John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog


Social media rebellion, Department of Customer defense

The Social Media Rebellion – Social media has turned Customer service upside down. No advancement has disrupted

the Customer-care landscape on the same order of magnitude – or as quickly — as social media (past eService biggest influence on Customer service in the last 50 years). Today, more than ever before, Customers are informed and empowered, and they expect personalization and quick responses. In the past, a company had the ability to respond (or not) on their own timetable, but now the fact is your Customer has instant access to social media, which means instant access to thousands of people. Consumers now have personal platforms and the ability to broadcast the good, the bad, and the ugly pertaining to their favorite (or least favorite) brands with the click (or the tap) of a finger. For better or worse, social media has also shone a spotlight on a brand’s approach to Customer care – fails, successes, and all.

  

Department of Customer Defense – Companies need to make sure they have proper procedures in place to handle their Customer’s reaction on social media. If not, then you run the risk of a potential nightmare (see past eService It’s About Time). Here are some keys:

  1. You need to know about it. There are numerous software choices that will automatically notify you anytime your company gets mentioned on social media channels. 
  2. Respond ASAP. It takes years to build a brand’s reputation and seconds to ruin it. Don’t be vulnerable to brand terrorism. Be aggressive, with both positive and negative comments. Thank and address publicly and privately if needed.
  3. Make it easy for Customers to share and give feedback, even if it is constructive. Most companies are only hearing from a small percentage of unsatisfied Customers. How often do you have a poor Customer experience and don’t bother to tell anyone at that business? If we advertise to our Customers that we want to hear about their experience, good or bad, it dramatically increases the amount that will share, both good and bad. What they are not telling you, they are telling their friends. Today that could be thousands of people in a click of a mouse. 

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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Amazon pays employees to quit, Starbucks Tweet-a-Coffee, NY Restaurant provides Secret Service

NY Restaurant provides Secret Service – The maรฎtre d’ at New York’s Eleven Madison Park has created a fascinating way to provide Secret Service and make an emotional connection with guests. He Googles guests who have reservations at the restaurant, searching for Customer intelligence such as where they are from, birth date, profession, anniversary, so he and his employees can personalize the experience from the moment the Customer walks thru the door.

 

Tweet-a-Coffee – World-Class Customer service companies make it extremely easy for their Customers to do business with them. This means they make it extremely easy to spend more money with them.  For example, Starbucks has launched Tweet-a-Coffee, allowing Customers to purchase a coffee for anyone, anywhere via twitter by tweeting @tweetacoffee and then the person’s twitter handle.  Within seconds, a $5 gift card (or tweet) has been given and can be redeemed the next time the recipient goes to Starbucks.  How easy is it to do business with you?

 

Amazon copying Zappos’ paying employees to quit – In his annual letter to shareholders (page 3, paragraph 6), Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, announced his Pay to Quit program, offering employees a quitting bonus to leave Amazon. Each employee gets the offer once a year. The first time, it’s for $2,000. The offer increases by $1,000 each year thereafter up to a maximum of $5,000. Sound familiar? Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, the online retailer, acquired by Amazon back in 2009, invented this concept.  He refers to it as, “The Offer.” Why are world-class Customer service organizations such as Amazon and Zappos offering incentives and making it easy for employees to leave? Bezos says it well, “In the long run, an employee staying somewhere they don’t want to be isn’t healthy for the employee or the company.” World-Class Customer service organizations are not for everyone, nor should they be. They are for a small percentage of people who buy into that company’s vision and are willing to work harder and be more committed to seeing that the vision gets realized. This Pay to Quit program also turns the table on the company and its leaders. Once a year employees get a chance to evaluate where and whom they work for, which puts pressure on management to continue to strive to create a great company culture.

 

Pre-shift Huddles that work – The Maids International, based in Omaha, Nebraska,is a professional home-cleaning service with franchisee locations all over the United States. In an effort to encourage consistent, constructive huddles, each location received a “Brilliant at the Basics” laminated poster.  The poster can easily be hung in any area of an office, and then re-used daily with a dry erase marker.  It guides huddle leaders through TMI’s three pillars, gives an opportunity to discuss specific quality issues, and lastly has an area to celebrate recent Above and Beyond behaviors.  At very little cost, TMI has developed a customized huddle format, which has been deployed across the organization. Also, TMI has announced a fun way to ensure this new tool is being used.  They are holding a video contest seeking the best huddle.  TMI locations are encouraged to video tape what they consider to be their best version of a huddle.  Prizes will be awarded to the winning team.  What a fun way to encourage usage of this effective tool on a daily basis!  See TMI walking the talk.

