John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog


CUSTOMER SERVICE IS AN INVESTMENT: SERVICE IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT IN TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES
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John DiJulius

John DiJulius - Presenter at The 2010 Secret Service Summit

Recently a survey was conducted in the US and eleven other countries exploring attitude and preferences customers have toward who they spend their money with based on the customer service they experience (read the entire article).

Here is a summary of the findings.

  • The majority say customer service is even more important to them in today’s economic environment
  • 61% will spend an average of 9% more when they believe a company provides excellent service
  • Only 37% feel businesses have increased their focus on providing better customer service
  • 27% feel businesses have not changed their attitude toward customer service
  • 28% say companies are now paying less attention to good service
  • 91% consider the level of customer service important when deciding to do business with a company
  • 81% of consumers are likely to give a company repeat business after a good experience
  • 52% will never do business again with a company after receiving a poor experience
  • The three most influential factors when deciding which companies they do business with include:
    • Personal experience (98%)
    • A company’s reputation (92%)
    • Recommendations from family & friends (88%)
  • Just about half of consumers use online postings/blogs to get others’ opinions about a company’s customer service reputation

World-Class Customer Service Companies recognize the value
“Customers expect superior customer service especially in this tight economic environment,” says Jim Bush, Executive VP, World Service at American Express. “Many customers say companies haven’t done enough to improve their approach to customer service, yet it’s clear they’re willing to spend more with those who deliver excellent service, suggesting substantial growth opportunities for businesses that get customer service right. It’s important to see service as an investment, not a cost.”

“We know that luxurious touches don’t matter to guests unless the service surpasses the setting,” said Simon Cooper, president, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC. And Susan Reilly Salgado, managing director of Danny Meyer’s learning business, says, “Service is about the technical delivery of the product, while hospitality is about how guests feel during that transaction.”

How Service is Valued Globally
The report found that consumers from different countries feel that customer service has become more important to businesses in the current economy.

Consumers feel that companies have increased their focus on providing good customer service

Best

  • India 65%
  • Japan 49%
  • Mexico 47%

Worst

  • Australia 29%
  • Germany 34%
  • Canada 35%
  • Italy 35%

In summary, customer loyalty is the strongest asset a company can have in any economy.  There are significant growth opportunities for companies that want to compete on the experience they deliver versus getting caught up in the price wars.  There are fewer players competing in the experience arena. Customer Service must be viewed as an investment, not an expense!

~John DiJulius best-selling author, consultant, and keynote speaker, is the CVO of The DiJulius Group, the leading customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on customer experience trends and best practices. John DiJulius is the innovator of a methodology called Secret Service a customer service system which consistently enables organizations to deliver World-Class Customer Experiences. Find out more about The DiJulius Group or The Secret Service Summit, the #1 National Customer Service Conference.

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TRAINING TO PROVIDE A WORLD-CLASS EXPERIENCE
John DiJulius

John DiJulius

[tweetmeme source=”http://www.twitter.com/dijuliusgroup”]Quality training must include systems and processes that remove variation and provide a consistent customer experience.  A common misconception is that the only way to get better people is to pay more than everyone else. There are many great examples of world-class companies who do not necessarily pay better than their competitors. In fact, employees at Disney, Starbucks and Nordstrom are hired from the same labor pool every other organization uses and are paid the going rates. The real reason why Disney employees are so good at customer service is how well they are transformed into Walt Disney Cast Members, which occurs in their training.  In most cases, the most recently hired, least trained, lowest-paid employees deal with the customers the most.

What determines the consistency of delivering the experience is the quality of the systems and training that every new and existing employee goes through. Just like in sports, the contest, match, or game, is decided long before the actual event takes place. It is won in the practice and the preparation leading up to the event.

Inadequate training is definitely the biggest underlying reason for the inconsistency and scarcity of great customer service. Companies skimp on training because it costs money, but companies that invest in customer service by training their new employees reap great financial benefits.

To be a world-class customer service organization, your training should include the following:

  • A company orientation that covers company policy and the company’s history.
  • The functional components of the specific job.
  • The operational procedures of the job.
  • All technical training, including product knowledge, use of equipment/tools, software and other technology, plus scope of services.
  • Experiential training on soft skills (especially how to create relationships and personalize encounters), preventing customers from feeling like transactions, and customer recovery techniques.
  • On-the-job shadowing.
  • Testing and certification, including extensive testing on experiential skills.

