is, Netflix outperformed the average Internet retailer in Customer satisfaction for four years, and in 2009 was #1 retailer. But in 2011 and 2012, the video streaming company has been the lowest-rated internet retailer.  
 

 

It’s better to lose the money by not being able to serve the Customer because of understaffing,
than to serve the Customer with just any employee, and lose the reputation.
 

 

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.



Asking your Customer to bend over; Do you know your maid’s name; Fast Food companies must engage; Hallmark testing service aptitude
April 18, 2013, 8:16 am
Filed under: Customer Experience, Customer Service, Service Aptitude, Social Media

 

Sheer Madness – Lululemon, an athletic apparel retail store, is currently the punch line of many jokes as a result of extremely poor judgment in how they recently handled the recall of yoga pants. Social media has sent it viral.  You see, when women came back to the store to return the too-sheer yoga pants (see-through), the Customers were asked to try on the pants and bend over in front of sales associates, who would assess them before a return was permitted. Check out this hilarious story.

 

 

Hallmark testing for high service aptitude – Amy Mendenhall, Customer Experience Manager at Hallmark Cards Inc., recently shared with me (see below a sample question and the results of how people answered) how she tests the service aptitude on a weekly basis of their store managers by sending out polling questions. Click here to see the entire Service Aptitude Poll, which is an excellent tool.

 

 

Fast Food = Eat it Fast – McDonald’s, the fast-food giant, whose restaurant sales in the U.S. have been on adownward slope, is pushing franchisees to improve staffing and service amid mounting complaints about rude employees. McDonald’s executives recently shared that 1 in 5 Customer complaints are related to friendliness issues, “and it’s increasing.” The top complaint is “rude or unprofessional employees.”

 

No Industry Immunity- Companies like Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, and Pret A Manger have changed the landscape and expectations by proving Customers can experience world-class hospitality at a quick service restaurant, which is forcing companies like McDonald’s to reinvent themselves. It appears senior leadership has decided to focus on Customer satisfaction as a real driver to rebuild the brand and build sales. I have consulted with McDonald’s Australia and have been extremely impressed at their aggressive approach to building a superior Customer service brand in their markets. 

 

Ultimate Service Aptitude Test – I recently came across a great way to test if a person has that service DNA, which can be used on interviews as well as just in life by asking them if they can tell you the first name of the janitor at their school, or landscaper, or housekeeper at home.  I believe this tells a lot about a person and how they were raised. I recently picked up my son, Johnni, at college and said this to him: “When you go out with a girl for the first time, the first thing you should ask her is if her family has a landscaper or housekeeper or handyman. If she says yes, ask her what his/her name is. If she doesn’t know, drop her off on the next block, provided there is a bus stop.”  

 

 

 

 

 

 The best way to retain clients is to not lose them in the first place.

 

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.



No Problem is Big Problem; OnStar doesn’t help a non-subscriber who locked baby in car
April 11, 2013, 8:16 am
Filed under: Above & Beyond, Customer Experience, Customer Service, Service Aptitude

 

LA restaurant tweets Customer’s names that are no shows – The Beverly Hills restaurant is now publicly shaming people who “no-show” reservations by tweeting and Facebooking the names of offending Customers.  Red Medicine tweeted the full names of people who failed to show for their reservation.

 

“Hi Kyle Anderson (323), I hope you enjoyed your gf’s bday and the flowers that you didn’t bring when you no-showed for your 815 res. Thanks,” snarked one tweet. 

 

Restaurant manager Noah Ellis defended this approach. “Invariably, the *%#holes who decide to no-show, or cancel 20 minutes before their reservation (because one of their friends made a reservation somewhere else) ruin restaurants (as a whole) for the people who make a reservation and do their best to honor it.” Check out the full story. LA restaurant tweets Customer’s names that are no shows

 

Brand Assassination – While it is frustrating to have Customers who “no show” prime appointments and the business loses sales as a result, (i.e. I know this first hand…John Robert’s Spa), shaming your Customers is not the answer.  There are numerous other better approaches, i.e. taking a credit card for a guarantee. 

 

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.”  With all of our consulting clients, we help create their Never & Always list, and 100% of the time, “not a problem” is on the Never list and certainly, “my pleasure,” and “absolutely” are on the Always list as alternatives. Using “certainly” or “my pleasure” is so much more professional than the often heard, “not a problem.”  It elevates the professionalism of your employees’ terminology. It starts establishing a culture of hospitality, where the Customer is first.

