The Customer Service Revolution - Business Acumen
Welcome. To another edition, of the business acumen show I'm your host today Gregg coleus sitting, in for Roy browning and Joe Mane's and today. We have a very special episode of business, acumen we. Have our guest the owner and founder of the de Julius group mr. John de Julius John, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule, to be here today thank you it's great to be here so, I guess, the best place to start I've always been curious how, you got started. Doing. What you're doing you're, heading, up the customer, service revolution, which we'll get into as we go but. What what, ultimately, led you down this path and and. Obviously the success has been just, incredible but, what got you started, you, know I actually love that question and, it's one that I love to share, when. I'm speaking to. Youth. And college, students, only because I feel like. With. All the, you. Know Facebook. You. Know, quick. Get rich schemes everyone seems. To think they have to have it figured out by you know 20, in all. My, primary, careers, were total, accidents. And. I think it's unfair, you know we're talking about we have you know college. Children. And I. Think it's a lot of pressure on them to think, that they should know what they want to do for the next 60. Years for right and you know what I tell my kids is just. Go out and do stuff you. Know dig ditches would be really good at it and that, it's not it. Says more about your character how good, you are. When. You're doing a job of something you're not passionate about then. Then, when you are it's easy to be sure you know but when you're parking, cars digging, ditches and you do a great job of that it opens up doors so a long, long, prelude. To your to your question I, was. Driving a truck for UPS after I graduated, from college and I wanted to be an entrepreneur and. And that's the only thing I knew I wanted to be on my own business, and the, only thing I loved with sports, but. There's you know no money in sports if they're not a player and them certainly wasn't a professional. Athlete so I always thought I'd open a sporting, goods store that was the only two things I could see that would tie, together, and fortunately. That didn't work out but I met my you. Know eventual, wife and she was this great hairdresser, and. So. I thought and, ups this is in the late 80s was, this phenomenal. Paying job for me it was golden handcuffs. You know I when I graduated, in the late eighties you know the best offers I got out of college was uh, you. Know $20,000. The, UPS was making forty five as a driver, which, you know was I don't know what that would equate to today but it's great money it was great money but, it. Wouldn't, go anywhere else because, I'd have to take a severe pay cut but. The other thing I drove, to work every day and then said 29 years and three days and I could retire and I wanted to get all this fast because. It wasn't what I wanted, to do right so, I met my wife she. Was this great hairdresser, we. Opened. A small salon, for her and hoping, that it would take off and then I could quit this great paying job and go open my own business and, we. Failed and we you know she. Was just great hairdresser but you know, the. Way we didn't, know what we were into so, I literally. Jumped in the salon business and. If you would asked, me if I'd ever be in the salon business full-time I would have bet you million dollars no way but. I jumped in it and between her her, technical, um.
You. Know expertise, and my business, acumen and customer service we, started killing it and growing growing growing so. There, I just thought you know we'd open a bunch of sons and then as a result of our success, and rapid growth people, started asking me to speak about customer, service and this is in the early 90s and it was more of an ego thing I was like really you know you ought to hear me speak and so, I would do it and then everything. Led to more and more and more until I eventually thought you know maybe I can dabble. In a career at this not thinking it would ever be what. It is today which. It's, it's just become this. International. Powerhouse and, and I mentioned, before the interview that our owners they've. Read your books watch the videos they preached the the John to Julius gospel to our company, so. Obviously, you've done some, amazing things you've, worked with brands, such. As Lexus, Starbucks, Nordstrom. Panera the list goes on and on. While. You were working with these companies. Was there something was there a common, thread or. A common factor that ultimately, led to the organization's. Success that. You saw, their. Success, or they did Julie's groups their success yeah yeah we found you know so you, know when you're at a LOF some of our clients names no one bad hires us which is like really crazy, you, know the ones that you think need us they don't think it's worth it and the. Ones that are you know crazy, good, are so, paranoid, about not. You, know staying at that level and so. In the beginning and still today we learned more. Than we were playing. You know and we'd see that they all had a formula, and methodology. What, we had we, didn't invent but, we just codified, as the ten commandments. And they. All are, constantly. Working at the same thing whether you know the first thing was always a customer service vision statement, and that's, who they did attract, and hire and retain employees based, on and then, you know world-class internal, culture so there was just this methodology, that we found that they all had in common and once, we codified, it and wrote, about in the book that became, our methodology. Going forward for all our clients so, John one thing I was very curious about as we were preparing for this interview how. Is customer service, changed. From, the brick-and-mortar, stores. And and today's online shopping. Obviously customer. Services customer service but did, you notice any drastic changes between. Customer. Service and the 90s to customer, service today yeah. You know it's. Crazy I would you know obviously, e-tail, ecommerce. Is. Huge. Today and, and brick. And mortars, have been, almost. Pronounced, dead but. II tell really, showed us what, great customer, service is I mean you can't find a business that's easier to work with an Amazon.