Map the Customer’s Experience Journey

Identify all the significant points of interaction, called “stages,” that your customers may have with your company. Once you have mapped out your customer experience stages, you need to get your employees involved in helping to create what those stages should look like. You then break each stage down into four individual components:

1) Service Defects – All the things that can ruin the customer’s experience at this stage.

2) Operational Standards – All the tasks or jobs for each stage.

3) Experiential Standards – The actions that will create an exceptional experience and a raving fan.

4) Above-and-Beyond Opportunities – Common situations that we want our front-line employees to recognize and be prepared for in order to make a customer’s day.

Let your team help create this experience. Once you have your final version of service defects, standards, and above-and-beyond opportunities, you can create a training manual that all new employees get trained and tested on during their first two weeks with your company.

Action Plan
It is imperative for companies to ensure that every employee – new and existing – truly understands the organization’s Customer Experience Promise. The Customer Experience Promise is what the organization is supposed to deliver to their customers, consistently, at every stage of interaction. Every employee needs to understand the importance of each point of contact, what to avoid, the company’s non-negotiable standards that every customer must receive, and the potential opportunities to really “wow” them. Organizations need to make sure their Customer Experience Promise is structured in such a way that all employees learn, understand and execute it.

~John DiJulius best-selling author, consultant, and keynote speaker, is the CVO of The DiJulius Group, the leading customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on customer experience trends and best practices. John DiJulius is the innovator of a methodology called Secret Service a customer service system which consistently enables organizations to deliver World-Class Customer Experiences. Find out more about The DiJulius Group or The Secret Service Summit, the #1 National Customer Service Conference.



EVERYTHING SPEAKS: CUSTOMER SERVICE IS PROJECTED IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS


[tweetmeme source=”http://www.twitter.com/dijuliusgroup”]Your customer service has many legs and pockets.   It is not only the way your employees interact with your customers, but it’s all the messages being sent to your customers in countless ways. Everything speaks: verbal cues, systems, technology, physical signage, uniforms, etc.  It is imperative you take a step back and review any negative cues that are making your business appear less than world class.

Verbal – Medical practices are the leaders in negative cues of all kinds. First, negative verbal cues: when a patient is checking in and the receptionist says, “We need to VERIFY your information.”  Verify makes me feel like they don’t believe who I am; that maybe I am trying to use someone else’s insurance information.  How about saying, “we need to CONFIRM your information?”  Another example is when a patient is being seen by a doctor and a nurse comes into the room during the exam and says, “Your 10:30 is here,” or “You have a call on line 2.” At that point I am convinced the doctor is now rushing and more concerned with the patient waiting rather than focusing on me. Some great medical practices have created both verbal and non-verbal codes for this.

Signage has by far the highest occurrence of negative cues.  I have collected so many examples over the years and am constantly receiving more each week from all of you.  Businesses are so concerned about getting taken advantage of by 2% of customers that they end up insulting 98% with threatening signage.  Here are just a few examples:

This is an actual sign on the glass door at the entrance to a high-end wine bar located in a beautiful shopping area.  There are 12 things they tell you that you cannot wear. But they have a line underneath it all that says, “Business casual or business attire is suggested.”  Couldn’t they have just put that on the door?

This one is so popular that Amazon.com actually sells it!  I have another one that says, “No English, No Service!”


I was recently speaking to a group in Sydney Australia, where a partner of one of the most successful real estate companies in Sydney approached me. The partner confessed that he has some negative cues.  When they have an open house for potential buyers, they display the following sign on the door that reads, “CONDITIONS OF ENTRY,” and it proceeds to tell you that you cannot enter with food or drink or shoes or unaccompanied children or a slew of others barriers to viewing the house.  I was so excited when this gentleman said, “I realized we could position this notice in a more positive way by saying:

Out of respect for the homeowner, we appreciate your removing shoes…

He got it!

On Stage vs. Off Stage
Do your employees really know what is considered on stage and off stage? I recently worked with some QSRs (quick-service restaurants) and after touring some of their locations, I repeatedly saw their employees on break, standing in front of the restaurant where customers were walking by, smoking.  This goes back to last week’s service aptitude article.  This is not their fault.   To them, they are on break and can do what they want.  It is management’s responsibility to make them aware that even though they are not interacting with customers while on break, if they are in uniform where customers can see them, they are “on stage.”  This can apply to all our businesses. I worked with a hospital and found nurses chatting behind the nurses’ station forgetting that they still can be seen and heard by patients and their visitors.

