2014 Secret Service Summit Recap

2014 Secret Service Summit – Two weeks ago The DiJulius Group presented our sixth annual Secret Service Summit. As expected, we sold out with about 550 attendees, the most we have ever had! We had an amazing lineup of speakers. Best of all was the energy in the room! A world-class Customer service conference is unlike any other. Everyone came to find out how to take the Customer experience to a world-class level. The passion in the room was indescribable. If you were not able to attend, we captured the amazing content offered from the brilliant leaders, authors, and motivational speakers of the 2014 Secret Service Summit Audio Series.

What attendees had to say;

“Incredible. Absolutely incredible”
“It was an impressive event and still blows any other conferences out of the water! An inspiration.”
“I wish we brought more people. The value was great!”
“By far one of the best conferences I have been to. It gave me inspiration, tools to bring back, hope to transform our level of Customer service.”
“10 is not a high enough score. It was perfect!”
“Looking forward to next year. Always a memorable event!”

Here is a recap of some of the major takeaways from each of the presenters.

TJ Schier

What attendees had to say about TJ:

“Entertaining and he really did have me on the edge of my seat.”
“I felt TJ’s presentation was great. He helped with teaching me what accuracy was. He gave great tips about hiring and that you truly need to hire better people. I also really enjoyed the part about recognition and incentives for employees.”

Presentation recap – TJ was one of our sleepers this year. Majority of the audience hadn’t heard of him before and loved his practical simple advice. TJ is the ultimate practitioner. He owns a chain of restaurants that deliver outstanding Customer service and high employee morale. He creates great turnkey systems for all his managers to follow and execute that ensure consistency across all his locations. TJ shared what he calls “S.M.A.R.T. STEPS TO ‘OPERATIONALIZE’ WOW SERVICE”

Service – Clearly defined and simple (i.e. Make the Guest Say WOW!)
Selection – Attract and hire people with service DNA. Mystery shop applicants, have tryouts, role play
Systems – Create “replicatable” systems (i.e. 1st timers sticker)
Measure – Measure specific service behaviors desired
Accuracy – 100% right before passing on to the next person
RIP – Rapid Improvement Plan – DAILY focus on moving service forward
Recognize – Broadcast service stories and reward Above & Beyond Behaviors
Train – Flash cards and role play daily to reinforce desired behaviors
Technology – QR codes linked to videos/tips/tactics to reinforce behaviors and consistently improve

Jim Gilmore

What attendees had to say about Jim:

“I don’t know how I have managed to not read his book, but I will now. The practical application information is great, and the focus on the theater idea is great.”
“Fantastic thought leader on experiential economics. Put it in a way that was easy to digest.”

Presentation recap – Jim Gilmore is the father of Experience! He shared the Progression of Economic Value where we have gone from Commodities to Goods to Services to Experiences to Transformations. Demonstrating only at Experiences & Transformations are companies differentiating themselves from their competition and truly meeting the needs of their Customers. Part of Gilmore’s action plan was to create themes throughout your businesses, make your employees realize they are on stage performing for your Customers, and create your experience as if you charged admission.

Dave Murray

What attendees had to say about Dave:

“What Dave does for us trainers is so impactful -thank you!”
“It occurred to me that giving employees a “higher purpose” is big. Something to believe in that is bigger than them and becomes a reason to do what they do.”

Presentation recap – As the Senior Customer Service Consultant for The DiJulius Group, Dave works everyday with companies on the implementation and execution of TDG’s 10 Commandment methodology. He shared many cutting-edge best practices. One of the most popular systems he detailed was how many of TDG’s clients have created a way to train their front-line employees on their Customer experience, and more importantly certify that they retain the training, making them pass simple on-line tests before they are allowed to interact with Customers.

Related: Don’t miss this November’s CX Talk, Customer Xperience Talk Show

Chuck Runyon

What attendees had to say about Chuck:

“I could completely connect with his subject for employee experience. I enjoyed hearing all the new ideas to create an experience for employees.”
“Why do thousands of people have an Anytime Fitness tattoo? Because Chuck and Anytime Fitness have created a higher purpose for their employees. That engagement has spread to anyone who has come into contact with the organization. Well done, sir. I personally aspire to help change people’s lives for the better, and they are succeeding.”

