John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog

An Oscar Mistake
March 8, 2017, 6:14 am
Filed under: Customer Service, Zero Risk
Mistakes Happen 


By now you have probably seen the Oscar screw-up in which Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway where given the wrong envelope and falsely announced that “La La Land” had won the Academy Award for best picture. It was a very unfortunate mistake, one I think the majority of the public felt bad about and understood that mistakes happen (Steve Harvey was forgiven for his similar screw-up at the Miss Universe 2015 pageant).


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Every industry has an UBER coming
February 17, 2016, 7:03 am
Filed under: Customer Experience, Customer Service, Uber, Zero Risk
Uber Fast Response

What is your company’s guideline when it comes to responding to customer  e-mail inquiries?  Most companies I have worked with or visited typically require a 24 turn around time.  That has been the standard for quite some time – but does it still hold true?

On a recent trip to visit a client, I was taking an Uber to the airport as I began  my journey home.  During the ride, the driver and I were chatting away, when suddenly he said, “Whoops, should have taken that last exit.  I did not think much of it – I had plenty of time, and I figured we were not going too far out of our way.  I would realize later that this would have been a great opportunity for my driver to practice Zero Risk addressing the issue head on to ensure I was satisfied with my experience and that there was an acceptable resolution for the error. A little later, I boarded my plane and had a chance to catch-up on my e-mails.  I clicked on the Uber receipt that had come through and realized once I saw the map that we had gone pretty far out of our way.  I figured here was my chance to test Uber’s service, which I had heard was pretty good.


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The Customer eXperience Executive Academy

Wanted: Chief Customer Officer – The fastest growing C-level position popping up in the corporate world is CCO- Chief Customer Officer, also known as the CXO- Chief eXperience Officer (see past eService Who is losing sleep at night over the Customer). With the old paradigm, the Customer service duties were left on the plate of the director of training, HR, or the chief marketing officer. Regardless of your company’s size, someone in your organization has to be in charge of the Customer eXperience and all that goes with it. I am not talking about the head of the Customer service department-that is, call centers. I am talking about someone who oversees the entire company’s Customer service, every department. That someone should not be the president, CEO, or owner, but someone who reports directly to them. Companies have heads of operations, marketing, accounting, sales, and human resources, but our second biggest asset (other than our employees) is our Customer. Their happiness is determined by the Customer eXperience we deliver. Until recently, the vast majority of companies had no one in charge of the Customer or their eXperience. Regardless of your company’s size, you need to have someone who loses sleep at night over the Customer and how every department and all employee-training affects the Customer eXperience.


Read full article


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5 steps to a successful Customer service initiative

Every company is guilty of having a bunch of great ideas and incredible initiatives born in a meeting room only to eventually fizzle out and die, leaving the management team frustrated and cynical and the employees skeptical about what is the next program of the year, flavor of the month, or management by best seller.

  1. Create it – Whether your are creating your Customer Service Vision, your Non-negotiable Standards, Secret Service Systems, or your Service Recovery (Zero Risk) Protocols, you need to have a team that is tasked with this project. They are most commonly known as a steering committee, ideally composed of 12-18 people. This group should not be all management personnel, rather representative of nearly every department the company has, as well as some front-line employees. This will ensure the group as a whole is working for the best interest of the entire company.  This project also needs to have a leader, a champion (CXO), someone who reports to the CEO/President and will lose sleep at night over the success of this project at every stage; not just in the short term, but 6-18 months from now. When creating an initiative, the project champion needs to get the steering committee together for a workshop initially, and a follow up at a minimum. Homework and exercises need to be created to create the absolute best outcome possible. In between physical meetings, the project leader will need to manage regular communication between the steering committee through emails, conference calls and webinars to ensure everyone is collaborating and staying on target with outcomes and deadlines.
  2. Sell it – Creating your initiative can be exhausting. It should be exhausting, otherwise it won’t be taken seriously. Now the hard work starts. The only thing that is nearly as important as executive sponsorship is front-line sponsorship. Here is where a major mistake is commonly made. The steering committee can assume that everyone in the organization will have the same passion and commitment to this initiative, but no one else outside of the steering committee has been immersed in it for weeks, debating with passion what will help take the company to the next level. So there is typically a dis-connect between the group that gives birth to the project and the audience (rest of the organization). That is why it is so important to have a launch that gets everyone on board and able to understand why this initiative is so important to the company’s success, the Customers’ well-being, and employees’ future. A launch involves communicating with everyone, and in that launch, there needs to be a story told. Every story has a villain and a hero. The villain is what’s wrong with the way it is currently being done. The villain may be the competition, the status quo, price cutters, or the pain the Customers are experiencing. The hero is easy; the hero is our initiative and how it will change the company, the industry, our Customers’ lives, and solve their problem. You have to be able to sell the purpose of your initiative to all your employees and get them to rally around it, rise up to defeat the villain.
  3. Implement it – This is where most plans, projects and initiatives fail — at the implementation phase. You can create the greatest idea and get everyone to rally around it, but if you don’t have a solid implementation plan, it will be another good idea that never amounted to anything, because no one made sure there was a plan to roll it out effectively after the pep rally. Implementation is a roll out calendar of phases: crawl, walking and running. This calendar needs to be timed with training and support materials. This is also where creating an extension to the steering committee comes in, i.e. Secret Service Agents, who are traditional front-line employees who help roll out the initiatives and act as front-line ambassadors.
  4. Measure it – Just like the project leader needs to lose sleep at night over the success, now every department, manager, and employee needs to know the key metric that measures the success of this initiative, i.e. retention rate, number of referrals, resign rate, closing ratio, conversion rate, Customer satisfaction score, or NPS. Not only do they need to know what it is, but what it has to be, and they need to see it daily and know exactly what impacts it. Management and employees need to obsess over this metric. The ones hitting the goal need to be celebrated loudly, the ones who are underperforming need to be coached and convinced that this is the way we are operating now and forever. Live it, love it or leave it.  
  5. Sustain it – Be relentless. There is no ribbon cutting ceremony for a world-class Customer service organization. You never arrive; you just need to keep improving. And steps 1 thru 4 need to be constantly repeated, even for the same initiative. Customer service systems evolve, some things work, many things need tweaking, better training, support, technology, better communication, and awareness. The steering committee needs to continue to meet regularly to develop new systems as well as evolve the existing ones, constantly evaluating progress and defects. Most of all, all the work done and rolled out needs to be part of the new employee orientation and training so the future generations get it, provide consistency and understand the legacy the company is built on.  Then your company’s Customer service will be your single biggest competitive advantage. 