It is critical that you do a periodic review of the negative cues that can be expressed in numerous ways and can project a less than world-class image.

About the Author
~John DiJulius is President and Chief Visionary Officer of  The DiJulius Group, a customer experience consulting firm used by top organizations, to create, develop, and improve their customer service systems. Our customer service consulting engagements help improve and maintain a healthier corporate culture and performance; lower employee turnover costs; increase customer retention factors; generate more referrals and make price less relevant. Companies across the world use The DiJulius Group to create World-Class Customer Experiences every day.  John will be a presenter at The Secret Service Summit 2010.



REMEMBER TO BRING THE ORCHESTRA

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LISTEN UP doesn’t just teach you how to network, we look at networking as a science.  You will often hear us talk about bringing the Orchestra. What that means is to remember and use the hundreds of tiny skills required to truly and interpersonally connect with others. The ability to blend the entire compilation of said skills into a flawless presentation of oneself is in itself a skill and one that you very rarely see.

I want you to think about The Cleveland Orchestra. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing them I am sure you will agree they are spectacular. Here the conductor has a wide variety of professionally trained individual musicians that can be brought into the mix. The conductor directs and blends all the different components of the orchestra right down to a single triangle to create a masterpiece. If you have ever studied a conductor in action you will notice how hard they need to concentrate. They are concentrating on every detail in order to make the presentation perfect and it shows.

How do I relate this example to Networking? In order to successfully Network you need to bring the entire, well practiced, perfectly conducted, professional orchestra. You need to not only understand the multitude of skills required you need to practice them. You need to conduct them with energy, style, grace and in a flawless manner.

While networking instead of musicians we conduct people skills that are at our disposal. We have greetings, handshakes, eye contact, energy levels, listening skills, manners, goodbyes and body language that are all being judged by those we come in contact. How we talk, walk, dress and interact with others to name a few are all constantly being perceived and evaluated. Are your interpersonal communication skills polished and ready to go?

Think about it, when was the last time someone WOWED you? The problem is a lot of individuals are giving presentations that sound less like The Cleveland Orchestra and more like a grade school concert band. They are going through the motions but the music is almost unrecognizable. Don’t let that be you… practice, practice, practice.

We have no idea who we will meet today who will change our lives forever. Also realize that everyone we meet is listening both consciously and unconsciously to our inner orchestra. Do we sound sincere, gracious, positive, energetic and optimistic or do we sound negative, insincere, uninterested, bored or self absorbed. My question is what kind of music are others hearing coming from you?

At LISTEN UP we are not teaching rocket science. A lot of what we talk about is common knowledge but it is common knowledge that isn’t common. A lot of people believe they already know how to communicate and network with others. The problem is many people are networking unarmed for the task. They are playing at a grade school level and never even realize it. It is not what you think of your presentation but rather what others think about your presentation that truly matters. We want you to be playing beautiful music and when you talk we want others to LISTEN UP.

About the Author

~Donald Wayne McLeod founded LISTEN UP LLC, an interpersonal communication consulting company, in 2007 after witnessing people’s inability to connect with one another and realizing his unique ability to facilitate them in that regard.  Donald has been featured in Inside-Business Magazine, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The News-Herald, WEWS Channel 5 and WTOE Radio. Donald Wayne McLeod can be reached at www.listenup.biz, or at 216.210.5420.

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Wow Your Customers 3 Keys for Delivering Great Customer Service

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The term “customer service” evokes different images in people’s minds. One image could be that of friendly, smiling, helpful employees who go out of their way to serve you. Or it could be the opposite – indifferent, unfriendly employees who can’t wait for you to leave or hang up the phone.

Most people can recall many examples of poor customer service. Whether it’s the help desk employee that puts you on hold for 20 minutes or the store cashier who engages in a personal conversation instead of ringing up your purchase, poor customer service can make people feel frustrated and vow never to do business with that company again.

On the other hand, great service feels like a gift. It makes us want to continue to do business with an organization over the long haul. And that alone is the secret to business success – retaining customers by providing great customer service. With so much competition out there, customer loyalty is the single most important attribute your business can have. You achieve loyalty by doing the “little things” that make customers want to deal with you again and again and recommend you to their friends. The real difference is how a business makes their customers feel. If customers feel valued, most will remain loyal. If they feel under-valued, sooner or later they will defect to a competitor.

