John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog

Customer gets fined negative review; surprising landlord above & beyond; 2014 Certification

Company fines for negative online review – Social media has given consumers a megaphone to share their experience with hundreds of others. One way to avoid negative posts about your company is to improve your Customers’ experience and responsiveness when things go wrong.

If you’re not willing to do that, another option is to do what a company called KlearGear has done.  KlearGear has built in a clause in their “Terms and Conditions” at the time of sale that, if accepted, prohibits any Customer from posting anything negative about the company.

“Your acceptance of this sales contract prohibits you from taking any action that negatively impacts, its reputation, products, services, management or employees.”

It appears that one Customer ordered a package but never received it. After not being able to get in touch with the company, she wrote a negative post about her experience on Ripoff Report.  Three years later she received a notice saying she had 72 hours to remove the negative review or she would be fined $3,500. KlearGear also has a clause that if you cancel your order, even for a reason like you never received it, you get charged $50.00. Check out the complete story on

Ugly Trend – I fear that more companies will adopt KlearGear’s tactic of building in a “no negative review or posting” clause in their Terms & Conditions — something no one reads or checks.  The government will have to get involved quickly or consumers will lose all power and the ability to speak up, while companies can hide behind hidden clauses.

New perspective – When you read the  definition of what a Customer Service Revolution is, one part reads, “It permeates into people’s personal lives, at home and in the community.” Here is an excellent example: I recently had a super successful Service Vision workshop with Nitel, a telecom company headquartered in Chicago. Shortly after the workshop, I received the message below from Nitel’s Director of Marketing, about how the workshop changed his approach to a personal situation.

Do you have a Certified Agent at your company this Holiday season? We are now taking applications to my next Secret Service Certification Class this March 4th & 5th in Cleveland.  As a Certified Secret Service Agent you will have the knowledge to train your company or clients in the same “Secret Service Systems” used by the top Customer service companies in the world. This class is by application only. Email your application as a PDF to or fax back to 440-484-2373.  Limited seating. 



A Customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work – he is the purpose of it.  We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to serve him.

– Mahatma Gandhi



Starbucks’ un-commoditization
September 28, 2011, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Customer Service, John DiJulius | Tags: ,
Making price irrelevant…

Customer Aggravation Index – There is a very interesting article about how companies have figured out a way to track customer aggravation.  It shares how FedEx has pioneered the development of a metric that tracks how many customers they anger on a daily basis and how mad they make them. By holding focus groups with customers, they gathered a long list of things FedEx had done to aggravate them over the years.  Once FedEx narrowed down this list to a reasonable number of problems, they had customers rank the order from 1 to10 with 10 being the most egregious.  It turns out the worst thing FedEx could do was loose a package and never recover it. A minor aggravation rating of a 1 or 2 might be a package that is an hour or two late. Every day, FedEx tracks occurrences of these problems, multiplies the frequency by the severity, and rolls it up into an index that measures customer aggravation levels. It turns out that this index is directly correlated to disloyalty. Many other companies have now adopted tracking the Customer Aggravation Index read entire article.

Onward by Howard Schultz, is an amazing book sharing insight on how Starbucks was forced to Onward by Howard Schultz reinvent itself. Admittedly they became over zealous for same store sales that eventually led to the watering down of the Starbuck’s experience and what some called the commoditization of their brand. Schultz, the company’s CEO, stresses one of the keys to the famous “transformational agenda” was the customer experience in order to win back lost customers.

People come to Starbucks for coffee and human connection. We would put our customers back in the center of the experience by addressing their needs and developing programs that recognize and reward our most loyal customers. In our stores, we would achieve operational excellence, finding new ways to deliver world-class customer service…
When we are fully engaged, we connect with, laugh with, and uplift the lives of our customers-even if just for a few moments. Sure it starts with the promise of a perfectly made beverage, but our work goes far beyond that. It’s really about human connection. Starbucks coffee is exceptional, yes, but emotional connection is our true value proposition.

Craig Russell-Starbucks Proudly serving Starbucks – I have been blessed to work with some amazing companies and executives, where I have probably learned as much as I have shared.  No one fits that more appropriately than Craig Russell, senior vice president for U.S. Store Operations Services for Starbucks.  Craig has one of the sharpest customer service minds I have ever met and was instrumental to the resurgence of Starbucks customer experience. Craig will be sharing about Starbucks journey as one of our amazing keynote presenters at this year’s 2011 Secret Service Summit November 3rd & 4th.

Nearly Sold Out – America’s #1 Customer Service Conference featuring the most amazing lineup of customer service experts and brand executives.  This conference has sold out the last two years, so do not miss your opportunity to bring your management team to the 2011 Secret Service Summit The X Commandments of Customer ServiceNovember 3rd & 4th.

Article about creating a Revolution
A new kind of revolutionary: John DiJulius- the authority on world class customer experience shared some fantastic insights with CHATTERS.

