Remi BOOK CLUB is back and this time it’s with a review of John R. DiJulius III’s The Customer Service Revolution: Overthrow Conventional Business, Inspire Employees, and Change the World. DiJulius is a customer experience guru. Not only is he the President of The DiJulius Group, a customer service consulting firm, but is the founder and owner of John Robert’s Spa as well. The DiJulius Group has helped Fortune 500 like Starbucks, Harley-Davidson, State Farm Insurance, and Marriott International. The company has also helped a local favorite, Chick-fil-A. John Robert’s Spa, an upscale pampering chain located in the Cleveland area, has been ranked as one of America’s top 20 salons.
The basic premise behind the book can be summed up in one quote by DiJulius – “Service to others is what we owe for the privilege of living on this earth.” The book constantly refers to the customer service experience at Amazon, Apple, Chick-fil-A, Southwest Airlines, and Zappos – companies who have revolutionized their industries. Because of social media, word of customer service experiences, good or bad, travels fast. Warren Buffet said it best, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
According to DiJulius, the quality of customer service comes down to the service aptitude of each employee, from C-suites to the front lines, and it’s the company’s responsibility to teach it. He defines service aptitude as the ability to recognize opportunities to exceed customers’ expectations, regardless of the circumstances.
After reading The Customer Service Revolution, you’ll walk away with a To-Do List. Below are a few key takeaways:
- Start capitalizing “Customer” to show just how important they are to your company’s success.
- Update any sales or business development titles to account executive, specialist, consultant, advisor, etc. to emphasize what you can do for the Customer, not what they can do for you.
- Create a better training program, especially on soft skills. Customer service should be about quality, not quantity.
- Remove “policy” from employees’ vocabulary and replace it with “guidelines.” Bad decisions are sometimes made because employees are afraid to go against “company policy.”
- Create a day-in-the-life-of-our-customer video to help employees understand the critical part they play in the Customer’s daily life.
- Create a Customer service vision statement, with supporting pillars, that represents the purpose of a company’s existence. A great example of a statement from the book is, “Own Every Moment” and the supporting pillars are “Be Excellent – Be Engaged – Be Empowered.”
- Remove “no” from employees’ vocabulary and replace it with an “always and never” list of non-negotiable standards.
- Implement the Secret Service system using the FORD approach. If you truly have a relationship with someone, you should know things about their Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams.
- Use the 5 E’s – eye contact, ear-to-ear smile, enthusiastic greet, engage, educate – to create real interactions with the Customer, not just a business transaction.
- Incorporate the 3-2-1 technique into employees’ weekly tasks to help reconnect with past Customers via email, notes, and phone calls.
- Start asking for feedback whenever and wherever possible. Use the feedback to make changes where necessary.
Even if just one of the bullet points above intrigues you, I highly recommend this book. The Customer Service Revolution has had an overwhelming effect on Remi’s management team. As a result, our company has started a customer service revolution and great changes are happening. Employees are reading the book and the Chief Experience Office position has been created and filled with one of Remi’s most well-rounded and experienced employees, Michael Van Derveer.
Amazon reviews give The Customer Service Revolution 4.6 out of 5 stars and I couldn’t agree more! As the lead on employee initiatives and fundraising events, my focus was on Remi’s internal customers. My favorite quote in the book from DiJulius is, “Your Customers will never be any happier than you employees.” Have you read The Customer Service Revolution? What is your favorite quote from the book? Share your thoughts with us – we’d love to hear from you!