 

I recently read a great blog by Joe Schumacker, No problem, Big problem (read the entire short blog) that articulated this really well. 

 

“No Problem” is a problem on two levels. The “No Problem” auto-response places the staff member’s comfort ahead of service to the Customer.  Expanding the auto-response for full meaning, “No Problem” becomes; “You are not creating a problem for me”.  As a Customer I want to feel that my interests are first and foremost in the mind of the staff member, not that I may have inconvenienced a staff member by being a Customer. The second problem with “No Problem” is that it consists of two negative words. 

 

OnStar doesn’t help a non-subscriber who locked baby in car – A Customer had a vehicle with General Motors’ OnStar system that provides emergency and roadside assistance; however, this Customer decided not to continue to subscribe to the service. Then she accidentally locked her purse, car keys, and her infant daughter, in the car. When she contacted OnStar and asked them to help, just this once, because there was a baby in the car, She blogged about the incident:

 

“I then called and tried to get OnStar to assist us but the bastards wouldn’t help because I didn’t have a subscription. Now, I know they have a connection to my car because OnStar was on it when I bought it but they claimed there was nothing they could do.”

 

Swing & Miss – This type of hero opportunity is a world-class Customer service organization’s dream. OnStar had an incredible opportunity to deliver a huge above & beyond opportunity with a potential Customer that I am sure would have been shared all over social media. They need to be able to have this capability both technically and by empowering their front-line employees to capitalize on these moments. 

 

 

 

 The experience is remembered long after the price is forgotten

 

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.



Spend less on advertising; store charges a ‘just looking fee’

Spend less on advertising – Research has shown that world-class Customer service organizations spend less on advertising than the rest of their industry.  Why? Because they have an unpaid sales force — their existing Customers. See: Smoking Gun blog post

 

Brand Evangelists – Carter Mario Law Firm, specializing in personal injury, has six locations throughout Connecticut and is a classic example of this theory. When Carter Mario started tracking the source of incoming calls, (the backbone of their business) in 2006 roughly 30% of their calls came from word of mouth/referral sources and the approximately 70%, came from paid advertising. By the graph below, you can see the positive growth of the law firm’s word of mouth calls, (2006-2012) and last year they eclipsed 60%!

 

A world-class hospitality law firm – What changed or what was the driving force behind this movement? “While we thought we were client centric, we realized we were relative to injury attorneys, which means we were the best of a lousy group,” says Carter Mario. “In 2007 our entire organization including receptionists, in-take specialists, administrative positions, and attorneys, became obsessed with being a world-class Customer service company, benchmarked against anyone in any other industry.” That they did! Carter Mario Law Firms are well known for their Customer service. I featured them in my 2nd book, What’s the Secret?, and Carter Mario himself shared his story at our Secret Service Summit, where his company won the Secret Service System Award, presented to only one amazing Customer service organization per year.”

 

Store Charges Customers ‘Just Looking’ Fee – A store has had it with Customers walking around the store without buying anything. As a result, Redditor Barrett Fox posted a picture of a sign informing shoppers of a new “just looking fee” at a specialty food store in Brisbane, Australia.  The fee is $5.00. I can’t make this stuff up.  Look at the sign below.

 

Begging to go out of business – This is one of the worst policies I have ever heard of.  No business makes it very longtreating Customers like this. If people are not buying from you, you need to figure out why; is it price, product, or service? Then fix it, don’t punish the Customer.   Obviously they haven’t heard of the saying, “Don’t punish 98% of your Customers for what you are afraid of 2% might do.”

 

Be the Best at What Matters MostWhat if you, your team, or your entire organization had absolute clarity aboutwhat was most important, and that’s where all of your energy was focused?  Imagine the force multiplier of that kind of shared sense of direction, purpose, and priorities. My mentor, idol and friend, Joe Calloway has just released his newest book; Be the Best at What Matters Most!  Be the Best at What Matters Most reveals the one essential strategy for business leaders, entrepreneurs and those who aspire to lead.  Simplify the way you think about your business.  Success isn’t about doing everything.  It’s about doing the most important things.  To get Joe’s new book click here

 

Real Customer service should be called ‘custom’ service. 

 

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.



Most important eService EVER; Brand new C-SAT
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.
 

NEW Customized Group C-SAT – The DiJulius Group is now 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 David at david@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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