Zappos. You know a lot of it and and that they didn't put the companies out of business poor, customer, service put. The, companies out of business. But. What we are seeing is with. The technology, disruption, that everyone's. Going through and artificial. Intelligence and chatbots, that. The. Biggest disrupter, today going forward, is relationships. And, the. The. Illiterate. Of the business world today are the ones they're, incapable of building relationships and. That's, not taught in school and, in, businesses, and you. Know the and that's not a generational. Thing either you know it's a touchscreen generation, where we have our grandparents, on Facebook. But. That has you know our people skills are inherently. Declining. And it's, the businesses, they're teaching their employees, how to build, genuine. Relationships. And rapport, and focus on other people are the ones they're gonna benefit, the most in the next decade, Wow. So. Along those lines obviously. You're the owner and founder, and president of the de Julius group but your official title is the chief revolution. Officer, so. Let's go there what do you mean by creating, a customer, service revolution. It's, it's something we take very seriously it, is a. Radical. Shift of. The. Way employees. And, and, customers, are treated which. Permeates, into people's personal lives at home in the community which. Interns help the businesses. You. Know produce more brand loyalty. Employee. Retention and, make some price irrelevant. So. You're actually saying that, when, it comes to businesses. They can actually make price. Irrelevant, to their customers, they, can't and. What I mean by that is it doesn't mean you can we can double our fees or. Even raise our prices 25%. Time around not lose existing. And potential, customers but. What making price relevant does look like is based on the experience, your brand consistently. Delivers, your. Customers, have, no idea what competition. Charges, right so we're all price sensors or and I've, been you, know an idiot that's driven three extra miles a 50 cents on something, not realizing, I just lost in that exchange but. We also each of us as you, know consumers. And as business people have, have have companies, we do business with and, we're. So loyal to them that you know sometimes you know when I'm telling you you got to use such-and-such. You, might say what are they charge and sometimes. I don't know it's, not because I get a four days but, I'm not out comparing. To see if they're five, ten percent. Less or more, because the trust that they've given me I know. You know in a lot of cases the cheaper, you, go the more it'll cost you right, and and you know paying a little bit more in the long run is probably, the you know the most economical, peace of mind thing, Wow. And one of the most interesting. Facts or statements, that I read as I was preparing for this interview that. It's ultimately, management's. Fault. When, frontline, employees, treat customers bad, can, you elaborate on that yeah, you know anything, that happens, you, know where. Someone treats you bad always stems from how, were they trained, and. How. Good any company, is a customer, service really comes down to their service, aptitude, and service, aptitude, is not Nate and this is really where a leadership, paradigm, shift has to happen everyone thinks customer, service is common, sense none. Of us were born with it I didn't have it, you. Know when. When you know none of us you know grew up driving mercedes-benz when we turned 16, flying. First class on, a regular basis, staying, at five-star, resorts, but the moment we got a job we, were expected, to give that type of experience, and that's unfair, I mean we didn't have those type of experiences so. You know service aptitude, comes from three primary places. Previous. Life experiences, which I just outlined previous. Work experiences. Which you know everyone we're hiring unless. We have a direct pipeline to you. Know Ritz Carlton employees or Disney employees which no one does your. Your. Next generation of employees have worked somewhere else that probably, wasn't world class and they, you know we're probably trained to be suspicious and paranoid, and then we get them and and and you know we'd be in any one and you. Know they might be treating, our platinum VIP client. Like they're trying to get away with something it's not their fault the. Only thing we can control a company can control is is, what we do with them after we hire them and the service, app you can't be just operational.