Several reasons exist for why customers defect from a company. The customer may move away, a competitor may lure them away, or they may leave because they are unhappy with the product. However, a recent study found that a whopping sixty-eight percent of customers who defect do so because of poor service. That’s a sobering statistic. The study further noted how customers defined poor service: “an attitude of indifference on the part of employees.” So while bad service certainly causes customers to leave, indifferent service can be just as detrimental.

With every two out of three customers citing poor customer service as a reason for leaving, what can your company do to achieve customer loyalty? Assuming your products and prices are competitive, you need to focus on providing superior customer service in order to gain loyalty. To do that, here are three simple steps to help you make sure your customers stay with your company.

1) Look through the “lens of the customer”

No matter what industry you’re in, chances are that you interact with customers at some level. Realize that customers can be shoppers at a store, patrons at a bank, patients of a doctor, clients of a law firm, etc. Because customers have their choice of where to obtain goods or services, the business has to convince the customer that they truly care. An engaged, caring employee raises the customer’s confidence that the business is looking out for the customer’s interests. When that employee suggests a new product or service, the customer trusts that his or her best interest is at heart. On the flip side, if the customer senses a lack of caring, he/she will question the motives behind any recommendations.

Every business has its jargon, so be careful to speak in a language that customers understand. Successful businesses speak the language of the customer, not the language of their own industry. Take, for example, the banking industry. Would a young couple buying their first house be looking through the same lens as a customer who buys and sells real estate for a living? Of course not. That young couple purchasing their first house is excited and nervous – that is the lens with which they are experiencing this purchase. Therefore, they need loan officers who are excited for them, who explain the terms in everyday language, and who provide information that will make their buying experience easier. A bank that shows that level of care is likely to earn that young couple’s ongoing business.

The same applies for customer complaints, which can be frustrating for customers and employees alike. As employees, we often can’t understand why a customer is making such a big deal about a particular issue. Didn’t the customer read the contract? (Probably not.) Doesn’t the customer understand that researching a problem takes time? (No, they don’t.) Remember, it’s not the customer’s job to see through the business’s lens; it’s the business’s job to see through the customer’s lens and show an understanding of the customer’s frustration.

Next time you are working with a customer, stop and ask yourself: “Am I seeing this experience through the customer’s lens?”

2) When it comes to a company’s environment, recognize that “everything speaks”

Imagine visiting a fine dining restaurant for a special occasion. You’ve been looking forward to the meal and you’ve heard good things about the restaurant. Then imagine noticing something crusty dried to your silverware and old lipstick marks on your water glass. Wouldn’t you begin worrying about the cleanliness and quality of everything else in the restaurant? Everything speaks!
Now imagine a customer entering your place of business. She notices trash in the parking lot. When she enters the reception area, she sees delivery boxes stacked by the receptionist’s desk. She sees employees standing around eating and having personal conversations. All of this detracts from your business’s image. Consciously or unconsciously, the customer’s antennae go up and makes them question, “Do I really want to spend my money here?”

The “everything speaks” philosophy means that all employees understand that even the little things count. So pay attention to everything, including whether the physical environment is neat and clean, whether all necessary supplies are available, whether the employees are dressed appropriately, etc. Anything that sticks out as “wrong” becomes an intrusion on the customer experience. These intrusions add up and result in customer concern. On the other hand, when customers sense an atmosphere of professionalism, care, and order, they feel a sense of confidence.

How many times have you seen employees in a business walk right by trash on the floor or a display that has been bumped out of alignment? Employees who understand that everything speaks will take a moment to pick up some wadded paper and straighten the display because they know that such behaviors have a direct impact on the customer experience.

Take a moment to think about your company’s environment. Since everything speaks, what are the details saying about your organization?

3) Create customer “wows”

Small gestures can create customer wows. Consider the housekeepers working in the hotels at Walt Disney World. Housekeepers have a tough job. Cleaning up after people on vacation is a challenge. Even in such a challenging job, Disney’s housekeepers will do little things that make guests say, “Wow.” For example, while spending a day in the Magic Kingdom children will often leave their stuffed Disney characters in their hotel room. Housekeepers have been known to position the characters with playing cards in their hands or tuck the characters into the children’s bed to create a moment of magic.

Employees can do many things to create wows. Remembering a customer’s name is a huge wow, creating a feeling of family. Letting a customer know that another product may better meet their needs is another wow. Sending a goody basket with a handwritten note to that young couple who just took out their first mortgage is a wow. Some wows are small and some are large, but make no mistake about it – wows add up.