Presentation recap – Chuck was the other sleeper speaker in our lineup. You wouldn’t have known he was not a professional speaker by his stage presence, content and the way he delivered his message. He made everyone understand why Anytime Fitness is the #1 franchise in the world and has been named the best place to work in Minneapolis three years in a row. Runyon shared the ROI on creating a world-class employee experience. By increasing employee engagement investments by 10%, profits can increase by $2,400 per employee, per year. Engaged employees report an average of 2.69 sick days per year vs. 6.19 for less-engaged coworkers. Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by 202%. Companies who implement regular employee feedback have turnover rates that are 14.9% lower than for employees who receive no feedback. He shared tangible examples of how Anytime Fitness tries to have their employees live at the intersection of People, Purpose, Profits, & Play!

Rory Vaden

What attendees had to say about Rory:

“Rory was excellent. Great presentation and fresh content. Look forward to his new book.”
“Great practical advice. I have a fear of saying no and plan to buy his new book and try to apply his advice. Thanks for brining him back.”

Presentation recap – The Secret Service Summit attendees were one of the first audiences to hear Rory’s new presentation that is based on his new book, Procrastinate on Purpose. His message is critical in today’s fast-paced, always- connected world. His underlying message was to share how the most successful people today choose to spend their time? He demonstrated ways to multiply your time, not by prioritizing what you do, but rather valuing your time and deciding what you should no longer be doing. Vaden had great insights on how we are losing money by not delegating and/or trying to do everything.

What attendees had to say:

“I took the most from this and the material and real life examples. Would have loved more John.”
“Absolutely lights out. He is the clear difference maker of this event and I am completely energized by this movement.”

Presentation recap – John opened with a “State of Service” on day 1 and did a workshop based on his new book that is coming out in January, The Customer Service Revolution. Some key takeaways:

  • Customer Experience is the new Marketing; everything from key repeat Customers creating businesses growth, to the power of social media now exposing the experience every company delivers.
  • Stop focusing on what you can’t control, (i.e. price cutters, companies giving your industry a bad reputation) and start focusing on obsessing about your Customer and the experience you provide at every touch point.
  • Don’t look to your existing Customer base or competition to create Experience Epiphanies (filling a gap Customers didn’t know they had and cannot live without.)
  • Become the brand your Customers cannot live without. Do this by creating an emotional connection through building relationships and training your employees to have compassion and empathy for the people they are serving.

Customer eXperience Executive Panel

What attendees had to say;

“Loved it! Very inspiring and each speaker was genuine and informative.”
“Great insight, really made me put everything in perspective. Made you believe you could do it, just not overnight.”

Presentation recap – The Customer Experience Executive is the fastest growing position in corporate America today. And whether you are a fortune 500 company or a small to mid size company, it is imperative for you to have someone other than just the President & COO, that oversees your company’s CX. We are not talking about the head of your call center & customer service reps, rather you entire company’s CX. The panel was comprised of the top CXE’s from around the world, who shared what their roles are and how they and their positions have evolved. Some of the panelists’ 100% of their jobs are being Customer Experience Executives, while others where multiple hats in their company, being a CXE is one part their job. The Q&A session was focused on things such as:

  • The importance of having a CX leader for an organization, acting as the Voice of the Customer to senior leaders.
  • Making sure CX stays on the front burner in your organization, and effectively coexists with marketing messages, new product launches, etc.
  • Leading a CX steering committee within an organization, and the importance of effectively working with ALL departments within the organization.
  • Key metric indicators used, including NPS, Customer satisfaction scores, Customer complaints AND compliments.
  • Creating CX training and certification programs for both new & existing employees, including auditing and benchmarking of scores and re-training when needed.
  • The importance of training for consistency within your CX across your brand.
  • The importance of leadership, especially overseeing front-line staff.

