customer service | Unskippable - Marketing Keynote Speaker - Jim Kukral

Category Archives for "customer service"

BAM! Customer Service Video Book Review

I enjoyed reading a copy of Barry Moltz’s latest book about customer service on a plane right back from New Mexico last week. B-A-M!: Delivering Customer Service in a Self-Service World breaks down the myths of customer service.

Here’s the deal, if you sell anything, in other words, if you have customers of any kind, you need to be better at customer service. Watch the review, buy the book. Don’t believe the myths.

Greed=Failure

If you’re going to charge more for your product/service, then you better make sure you deliver more. I’m constantly amazed by how greedy business owners can be. They work so hard to build up a brand that people love, and when the first sign of success hits them, they scale back and raise prices and make their product not as good. That’s pure greed.

Here’s a tip. You can raise prices, fine. But you can’t scale back quality at the same time.

Restaurants do this all the time. My family used to frequent Boston Market all the time as a Friday night dinner spot. But the franchise decided to both raise the prices, and cut portions… all at once. So you tell me. Why in the world would I continue to eat there? I don’t.

Look at the businesses in your neighborhood who have lasted for 20+ years or longer. Those are the ones who realize that once you build a brand and find success, you can raise your pricing here and there, but you absolutely can’t lessen the quality of the product you serve.

Are you guilty of this? If so, you’re not going to be in business very long. The rules is this: If you raise prices, make sure you raise quality or quantity as well. This is true in any online or offline business. It’s the classic upsell and downsell argument.

For example, if I offered you coaching services at $50/month. Then a month later reduced that price to $25 to all new people. The people that paid $50 are going to pissed off, assuming I’m selling the same coaching product.

Now, if when I reduced the price, I also reduced the features… well then, that’s not the same is it? It works the same way when you raise the price.

So if I raise the price, I should add features. Your customer will continue to trust you if this is the way you practice. Otherwise, they’re going to feel like you cheated them.

Long-term success comes from consistency and fairness to your customer.

Blogworld Expo 2009 Recap

I’m just getting back into the swing of things, despite having been back over a week from Blogworld 2009. Whew, what a show. This was my third year attending, and also organizing and moderating the entire monetization track. If you didn’t make it to any of my sessions, too bad for you, because they were the best ones at the show!

Day 1 – Zappos

King Jim at ZapposThe week started off by taking a tour of the Zappos facility with a gaggle of others who also wanted to see just exactly what “awesome customer service” meant. On the bus was @ctango @jasonrubacky @AllisonNazarian @leesabarnes @elizabethpw @sarahrobinson @carlayoung @davetaylor @mpgomatic and me. We were picked up at the LV Hilton by the Zappos tour bus, and driven to their facility. Our tour guide, Mika, was fun, perky and well versed in the inner workings of the company. (I think they all have to be to do tours.)

Mika Tour Guide At ZapposWhen you first get into the lobby, you’re greeted by many bookshelves filled with books that their CEO Tony has read. You’re instructed to help yourself to a book as well. I helped myself to two, sorry Mika! Then it’s off on the tour. What a fun place. It’s lively, open, loud, and in general fun. I don’t see how it would be possible to get any “real” work done with all the “noise”, but I guess you get used to it?

One of the highlights of the tour was the blending station. With an actual Blendtec blender from the WillitBlend.com series. Of course, I had to ask if we could blend something and we did. Here’s the video of that.

Part 1

Part 2

Overall, Zappos is #1 because they get it on so many levels. You can tell they treat their employees right, and the employees love them for it. The do an extensive weeding out of the bad apples during the hiring process, and if you haven’t heard, they even offer potential employees $2k to not take the job. It works.

The rest of the day I spent doing a staff meeting with the Blogworld team. We get a tour of the show floor and the rooms and this and that. Same thing every year, I know what to do. :) I met with John (Vegasgeek) about a project we’re working on together, and had a few drinks with @jasonfalls of social media explorer. Wednesday was also the night I got to go see Mystere at Treasure Island.

Time I was in bed sleeping? Midnight.

Day 2 – Off Day

My track didn’t start until Friday, so I got to spend Thursday hanging out in Vegas. You know what the problem with “hanging out in Vegas” is? It means either drinking too much, or spending too much. I did both. At last count I drank Sake, Whiskey, Vodka, Beer and something else, I forget. Dinner was blur, and so was the late night fun. I do remember, however, meeting up with my new super-cool editor for my new book from Wiley… the awesome Shannon Vargo. I also remember not being let into the super-party at “The Bank” club because I was wearing shorts and sandals. It’s ok, I hate clubs anyway and I like it when they don’t let me in.