There’s only one boss, the Customer, who can fire everybody in the company
 from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else

  ~Sam Walton                    

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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10 Most Hated Companies; Café charges rude Customers more

A Rude Customer Tax – One business is charging rude Customers five times more for a cup of coffee than those who are more polite and say ‘hello’ and ‘please.’ A cafe owner in France has finally had enough with rude Customers and he’s decided that he’s no longer going to take it. Rude Customers will be charged more; call it a rude Customer tax. The café prices are posted for all to see.  One list of prices for polite Customers, and a more expensive list for rude Customers. This rude tax is obviously more of a joke; however, it has apparently been successful in making this café’s Customers be more respectful to the front-line employees. The manager of the café says Customers are being nicer as a result. Check out the full article Café charges extra to rude Customers.


TSA’s Customer service under scrutiny – House Representative Gerry Connolly is threatening to introduce a bill requiring the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to be more polite to their Customers, airline passengers. During a hearing about the TSA’s Screening Partnership Program, Connolly said passengers would likely cooperate more with TSA agents if the agency’s workers used better manners when they deliver their instructions. “There’s no excuse for a contractor or employee of the federal government barking orders continuously at the public at any airport in America,” Connolly said. “Every member of Congress is in the Customer service business. We experience what you experience. People aren’t all the same. Some people are very cooperative and some people can be less so. I happen to believe that the less pleasant the experience, (because we don’t get Customer service right … ) I actually think it contributes to less cooperation, resentment and a desire frankly not to cooperate. We don’t want that. We want people understanding our mission.” Connolly said he would consider introducing legislation to require the TSA to improve its Customer service if the agency did not make changes on its own. “I don’t understand how hard it is to teach people [to] make sure you use the words ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ when you’re interacting with our public,” he said. Wow, someone in government who gets it.  Read full story Lawmaker threatens bill to make TSA more polite.


10 most hated companies in America – A well-known brand can take a nose dive quickly into today’s social media world.  Especially if that company alienates a large enough group of people, by angering their Customers with crappy service or employees with unpleasant working conditions or low pay. I call this brand terrorism, choosing to be greedy with short-term gains for long-term failures, sometimes irreversible. Many of the most-hated companies have millions of Customers and hundreds of thousands of workers. With this kind of reach, it’s important to keep employees happy in order to maintain decent Customer service. Often, poor job satisfaction leads to poor service and low Customer satisfaction. McDonald’s and Wal-Mart have risked this most recently as employees and some Customers have protested the low wages at these companies – low enough to put workers below the poverty line. Check out the 10 most hated companies in America.


Follow me – If you enjoy reading my weekly eService and would like to have more members of your organization receive it, email your list of co-workers’ emails to Nicole at and she can add them to our mailing list for you. Besides my weekly eService, I also post good articles I read and quotes daily on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.



 Don’t win the argument but lose the 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.

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 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.





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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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.

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