Product, Knowledge training, we have to train them on how to build rapport how to make brilliant, comebacks, when we drop the ball ha to show empathy and compassion, along. Those lines when you're trying to build a world-class, organization. What. Would you say is more important, is that making, the right hire or the training that you put into that hire that's, a great question. The obvious. Answers both but. If, you you know it when someone pushes me and I got to give, 51%. To one of those I will, take. The. The, training. And culture we bring new employees, into over. Hiring, new employees now that doesn't mean anyone. Should start reactively, hiring, hiring anyone but do we really think Disney found. 50,000. Employees born, to serve right, I don't think there's probably 500 human. Beings born to serve but, what Disney, says that. I love they. Say we don't put our, new people, in Disney. We, put Disney, in our, new people Wow love that Wow, right say. That that's the training, there, so. I've heard you say world-class starts, at the top can you elaborate on that yeah, so you, know if, you ask anyone what our world-class brands, that they know of our experience, and not necessarily, mom and pops but, they they, would say Disney, and Southwest, and Virgin Airlines and, Nordstrom's, and Zappos, and Amazon, you. Know maybe Starbucks, chick-fil-a. And you. Know then when you see why the. Person running their company the person founder their company is obsessed. Like. You can't read it a an. Interview, or watch, a video and the topic can be on anything and they always bring it back to customer, service and you. Can also tell when companies are lousy right. Spirit. Airlines is, the worst, you. Know airline. Is you know bad it is now hard it is to be the worst airline that's pretty there's a lot of competition right so but but you, can also tell, why I mean they're their founder, is just, you, know just has a horrible, attitude about passengers. And you, know penalize, his people, you know that there's a you, know story that, a Vietnam. Vet, booked. A flight. To go see his daughter and like, a week later found, out the esophagus. Cancer and he only like you know a month. To live and, they wouldn't refund his money because he should have bought insurance. That's incredible, yeah yeah so. One. Thing that I found very interesting, I read, where you say companies, need to stop creating, policies, and using, the word policy when. It comes to their customers, and employees, but. Wouldn't that leave the door open for the customer, or potentially, the employee to take advantage, of the company, yeah. You know I'm not about. Punishing. 98. Percent, of the, customers, for what 2 percent might get away with policies. A very. Dangerous, thing, to say not have it's ok to have it I wouldn't call it policy, but, but there's two reasons one we've. All been a customer, where policy's been thrown in our face and it takes us off right we've been coming here for years I know, the, owner, you know we're personal, friends, and I know you created, policy, to protect yourself, from the masses, I'm not the masses I'm John right, but. Worse what policy, does to an employee mindset. Employees. Will never go against policy and. Policies, black and white with walls and you're get in trouble you can get fired which, then strips, them of common-sense.
Creative. Innovations. To solve a problem and you. Know we've we've done you know even my company 20 years ago has. Done you, know stupid, things because it was our policy and, you. Know I I. Trust my employees they. Never they'll never get in trouble for something they do they'll get in trouble for something they don't do yeah. I've heard that a few times yeah one, of my favorite parts of your book is how you've helped, companies create they're never and they're always lists what, you would think would be common sense but from my experience I always, see, the never side of things yeah I never see the always how do you explain that yeah, so you know when you deal with world-class, companies. You, know there's certain things that would never happen or always happen would you ever expect to go to Disney, and see a cast member on break chewing tobacco spitting on the pavement no of course not but you ever expect to go to a ritz-carlton, and ask an employee. Where, the, restroom, is and they you know snap, at you and say they work in housekeeping and storm away no so. You know we created a real help companies create a real simple list of Nevers and always never point always, show. Never say no always. Focus on what you can do doesn't mean everything's a yes just, don't say no sure. My. Biggest pet peeve is never see no problem, right. No, problems a big problem for two reasons one it's two negative words we shouldn't be using any but. If. You ask me for more water and I see no, problem that's, implying, to you it's it's not inconvenient, for me or serving, others, it's not about my convenience about yours it's almost saying you're lucky I only have to go over there to get your water otherwise we'd, be having a big problem, all right instead say certainly my pleasure absolutely. A couple, more never over share, you. Know just just make it right just you know find a solution, so, it's, it's little, low-hanging, fruit never show frustration. Publicly. You, know I want a bunch of ducks always, be a duck a duck is, the most graceful beautiful, thing gliding, across the water when, no one sees or knows, it's paddling, like cow underneath, right. So you know it's simple list of Nevers and always that, if you should deal with anyone, from your brand we would never do it this way we'd always do it this way, you. Said today that we are living in a relationship. Economy. What, does that mean to you so. You, know as I said earlier today's. You, know business, illiterate, is not, the ones that can't read or write but it's the ones that can't make.
