Be your own Undercover Boss – Meet Dr. Doom

You Don’t Have To Go Undercover To Be An Undercover Boss

I love the reality show, Undercover Boss. Recently, the show was partially filmed in my hometown of Cleveland and it got me thinking. (For those of you not familiar with the show, get with it and watch it!)  The show normally disguises a CEO from a company, in this case, it was Sam Dushey, CEO of Shoppers World, and it had him work on the front-line as an entry-level trainee. “Undercover Boss is the best way to hear first-hand from your employees and get an unfiltered glimpse of what happens on the floor and other areas we don’t generally see.” Do we really need a reality show to get the same results? Hopefully not. Here are three takeaways – and three actions to use — as an Undercover Boss.

1. Don’t assume your employees are happy. Ask them.
Just as you need to understand your customers and give them the ability to tell you when you are not delivering outstanding service, one needs to ask employees if they are happy working for you and the reasons behind their answer. I worked for a company that had huge turnover (no one was happy) and the internal culture was poor. The CEO did an anonymous survey to figure out the issues. People did not hold back and lambasted the company.  The CEO called an emergency meeting and addressed a series of issues with a promise for monthly meetings and a plan to get everything back on course. The meetings never happened and nothing changed!  You don’t have to go undercover to learn this either. Use anonymous surveys and then follow-through. Rally your company around an opportunity to change. Make your company a place where employees want to be.

2. Give your employees a voice.
Every year when the list for the best companies is published, they always discuss the qualities that make these companies shine. One quality that is always found near the top is allowing employees a voice. Nothing makes an employee “a company/brand evangelist” more than feeling like one’s opinion matters; their company cares what they have to say. Quicken Loans actually pays employees for ideas they use and answers all suggestions. I love that. They make you feel like you matter. Undercover Boss has the disguised CEO asking employees what they think of the CEO and the company, and what can be done to improve things. Forget the disguises, you can do it through your own website, or use suggestion cards placed around the office. Advertise that you want employees’ input and respond to all suggestions. You’ll be surprised by not only the useful ideas, but also how employees embrace the concept.

3. Walk in their shoes.
The CEOs from Undercover Boss are able to literally walk in their Customer-facing (front-line) employees’ shoes. Many of the CEOs feel “changed” by the experience and have a better understanding of their employees. We, at The DiJulius Group, train companies to use  “A Day In the Life Story…” videos to help employees understand customers and walk in their shoes.  Chick-fil-A has a very meaningful video that tries to convey to their employees that everyone has a story, and realize a customer’s visit to your restaurant might be their only chance to step away from the hardships of their day. It is shown day one to any new hire and is very powerful, promoting compassion and empathy. Upper management needs to take a lesson from this and try to imagine “A Day in the Life…” of their Customer-facing employees and should even consider making a video that only management would see. Sometimes it takes a video for management to get out from behind the desk and put themselves in their employees’ shoes. The importance of this can’t be overstated because numerous studies have shown that employees quit managers, not organizations. The management team needs to not only walk in the shoes of their Customers, but also their employees.

Three simple actions you can do right now as an Undercover Boss:
Although wearing mustaches, glasses and dyeing one’s hair makes for good TV, these aren’t necessary. All you need is the desire to want to run a company that makes not only Customers a priority, but also its employees.

  1. Call your main phone number and ask vague questions about what the company offers  (products, services) and how you were treated (cold or warm transfer, 5E’s, etc.)
  2. Order a product online and note the ease of use of your website.
  3. Post a positive and a negative review on three different channels (Twitter, Yelp, Facebook, email, phone, website) and see how long it takes to get a response, and what that response is.
And the award goes to….

We are in the middle of awards season, in between the Grammy’s and Oscar’s. The 2016 Axiom Business Book Awards was announced recently and The Customer Service Revolution was recognized as one of the year’s best business books. Get your copy here.

The DiJulius Group welcomes Dr. Gary Grosel

Due to our rapid growth in Customer Experience Consulting, The DiJulius Group (TDG) has added another Customer Experience Consultant. Meet Gary Grosel, MD. Gary joins TDG after 20 years in medicine as an OB/GYN physician. Gary also founded a recertification company in 2004, which is still going strong today and he remains co-owner. As a physician, Gary always had an obsession with the patient experience, but due to the bureaucracy of medical organizations, was never able to fully realize this vision until joining our team. Besides being a Customer Experience Consultant, Gary is also the Dean of the Customer eXperience Executive Academy, where he has received the nickname ‘Doctor Doom’ due to his rigorous curriculum and tests. “I have renewed energy waking up everyday, knowing I can go out to businesses and help them obsess about the Customer Experience.  I used to be reprimanded in the medical field for making other doctors “look bad” because I cared for patients in ways that made a patient feel more than just a number or a diagnosis.  The DiJulius Group gives me the opportunity to go into good companies and make them GREAT! Now I am rewarded for doing what I always thought was the only way to treat patients, customers, clients and employees alike. On top of that, as dean of CXEA, I can teach others to be able to train their staff while holding executive positions concentrating on the Customer Experience.”

*This article was written by Gary Grosel MD, Customer Experience Consultant for The DiJulius Group.

Leave a Reply