Quote of the week

“I come to think that I am at my best as a leader when I am being challenged or fighting for survival. I’m comfortable with, and in a way enjoy, the rugged, steep ascent. That is my nature. And while I would not want to constantly battle against the odds, the raw feeling of accomplishing something that others did not think possible, or leading people beyond where they thought they could go, is extremely gratifying.”
~Howard Schultz


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~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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Restaurants on the Run | Michael Caito | Steve Job’s farewell | British Airlines
Changing the World by Creating a Customer Service Revolution…

ROTR Logo Restaurants on the Run – This is a multi-restaurant delivery and catering company serving cities all over the west coast, and it has an amazing success story built around a philosophy of “people taking care of people.” This isn’t lip service. They live this internally and externally. A long-time client of The DiJulius Group, they created a Secret Service Agent team made up of staff members.  Annually they give out a Secret Service Agent of the Year award, and the recipient will receive a prize such as a vacation for two at Disney World.ROTR SS

Competition on the Run – ROTR is a very aggressive company that excels in implementation and execution (Chapter 6 of What’s the Secret?). They recently introduced a service recovery program designed to focus on loyalty and retention processes, which forced them to take a much longer look at what they do when things do not go according to plan. This Michael Caitohas culminated in our Service Guarantee Program, which caused them to  launch  The ROTR Promise. The ROTR Promise says that they will give customers a $20 gift card if their order is not set up and ready to eat within 5 min of the quoted RTE Time.   This is a bold move and a powerful statement that none of their competitors have ever offered.  The DiJulius Group is thrilled to have Michael Caito, President & CEO of Restaurants on the Run, as one of our keynote speakers at this year’s Secret Service Summit, November 3rd & 4th in Cleveland, OH.

What America needs is more Jobs…Steve Jobs – Last week Steve Jobs officially removed himself as Apple’s CEO.  This may be the end Steve Jobsof an era. I regard Steve Jobs as one of the top five entrepreneurs and visionaries of the last 50 years. If you haven’t seen the Stanford University commencement he gave you have to take the time to watch this, it is legendary – Stanford Address. My favorite Steve Jobs’ quote is, “Don’t ask the customers what they want, give them something they cannot live without.” Here’s to you Steve!

Secret Service by an airline – I get dozens of RSS feeds on customer service stories everyday, but rarely do I get a positive story of an airline. British Airways Using iPads to Revolutionize Customer Service! Cabin crews working for British Airways are now using the iPad to streamline several boarding processes and in-cabin services to offer a truly personalized experience to flight passengers. With the iPads, the crew has access to each customer’s preferences and travel arrangements. A seating chart displays where each passenger is seated, who their traveling companions are, their Executive Club stature, and special meal requests. Read the entire article.

TA making price less relevant – TravelCenters of America, a long time consulting client of The TA DiJulius Group, has had and continues to have, unbelievable momentum. The company has posted amazing earnings the past two years in spite of the serious economic woes that are lingering.  TA has won multiple awards for their customer service excellence, including the 2010 Secret Service Summit Award.  Recently the Cleveland Plain Dealer did a feature story on TA’s success and when asked about why his company places so much emphasis on customer service, CEO Tom O’Brien said, “At the core, our company is in the commodity business. We sell two billion gallons of fuel, and we have some very stiff competition. If you can purchase fuel for the same price, why wouldn’t you send your drivers to a place where they can get a clean hot shower? They can sit in a full-service restaurant and be called by name, and be served by somebody who understands a little bit about the trucking business.”  Read the entire article.

Quote of the week

“We started off hoping to change a business, ended up changing an industry,

 community, people’s lives, and the way other companies do business”

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Secret Service Certification by John DiJulius

Customer Service Training Class This October 3rd is your opportunity to re-energize and change the way your company delivers world-class customer service.

This last class of the year, will provide new insight into the customer  service systems used by the top organizations in the world and show you  how to use them at your company.

12 candidates will be selected to be a part of this train-the-trainer class taught by best-selling author, keynote speaker,  consultant and THE Authority on delivering a world-class customer  experience John DiJulius.

This class is tailored to:

    ·    Corporate trainers

    ·    Consultants

    ·    Leadership teams

    ·    Small business owners

For details and selection process call Denise Thompson at 440-443-0023 and mention secret phrase “I’m a member of the customer service revolution” for early bird pricing.


Few seats remain available!

Any company in the world can do what you do,  

except deliver world-class customer service.”

FREE Teleseminar

September 14, 12 PM EST

  Teleseminar series

This September 14th join John DiJulius in the first of a NEW series of FREE Teleseminars based on the X-Commandments of world-class. 


The  first teleseminar will expand on The State of Service in  America.  Why are companies realizing poor service is a sure way to go  out of business? How the top service companies endure all economic  climates? How do you compete on experience not on price?   


To register follow these 2 easy steps:

  1. Become a member of the customer service revolution
  2. On September 14th at 12PM EST, you can listen in from your phone simply by dialing 214-775-0917 ID 742574# Or from your computers by going to this link: AND using PASSWORD 914TDG

Add this teleseminar to your Facebook or LinkedIN calendars so you don’t forget:

 Facebook Event LinkedIN Events

Register FREE today!

~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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