One of the most powerful ways to create wows is to share best practices with fellow employees. Hold a company meeting so employees can share things that they have done that dazzled customers. Just talking about these behaviors increases the likelihood that others will adopt some of the practices or create new ones of their own. It is also likely that some wows can become standard procedure, whether it’s a grocery store bakery handing out fresh-baked cookies to children, or salespeople escorting customers to a product rather than simply pointing.

Next time you’re helping a customer, ask yourself, “Will my behaviors make this customer say or think, ‘wow’?”

Take Action Now

Excellent service is not about policy manuals. Excellent service is about excellent behaviors. When employees focus on excellent service, the results can be magical. Customers are happy, employees are happy, and shareholders are happy. Everyone wins. The key is to make service excellence a habit. Encourage every employee to internalize the above steps so they become habits. When employees focus on these principles, your company will achieve the most powerful result of all – intense customer loyalty.

About the Author
~Dennis Snow is a a speaker at The 2010 Secret Service Summit business author, speaker, and consultant who helps organizations develop world-class customer service. He is the author of two books, “Lessons From the Mouse: A Guide for Applying Disney World’s Secrets of Success to Your Organization, Your Career, and Your Life” (DC Press), and “Unleashing Excellence: The Complete Guide to Ultimate Customer Service.” (Wiley). Dennis can be reached at www.snowassociates.com, or at 407.294.1855.

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EMPATHY OUTWEIGHS ACTION

Marriott World Center Orlando

Recently I was a keynote speaker at a company’s annual conference held in Orlando, Florida. Their meeting was held at the Marriott World Center, the largest Marriott property in the world.  When I arrived from the airport at around 10:00 am, I requested of the nice bellman to please have my luggage sent directly to my room so I could meet with the meeting planner and then deliver my keynote.

Unexpected Surprise

By the time my presentation and book signing were completed, it was now 5:00 pm. I was free, but I had a productive night scheduled. My plan was to run up to my room, change out of my suit and tie and go work out. I would then come back to my room, order room service and get caught up on several days of piled up email.

Well, things didn’t work out as planned. When I got to my room, I searched for my luggage, but it was nowhere. I then called down to the front desk, informing them that the bellman never delivered my luggage as requested.  Shortly after, the front desk called me back and said they were unable to locate my luggage, but would try to as quickly as possible.  So here it goes again: yet another horrible customer service experience!

I sat in my room, in a robe, like a prisoner. I had no workout clothes, couldn’t go to the gym like I had planned, my evening schedule was being compromised, and everything was getting pushed back. Why me?  I was working myself up, getting stressed over the inconvenience, and imagining a horrible night’s sleep as a result.

Opportunity to be a Hero

What seemed to be hours later (actually only 10 minutes at most since I called the front desk looking for my luggage), the phone in my room rang. “Mr. DiJulius, this is James. I am the head bellman. I want to apologize for your inconvenience. We haven’t found your luggage yet, but I promise you we will soon. Can I ask you if there was anything in particular you needed that I can send up to your room?”

I responded with, “Just my work-out cloths. I was planning on getting a work out in.”

James responded, “Mr. DiJulius, I apologize. If we do not locate your luggage within the next 15 minutes, I would be happy to get you a pair of workout shorts, tee shirt and tennis shoes from our store outside our spa. Can you tell me your sizes?”

I responded that he didn’t have to do that!  I could easily flip -flop my plans and get my emails done first, and hopefully by then my luggage would be found and I’d work out then.

James said, ”Are you sure?  I promise you, I will personally find your luggage and get it to you ASAP! You are the last person we want to inconvenience, and I am truly sorry.”

I responded, “James, I appreciate your effort, really. I am fine. There’s no inconvenience. Thank you.”  Within 15 minutes James brought my luggage to the room, and I thanked him and gave him a big tip for his effort.

Attitude Adjustment

What happened here? One moment I was an angry guest, working myself up, feeling sorry for myself: poor me, why does this have to happen to me, my entire night is screwed up, not realizing that I had an option of rearranging my plans.  The next minute I was feeling bad for the bellman, telling him I was fine with plenty of things to do, it wasn’t an inconvenience at all, stop with the fuss.   Why did this attitude transformation occur? (I went from being a potentially angry dissatisfied customer to telling them they were making too much of a fuss.)  Because this particular Marriott properly trained their associates to recognize when something goes wrong, empathize immediately with the customer, and instead of focusing on the problem, (missing luggage) to focus on the inconvenience and offer solutions and alternatives.  As a result of James’ sincere empathy to my horrible situation (exaggerated in my mind), the situation flipped and I was feeling badly for him and how hard he was trying to please me.