 

Jack Daly’s new book – A sales guru and past keynote speaker of The Secret Service Summit, Jack Daly’s newest book and soon to be bestseller, Hyper Sales Growth, was released Tuesday, April 22, 2014. Jack knows sales and how to help companies grow. Hyper Sales Growth dives into three critical areas: Building a winning culture in your business, Sales Management, and Sales success. I promise that if you will take the time to read it and take action, your business will grow and achieve a greater amount of success. 

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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Employee bashes Customer who didn’t tip on twitter; Sasha Strauss interview on creating Customer service partnerships
Employee fired for negatively tweeting about a Customer who didn’t tip – A food truck worker was fired for calling out a Customer who didn’t tip, via twitter. The company he worked for made a public apology (also via twitter) tweeting what their employee had written “was flat out wrong. We do NOT in any way support or condone this behavior-our apologies.” I personally hope that the food truck company also called their Customer and personally apologized for their former employee’s lack of professionalism.

 

Does your company have social media guidelines for your employees? I can see how easily something like this can happen.  Nowadays everyone enjoys sharing opinions and getting things off their chest on social media.  Businesses need to address this with their employees and make sure they understand that it is unacceptable to complain about the company’s Customers on any public forum, including their own personal accounts.

 

The link between internal communication and world-class service – In my interview with Sasha Strauss, Founder and Managing Director of Innovation Protocol, he shares how important it is for organizations to imbed the brand into Customer support, therefore creating brand ambassadors. Sasha consults with companies like Warner Bros, Johnson & Johnson, Korn/Ferry International, ADP and eBay, improving their communication, especially as it relates to Customer service.  “When you go the extra mile to ensure that your service and support team comprehend your brand, you are automatically increasing the level of engagement with your Customers,” says Strauss.

 

Check out my interview with Sasha Strauss – You can watch the entire 20-minute video interview I did with Sasha Strauss, and see why he is an international speaker and why we are so excited that he is a keynote presenter at the 2013 Secret Service SuSasha Strauss-Service Secretsmmit in Cleveland November 4th & 5th

 

Creating Customer service partnerships – In the interview, Strauss, a business leader, an MBA professor at both UCLA and USC, shares the importance of Customer service “partnerships.”  Adding a level of respect and understanding of service, support, and the human element, will help set your business apart, “no matter what your business model is: business to business or business to consumer, we must always remember that we are human to human.”

Johnism

  

Have an attitude for gratitude

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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Asking your Customer to bend over; Do you know your maidโ€™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.



The biggest influence on Customer service in 50 years
February 27, 2013, 9:17 am
Filed under: Customer Experience, Customer Service, Social Media, What's the Secret?

The biggest influence on Customer service in 50 years – The biggest influence, no question, is social media, on so many different levels. You may even be sick of hearing about it, but each of us needs to do a social media audit of how well we are positioned for this revolutionary turning point in business. A case in point was shared in a recent HBR blog titled, “What’s New About Serving Customers (and what’s not)”, by author Micah Solomon. He shares how a restaurant owner responds to even the smallest on-line criticism with outrage. For example:

 

If any other jerks like ”Jjhamie319” are thinking of coming to my restaurant, listen up: DON’T. I have enough work serving the rest of you people without this kind of grief.

 

Social Media is NOT just for marketing & promotions – I am actually turned off by companies that only shamelessly promote themselves. Share insights, educate your Customer, show them resources, and find ways to help others; ways that can’t come back to benefit only you.

 

You earn business by being generous with your knowledge & resources

without asking for anything in return.

 

Every business is under a microscope now – Companies can no longer hide if your Customer experience and treatment of people isn’t at a high level. You will be out of business. It’s that simple.  I ask my employees, “How would you behave if CNN were on sight shooting a documentary?”  With smart phones, everyone now has a video camera in hand. Check this out, caught on camera!

 

What use to be word of mouth is now word of mouse – What you do well and not so well will be broadcasted to hundreds, if not thousands, of potential Customers. They expect your company to be easy to contact and quick to respond. 

 

You are either creating brand ambassadors or brand terrorists

doing brand assassination

 

People do not expect you to be perfect, but how you handle imperfection better be – We need to be zero risk to deal with. Zero risk does not mean we never screw up, but it does mean we admit we dropped the ball, and Customers are now more loyal because of the way we handled the problem. Read past eService Zero Risk

 

Customers expect companies to share their burdens – The same HBR blog shares this great insight: world-class Customer service companies have long since realized that what was once a Customer responsibility is no longer. This is why your bank tells you when your mortgage payment is due and your pharmacy reminds you that it’s time to refill your prescription. Amazon even notifies you when you already purchased a particular title for your Kindle two years ago, and refuses to let you accidentally pay for it again.

 

Johnism

 

We do not lose any Customers to a competitor we wouldn’t lose anyway.

 

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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