4 min read

It’s Not About The Caulk

Mar 22, 2019 6:30:00 AM

Today we’re sharing insight from guest blogger, John DiJulius, Chief Revolution Officer & President of The DiJulius Group. We hope you enjoy John’s wisdom and perspective.

It Is Not About The Caulk - BlogI recently was in Las Vegas to speak to a homebuilders association. The night before at the reception, my host was introducing me to their members as the keynote speaker for the next day. One of the members asked me what my topic was. When I told her it was Customer Service, she responded with, “I need to hear it, because my customers make me crazy.” She went on to give me an example, “One woman was building a 1.5-million-dollar house and you wouldn’t believe how she was losing her mind over the caulk. It is caulk!”

I found this story funny. It is the same story in every industry. Employees are not trained correctly to see things from the customer’s viewpoint. What they are struggling with, their fears and concerns. It is never about the caulk or the shipment being late. Those are just the tipping points to why someone may become irrational.

Let’s look at a day in the life of a customer building a house. It doesn’t matter if someone is building a $100,000 house or 1.5-million-dollar mansion—it is all relative. In both cases, it is a significant purchase for them. After they sign with the builder, stuff happens. They see on the news the economy may be headed for a recession, they lose one of their top clients in their own business, or their number one salesperson quits. The builder then tells them there are delays and additional costs adding up. When they come to do an inspection of the home, they see the caulk in the kitchen is unacceptable; it pushes them over the edge and they unload on their salesperson.

It Is Rational For Customers To Be Irrational

When emotions are involved, logic disappears. Emotions out power and manipulate our reasoning and lead to action. It’s no accident that customer experience can trigger a wide array of emotions that can have a great influence on repeat business. Sometimes we don’t know why we like going to a certain place, nevertheless, something drives us to stop there. We may try to find a logical excuse, perhaps pointing to convenience or some other factor. But the truth is, the business delivered a unique experience that leaves a subconscious impression. On the other hand, negative thoughts about a brand are often caused by a poor experience that left a permanent blot in our memory.

It can be confusing and frustrating for employees when customers react unreasonably to something that seems minor. However, when a customer has expectations—not unrealistic expectations, but simple ones about what it will be like to do business with you—and the business fails to deliver, the customer can get emotional. Even though it may have been the first time the company messed up, the customer may still react irrationally.

What’s The Risk?

The risk is in employees taking customer’s emotional reactions personally. Daniel Kahneman, a psychology professor at Princeton, is a Nobel Prize winner for his research proving we behave emotionally first, rationally second. As human beings, our emotions are the most powerful factor in how we respond and interact with others. For that reason, it is critical that dealing with customer emotions, especially for dissatisfied customers, be part of employee service-recovery training. Once employees understand there is a good probability of a customer reacting emotionally instead of rationally, they won’t take it personally and are better able to make a brilliant comeback. The watchword for employees should be QTIP—Quit Taking It Personally.


This content was written and shared by guest blogger John DiJulius.

John-DiJuliusJohn DiJulius is redefining customer service in corporate America today. He didn’t read the books on customer service, he wrote them: Secret Service, Hidden Systems That Deliver Unforgettable Customer ServiceWhat’s The Secret? To Being a World Class Customer Service OrganizationThe Customer Service Revolution, and The Best Customer Service Quotes Ever Said. One of the most captivating and charismatic speakers today, John’s keynotes and workshops are used by world-class service companies to provide unforgettable customer service every day. In his high-energy presentations, he uses powerful visuals as he discusses the 10 commandments of customer service and explains how to improve the service aptitude of employees at all levels.

As the authority on world-class customer experience, organizations across America use his philosophies and systems for creating world-class service. He has worked with companies such as the The Ritz-Carlton, Lexus, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Panera Bread, Nestle, Marriott Hotel, PWC, National City Bank, Cheesecake Factory, Progressive Insurance, Harley Davidson, State Farm, Chick-fil-a, and many more, to help them continue to raise the bar and set the standard in service that consistently exceeds customer expectations.

John is not just telling others how to do it. His strongest attributes may not only be that he has the experience of working with extremely large companies, but knows how to translate those processes to fit small business models as well. Not only is John the Owner, President and Chief Revolution Officer of The DiJulius Group, he is also the Founder, President and Owner of John Robert’s Spa; Named one of the Top 20 Salons in America with multiple locations (and over 150 employees), which he uses as living laboratories to test his findings and theories.

Connect with John and The DiJulius Group via LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Topics: Executive

Written by Gibson

Gibson is a firm of advisors and consultants that help clients get to the proactive side of insurance. We specialize in working with companies looking to find their edge—where they are growing as an organization, differentiating themselves in the marketplace, and preparing for current and future risk. Together we will find the perfect combination of insurance and consulting.