While they may complain about the Service Defect,

They are going to rave about how we handle it!

World-Class customer service companies train their employees to be Zero Risk. Commandment VII is anticipating your service defects and having service recovery protocols in place to make them right.  We can’t eliminate things from going wrong, but what we can do is reduce errors and be better prepared to be a hero when things do go wrong.  With over 2,000 visitors per day, just on that sheer volume, Marriott is going to misplace a small percentage of luggage from time to time.  They know this and they are prepared.

  • Have you recognized the reoccurring service defects in your operations?
  • Have you trained your employees on how to show empathy and recognize the inconvenience versus the problem?
  • Do you have protocols in place to turn your potentially upset customers into even more loyal evangelist?

~John DiJulius is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, consultant and the President and CVO of The DiJulius Group.

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FIGURING OUT WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS ARE TRULY BUYING FROM US IS THE SECRET
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At John Robert’s Spa, we have always made our Service Vision crystal clear to our employees, starting in the interview process.  Our Service Vision has been the same since day one: February, 1993. Stacy DiJulius, founder of John Robert’s Spa, was passionate about bringing something more to the beauty industry than just good hair.  Stacy’s vision was, as a team, to “Enhance the quality of lives around us.”

Whose lives? Team members, guests, and community.

How? Through providing the “JRX,”  The John Robert’s Xperience.  The JRX is delivered by providing three critical elements of the John Robert’s Xperience, so when we provide one or more of them, we become more of a non-negotiable entity in our customer’s lives and make price significantly less relevant.  The three critical elements of the John Robert’s Xperience are Fashion, Escape and Confidence.

  • Fashion – Our guests trust us with the most sacred thing they have, their appearance. They depend on us to have cutting edge skills and expertise that will guide them to look their absolute best. They should not be able to find a more highly trained service provider anywhere in the industry.
  • Escape – It is a stressful world out there, and everyone is trying to balance so much between work and home life. We are that one place where they can get away for a 60 minute vacation, unwind, and be replenished.
  • Confidence – Self-esteem cannot be measured. But we put the bounce back in people’s step. The one they get when they know they look their best. The confidence that gives them a huge advantage in their daily lives.

When we get our team members to focus on selling fashion, an escape & confidence we become an incredible value.  When we sell a 5:30 haircut or manicure, we sell an expensive haircut or manicure.  Which is why we focus on marketing the JRX 365 days a year to our team members in countless ways.  I know this has been a key reason we had 16 consecutive years of positive sales growth. Last year, during one of the most difficult economic times, we were only down 4% compared to the rest of our industry which was down over 20%. This year we’ve had more than 5% growth over last year.

SuperService
The success of Superquinn grocery store, 17 locations in Dublin, Ireland, can be traced to whatSuperquinn the owner, Feargal Quinn, calls the “boomerang principle”; doing everything to keep customers coming back, which often means looking past short-term expenses to long-term customer loyalty.

Here is how Superquinn does not let the boomerang principle be a fancy buzzword: They have a concierge on the premises who recommends restaurants or helps organize parties; a greeter who looks after shopping carts, offers coffee or soup to shoppers, and is responsible for recognizing and directing new customers. Superquinn also provides an umbrella service for unprepared shoppers who get caught in a sudden downpour, package carryout to customers’ cars, and a delivery service to customers’ homes. Every Superquinn store is equipped with a playhouse area, staffed by trained child-care specialist, where Superquinn customers can leave their children to play, free of charge, while they shop.

Superquinn also has a Superclub program, which is a loyalty program. It is not like all the rest; its uniqueness is in how Superquinn uses the loyalty program to create services that are valued by customers. For instance, customers can get reward points on their cards for pointing out problems in the stores such as wobbly shopping carts or an out-of-date product. This has turned their entire customer base into Quality Control Agents while having fun at the same time. The Superclub card also makes it possible for Superquinn to understand its customers. The card clearly identifies customers as members of a particular household, which allows them to collect the purchase history of the entire household. When the customer checks out with the Superclub card, his or her name is displayed on the cashier’s screen, allowing the cashier to address the customer by name.

~John DiJulius 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. John DiJulius is the innovator of a methodology called Secret Service a customer service system which consistently enables organizations to deliver World-Class Customer Experiences.  He will be presenting in SAN DIEGO this September 15th, 2010.  Click here for details.

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