Time I was in bed sleeping? Um… 3am-ish.

Day 3 – My Track Begins

Got up out of bed and headed over the show with a mean head hurter. But managed to get all the panels in my track off without a hitch. Heck, I even moderated a few of them. If you want to see what my track looked like, you can view the agenda here. Tim Jones has a summary of the panel he was on here.

anniedukeFriday night was a blast because I got the opportunity to play in the Blogs with Balls charity poker tournament at the Hard Rock Casino. For $60, I was able to sit at a table with two professional poker players… and beat them both! Yep, I sat with Annie Duke (she was on the Celebrity Apprentice) and another guy named Gavin Smith. Side note: I’m pretty sure Annie and Gavin were completely annoyed that a total n00b beat them both. Oh well!

2-hours later, I had won the entire table and earned my way to the finals. What a rush! I hadn’t played poker in over two-years at least, but I kept getting good cards and kept getting lucky. For my effort, I won some prizes, including a year subscription to Sports Illustrated, a Tiger Woods Xbox game (which I gave to mad man Jason Rubacky) and a bottle of Crown Royal. Side note: You can’t pack a bottle of whiskey in your carry-on. TSA threw it in the trash. Duh, Jim. I didn’t advance very far in the final table, but it was a great time!

ipThings only got more fun that evening. After beating the pants off some poker sharks, the crew I was in headed over to the Imperial Palace to play some cards. “Why go there Jim? Isn’t that place dumpy?” Why yes, it is, in fact the bathroom I was in had raw sewage coming up through the floor drain. But! And a BIG but… they have celebrity lookalike blackjack dealers. We got to play against Tony Orlando (who was super funny) and Garth Brooks. Great time. Thanks to Brian Littleton for leading the crew. And Missy Ward, well, she’s always just awesome to hang out with.

I hate to admit that I had not eaten since noon and I had the cab driver take me through McDonalds at 2am. That Big Mac was great though.

Time I was in bed sleeping? Um… 2:30am-ish.

Day 4 – Final Day

Chad Vader & Jim KukralThis was actually the best day of the show for me. My panels were kicking on all cylinders. My room was packed for almost every one of them too. People were swarming the speakers at the end of every session wanting to get more questions answered.

On the show floor, I fulfilled a life-long dream of meeting Chad Vader, from the Web series. I got my picture with him and watched as he played actor Kevin Pollak in Rock’em, Sock’em Robots. Kevin won.

That night the show wrapped with a very nice dinner out by the pool put on by Blogworld, hanging out with Cleveland buddy Joel Libava, and a Tech Karaoke event in the casino. I was going to sing, but went upstairs to pack and fell asleep. #finalnightinvegasfail Rumor has it that Shannon Paul does a mean Pat Benetar Heartbreaker, but I can not confirm this.

I’ll be back for Affiliate Summit West 2010 in January.

Summary

Another GREAT show in Vegas for Blogworld. I was able to have a LOT of fun, and connect with many people that I only get to see on Twitter usually or in emails. There’s a million people I would want to call out here but it would take me hours. Remember, you NEED to go to shows like this because you NEED to get the face time with your peers. You need to be seen.

If you’d like to see a bigger breakdown of a ton of excellent blog updates from the show, visit the Blogworld blog.

Thanks to Rick, Dave and Jim for the invite again. See you next year!

The Secret To Success Is Amazing Customer Service, Learn How

Over at my coaching site, TheBizWebCoach.com ($1.00 Trial), I’m constantly interviewing the movers and shakers and experts in the online marketing world. Here’s another interview you will enjoy. Please leave a comment.

So do you do GREAT customer service? Are you sure? I sat down with author and entrepreneur John DiJulius of The DiJulius Group to get his advice on how to transform your business with amazing customer service.

Listen to the podcast with John here.

Want to know the secret to being successful? Shhh… It’s GREAT customer service! Don’t believe me? Listen to this podcast with John Dijulius of theDiJuliusgroup.com. John is the author of What’s the Secret: To Providing a World-Class Customer Experience.