Related: Customer eXperience Executive Academy Inaugural Class starts March 2015

Tim Gard

What attendees had to say:

“Tim Gard was outstanding! He was hilarious, got his point across, and really stressed to us how important it is to not let every little thing bother us. His mentality was amazing. I can learn from him and take his attitude back to the office with me.”
“Laughed until we cried. Great to know it’s ok to have fun at work and inspired us to try to laugh more in the office.”
“I have a complete outlook now on life”

Presentation recap – Tim Gard stole the show! He was the highest rated speaker at this year’s summit. From the second he was introduced until he walked off the stage, Tim had the entire audience bent over laughing in tears. However, he just wasn’t entertaining, all his humor had a point. He taught everyone how to have a different perspective on what we experience every day. Some of Tim’s many takeaways were:

  • Celebrate “Woo!-Hoos!” and dismiss the bummers.
  • HAVE FUN every day.
  • Use humor first for yourself to help overcome stress.
  • Share good humor with others. Use humor to enhance, never diminish, others.
  • Use humor to “refresh and renew” in between negative encounters.

The 2014 Secret Service Systems Award Winner – Advance Financial

The Secret Service Award recognizes Customer service excellence in three categories:

  1. Creating Secret Service Systems
  2. Creating an Experience Epiphany
  3. Revolutionizing their industry

Advanced Financial has revolutionized the payday loan industry, as well as best practices for world-class hospitality for nearly every industry. Some highlights of their best practices were:

  • If you compete in an industry where world-class Customer service is not the norm, that’s even more reason to make it your distinct competitive advantage.
  • You can dramatically increase employees’ service aptitude and solidify their awareness to your service vision, pillars and Nevers & Always by making it fun through interactive eLearning games, i.e. Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Matching.
  • Creating a world-class Customer service organization is a long-term commitment by the entire executive team and needs a dedicated champion, i.e. Customer Xperience Officer.

Robert Richman

What attendees had to say;

“He is truly at the forefront of understanding people and purpose.”
“I can’t wait to hear what Robbie has to say in his new book. I have reached a point where I share Zappos belief that culture is the key to an organization and I can’t get enough thoughts on the topic right now.”

Presentation recap – Robert shared his vast experience from working at Zappos and being part of creating one of the most amazing cultures that exists in the U.S. today. He gave practical advise on building a similar culture in your company. Here are a few of his tips: Evaluate if you have a culture of service, or only Customer service. Revise your hiring process to include story-based questions to determine if someone genuinely loves to be of service (regardless of their expertise). In one-on-one feedback, have managers say, “Please tell me what is it that you think I don’t want to hear.” Experiment with making meetings completely optional, and open to others you would not otherwise invite.

Matt Harding

What attendees had to say:

“AMAZING! Loved the experience! You nailed it, Great takeaway!”
“I Loved it ! I think it was very clever and a great example of how an ordinary person DID extraordinary things!!! Perfect way to end the summit.”
“Matt’s presentation was very inspirational. It made you think a lot about how something people think is so small can have such a wonderful impact on so many people. I enjoyed his video and the fact that he wanted us to all come on stage and dance with him.”
“Amazing story. Great presentation. Perfect way to finish a fabulous conference!”

Presentation recap – Matt Harding had a story to tell. He started off on a journey to take videos of himself dancing in front of landmarks all over the world. However, people wouldn’t let him dance…by himself. Soon everywhere he went, dozens and eventually hundreds of people joined him. Every culture reacted the same way, even people from dangerous hostile places, couldn’t resist the universal attraction of having fun, and joining a silly white guy dancing poorly. Matt purposely doesn’t share a point to his story. He prefers to allow attendees to take away their own conclusion from his message. My personal takeaways were 1) People love to be part of an experience rather than an observer. 2) People cannot resist fun and doing things that make them feel good. And 3) If Matt can go around the entire world and get so many people from so many different cultures to be part of the same cause and work together, shouldn’t we be able to get all our employees from different departments and locations to join The Customer Service Revolution?

2014 Secret Service Summit audio – Whether you were there seeing it unfold live or you were unable to get a ticket, we now have it available for you to hear and share with your entire organization. We captured the amazing content offered by the brilliant leaders, authors, and motivational speakers of the 2014 Secret Service Summit Audio Series.

About The Author

John DiJulius

John R. DiJulius is a best-selling author, consultant, keynote speaker and President of The DiJulius Group, the leading Customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on Customer experience trends and best practices.