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Give More Customer Service - Las Vegas Growth Summit

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Wed, Oct 29, 2014

You may recall in People: Teaching Willpower Spurs Starbucks’ Business Growth we discussed how habits changed ordinary people like Travis into an extraordinary service provider.  If you don’t know how hard that might be, read the blog to discover how Travis behaved at McDonalds.

The last speaker at the Growth Summit today, John DiJulius, customer experience consultant for The DiJulius Group, is who Howard Schultz of Starbucks called upon in 2007. Starbucks expanded too fast neglecting the customer experience which launched their explosive growth.

One of the first things they asked the DiJulius Group to do was change their customer service mission.  Take a look at the picture on the right.  starbucks mission crop resized 600John DiJulius told us he immediately advised Starbucks he would help them change it, although inside he was thinking what’s wrong with this mission?

Starbucks felt their mission statement failed to recognize this didn’t happen all it once.  It took several if not many visits to achieve this.  They wanted something they could measure. 

DiJulius did what he does with every customer.  He started by having Starbucks experiencing what a day in the life of their customers might be.  Every one of us is a potential Starbucks customer.  What’s it like for us?  It’s often crazy and hectic.  Starbucks recognized they couldn’t change what happens to us in our day, but they could give each of us for a moment.

The new mission reflects that: “We create inspired moments in each customer’s day.” 

Each Starbucks employee wears this mission on the inside of their apron.  Ask them to show it to you.  Why do you suppose it’s on the inside of the apron?

DiJulius offered some great ideas and what to do, and not to do.  Starbucks isn’t alone.  DiJulius customers include: Ritz-Carlton, Lexus, Nordstrom, Nestle, Marriott Hotel, PwC, Cheesecake Factory, Progressive Insurance, Harley Davidson, State Farm, Chick-fil-A and others.

For Starbucks their employees are asked to anticipate, connect, personalize, and own.  You may see that in their L-A-T-T-E method we shared in the aforementioned blog.

Customer service DiJulius notes starts at the top.  The leader must make customer service a priority.  Watch this short 4 minute video from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

He recommends doing a short list of Always and Never for your team.  Here’s just two which coincidentally I discovered is demonstrated by one of DiJulius’s customers the Marriot Hotel. (site of the Growth Summit)

NEVER

ALWAYS

Point

Show Them

The JW Marriot staff never pointed, they always walked me to where I asked to be directed. 

The Never/Always rules include making them short: never more than 10, they’re universal not stage specific, and three words or less.

He called these the Customer Bill of Rights. 

DiJulius website notes:  John isn't just talking about it, he lives it, as a very successful entrepreneur of two businesses: John Robert's Spa, a chain of upscale Cleveland locations, repeatedly named one of the top 20 salons in America.

Another recommendation is to develop a Secret Service System.  DiJulius notes, “the better the service, the less price becomes an issue,”  The opposite is just as true, “the worse the service, the more price becomes an issue.”

His company employs a Customer Intelligence Pad that collects information on their customers. His acronym for it is FORD: Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams. Their people collect this information without asking them these questions directly. 

A customer who regularly comes in on Wednesdays might offer they're going on vacation.  The salon representative makes a note, and in two eweks when they return she is prompted to ask how their trip was to Cancun.

He recommends another method he calls 3-2-1.  Each week have your people send 3 emails, 2 cards, and one phone call to an existing customer without soliciting in any way. 

His Secret Service Allowance offers customer service people to spend $25 a month on customers.  One of his people discovered their customer lost their mother. She sent a sympathy floral arrangement for $25.  Another sent 5 -$5 gift certificates to her customers.  $25 is not a rule, make your own determination. Empower your people to choose how they spend it on your customers.

In DiJulius’ daily huddles he has his people go over their Customer Service Manual.  Presenting just one item from this it takes no more than about 22 days to cover the entire manual. Then they repeat.  It's a great way to reinforce the principles.

Another recommendation is to certify your employees.  He gives his people a test with 25 multiple choice questions and 15 additional questions.  Then he quizzes them on the answers since at times even though the answer appears obvious, some employees due to their previous experience answer incorrectly.  The policy where they last worked is usually their answer.  The new employee is instructed that’s now how they treat customers here.

Julius’ message is simple: Give More!  He closed his presentation with this message, “I have reverse paranoia.  I believe everyone is out to help me.”

DiJulius has a book coming out in January, The Customer Service Revolution.  I look forward to devouring it.  

I’ll probably offer another blog on DiJulius ideas and rules.  Each of the speakers at the Las Vegas Growth Summit had a great message and lots of ideas.  I’m traveling the next day so my next blog will be on Monday, November 3rd.  Expect to hear much more from the Growth Summit on Monday.

Topics: customer service, Growth Summit, daily huddle, customer loyalty, Starbucks

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