About John

He is the founder and CVO (Chief Visionary Officer) of The DiJulius Group, a consulting firm helping companies “Make Price Irrelevant”. Top organizations across the world use his philosophies and systems for creating world class service. He has worked with companies such as the Ritz Carltons, Lexus, Nordstroms, Starbucks, Hallmark Cards, Panera Bread, Cheesecake Factory, Hotel Del Cornado, Progressive Insurance, US Bank, Nemacolin Resort, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Chick-fil-A, and many more, to help them continue to raise the bar and set the standard in customer experience. John has pioneered dozens of revolutionary customer service concepts and techniques that are easy to use. He also makes them easy to implement with a process that will not allow your organization to let these great ideas slip through the cracks.

John is not just telling others how to do it. Besides owning and running The DiJulius Group, he is also the founder and owner of John Robert’s Spa, five locations (over 150 employees), which he uses as his living laboratories to test his findings and theories. John Robert’s Spa has been named one of the Top 20 Salons in America.

One of the most captivating and charismatic speakers today, John will not only share what the best customer service organizations do, but more importantly “how” they implement and execute it consistently companywide.

Is It Ok To Tell Your Customer To F#%* Off?

The GM of the Cleveland Browns, yes, my Cleveland Browns (pity me) sent an email back to an irate fan the other day telling the fan to “Go root for Buffalo then. F#%* off”. Now admittedly, the fan did say he was emailing the GM and badgering him for months.

But I don’t care how you spin it. This is, at its root, telling a customer off. The GM runs the team, and the fan=paying customer.

Not good.

So there’s the question then. Is it ever ok to do this? Even in certain circumstances? If so, what are they then?

Let’s forget the Browns GM story and talk about your business. I’m sure you’ve “fired” some clients for being pains in the butt. But have you ever told a client to go blank themselves?

I haven’t, and I don’t think I ever would unless they were trying to cheat me. And if that was the case they’d get called plenty of names. :)

I don’t think that there’s anything to be positively gained by swearing at a customer, or treating a customer in any kind of way that is poor. And if they’re nothing to be gained except emotional exuberance, well… look, you’re running a business, get over it.

Let me repeat that again…

You’re running a business. You’re a professional. Act like it.

Do You Do GREAT Customer Service?

Click here to listen to the podcast.

5-years ago I saw a guy speak at a local entrepreneur event. He told stories about how he does amazing customer service and how it had made his string of hair salons the best in town.

That talk he gave stuck with me. So much so, the things I learned from him shaped the way I do business today, in a really good way.

So flash forward 5-years later and I find out that the guy is now a best-selling author, corporate trainer and motivational speaker, and well, I’m not surprised.

That guy is John Dijulius. author of theDiJuliusgroup.com. John is the author of What’s the Secret: To Providing a World-Class Customer Experience.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

About John Dijulius

He is the founder and CVO (Chief Visionary Officer) of The DiJulius Group, a consulting firm helping companies “Make Price Irrelevant”. Top organizations across the world use his philosophies and systems for creating world class service. He has worked with companies such as the Ritz Carltons, Lexus, Nordstroms, Starbucks, Hallmark Cards, Panera Bread, Cheesecake Factory, Hotel Del Cornado, Progressive Insurance, US Bank, Nemacolin Resort, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Chick-fil-A, and many more, to help them continue to raise the bar and set the standard in customer experience. John has pioneered dozens of revolutionary customer service concepts and techniques that are easy to use. He also makes them easy to implement with a process that will not allow your organization to let these great ideas slip through the cracks.

John is not just telling others how to do it. Besides owning and running The DiJulius Group, he is also the founder and owner of John Robert’s Spa, five locations (over 150 employees), which he uses as his living laboratories to test his findings and theories. John Robert’s Spa has been named one of the Top 20 Salons in America.

One of the most captivating and charismatic speakers today, John will not only share what the best customer service organizations do, but more importantly “how” they implement and execute it consistently company wide.

Customer Service Means Everything

How’s your customer service? If it’s bad, you’re probably not very successful. It means… everything to your business… and your brand.

This video talks about my views on how good customer service is essential to your success. And I’m not just talking about “customers who buy stuff”. You may not sell anything. How you deal with people who read your blog, or who watch your videos, or who interact with your brand in any way… those are customers. Believe it. Everyone you interact with is your customer. You are always selling, indirect or direct.

Got something to add to this discussion? Leave a comment below or hey, send me a video about it and I’ll post it here!