Meaningful, Relationships, and that, is you, know, an. All-time. Horrible. Low and you, know we're, a touchscreen, generation. And we. Communicate, with people you know over devices, and we, don't know how to build rapport, and when we do get in front of people, it. Could be about us my, flight my, son getting in trouble my client, and so, we, have to help our. Employees create. Systems, to build relationships. Where we focus on the other person for, the whole time and just because someone had a conversation with with a customer, a neighbor, the, lifts three doors down from them for. Fifteen minutes doesn't mean you built a relationship right, it could have been all about me when I was talking so. We, always talk about if, you just, had a conversation with someone and you, can, you know the way you can prove to me that you built a relationship, as you should know two or more things that they're Ford F Ord. Family. You. Know they married do they have kids how old are their kids. Occupation. Right what do they do for a living what's their title how long they've been doing it, recreation. Right, what do they like to do with their free time fish runner. You, know sports, whatever it might be and then dreams, what's, on their bucket list and when. You will, you build systems, in your personal life or in your professional, life to, focus on other people's Ford it, gets it off you because you know we're all genetically. Coded to be you know about, us it's, not a bad thing but we can't be building relationships, if it's about us so, you know we really, focus, and you know even to the personal, when me and my three boys travel. We play the Ford game which, is who can find out the most personal, information of a total stranger Wow. So my world it's okay to talk to strangers, as long as dad's there right but, like you know it's hilarious, because we'll be drilling the, the poor uber driver you, know with a million questions you know a per annum but, it's also amazing to see someone light up when, they're asked, about them and where they came from and what it took to get here and that's when the magic really, happens. Ford. Remember, that that's uh that's, very useful especially with. What we do here JMC, brands that's that's. A good bit of advice to take home. Before. The, interview you were talking about an upcoming project, that you have and I have to ask about it. You're. Gonna be working with the country of Qatar to, get them ready for the upcoming World Cup how, does one train an entire country. When, it comes to customer service I've got to know about this yeah and we've already started and they're they're a World Cup is in 2022. Which. Is less, than four years away and well. That seems like a long time, as you said training. An entire country. You, know that's that's that's a big project so it's that it's a you know eating elephant, one bite at a time starting. With, the first experience, someone might have when they step off an airplane security. Immigrations, Airport. And making. Sure that they greet you no, different, than how you should be created by a concierge. Not, weakening. The security. Aspect, but, to be friendly when someone hands you up for passport say oh you're coming in from the US you, know how is your trip here right, to, taxi. Cab drivers, and uber, drivers, to all concierge. And tour guides and all that and it's, really exciting and and and Qatar wants, to, be known as you, know the the most amazing. Tourist. Experience any, visitor. Can have whether you're there for the, the. FIFA, World Cup in 2022, or you've, just heard how great it was and so, they want to redefine, the, whole experience, so they just don't benefit, off this one. You, know spec in, a sporting. Event that, is something, that will garner them national, world attention, that, people will start seeing it as a special. Place to go that's amazing, yeah if, you could give an up-and-coming. Service, team director, one, bit of advice and I, would fall into that category what, would that be about.
Building A world-class customer service Asian. Yeah. It's, just you know be obsessed. Customer. Service, is is not something you do annually, otherwise. It's like deodorant, right. And it wears off and the odor comes back it has to be something that gets visited every, day with your team and with yourself from. Reading books to you, know talking. About a, day in the life of your client, right, what, are your clients going, through before they even pick up the phone to, speak to your team what, are their pains, what are they dealing, with you know their potential, you know they got their life at home they, got their kids they, got the aging parents, they got clients, are trying to sign they're losing retaining. Clients and. Then they got their you know obviously the things that you directly. Can. Make, their life better but, when, we we, look, at them in a. Day in their life before, they even come in contact with us it makes us more presence, instead. Of treating him as a 10:30, phone call a three o'clock podcast. 201. Bed B as a hospital, can look at someone and. As someone, that you know Greg. Who, is you know who's who's raising a son and he was trying to you know make the business get the business to another level, and not. Only does he need my presence. Right, and to be in the, moment but he also needs my expertise, to help him you know get, there and, so I think that really helps us when, we think about our clients, and what they're going through from their perspective, it really makes us have more compassion and, empathy, instead. Of looking at his next write makes. A lot of sense one last question for you you had mentioned that you were in the process of writing a new book yes can you give us a little intel, on what. That book will be about yeah well, you've mentioned it a few times it is called the relationship, economy, there you go and that's really what it is it's just you know in the radical. There's nothing, easier to copy today. Than technology, and you. Know in years, past if, you came out with a good innovation you. It might give you a competitive. Advantage for, six to 18 months now. Technology. Advances. You know can be duplicated, replicated I mean it you, know any of your, listeners that, have, driven, in uber, or lyft. I can't. Tell the difference between the two apps I mean they are identical, and so anything. Anyone comes out with technology, while, it's great it can be mirrored, within, you know a very, short, amount of time so, the real disruptor. Is the ones that could build meaningful relationships and, not, treat, people as a, you, know a, next. Or account. Number, or the, things that we've all you know gotten you. Know the way we've been treated the past 10, 15 years that's outstanding and, when will that book be available, summer. Of 2019. All, right but in the meantime you. Can pick up the customer, service revolution, John, if people wanted to reach out to you and and schedule an event or get. A book or just learn more about what, you offer what's, the best way for them to go about our website, DD Julius group.com. Everything's. On their schedules, and when we have events. Videos. Youtube, i and. My, youtube channel i probably have a hundred and fifty two minute videos of little vignettes that they could show their team on. Something, so the, day in the life of a customers, is a video that yeah that I would definitely recommend check, that one out well, John thanks again for stopping in today it was absolute, pleasure and an honor to have you here today I know this, was a very, insightful episode, for our listeners, thanks. To you guys for tuning in today we'll catch you again very soon. To. Learn more follow us online and summon up top is if, you found value in this podcast please move this review see you next time.