Cookie Preference Centre

Your Privacy
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Performance Cookies
Functional Cookies
Targeting Cookies

Your Privacy

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences, your device or used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually identify you directly, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. You can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, you should know that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site may not work then.

Cookies used

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies, we will not know when you have visited our site.

Cookies used

Google Analytics

Functional Cookies

These cookies allow the provision of enhance functionality and personalization, such as videos and live chats. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, then some or all of these functionalities may not function properly.

Cookies used




Targeting Cookies

These cookies are set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant ads on other sites. They work by uniquely identifying your browser and device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will not experience our targeted advertising across different websites.

Cookies used


This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties


Here are some suggested Connections for you! - Log in to start networking.

Service Quality Institute - Blog

Why it’s Almost Impossible to Implement a Service Culture Plan

I have been talking and writing about customer service longer than anyone else in the world, letting both large and small companies know that it’s fiercely competitive out there and the only way to compete and win is with superior customer service. It will help you retain customers, build market share and improve worker performance. I, for one, am relentless in this.  I work on it daily

For 40 years I have said the major reason organizations are not customer driven is because top management has no grasp of the financial impact and the impact it has on employee performance. They are not relentless.

CEO's like to delegate customer service to HR, Human Resources. This is the kiss of death. The vast majority of all HR leaders have no grasp of strategy. If the company increases market share and sales for them it is just more work and no increased compensation. About the only time I have seen HR drive the service strategy is when the CEO demands it now.  Most HR will then work to kill the project.

Service leaders like Metro Bank, Amazon, Mayo Clinic, Costco, Southwest Airlines and Apple do not delegate this to HR. It is a strategy that is, or should be, the vision of the CEO and they relentlessly pursue it.

Another problem is most CEO's are not relentless. This is a 1 or 2 year project.  What is worse is many firms who have a service culture when the CEO retires delegate it to a Financial CEO like Michael Dell at Dell did with Kevin Rollins and Sam Walton and David Glass at Walmart did with Lee Scott. They put blinders on and dealt with numbers only, no thought to strategy and customer service.  Not even paying any attention to the fact that it is very difficult to recover the service brand. Good example of that is the $1000 I invested in Dell in May 20013 is worth $475 and at Walmart $2323, and this is after 15 years.

Vernon Hill, Founder & CEO of Metro Bank London said it "starts with a thousand cuts.” It is very difficult for the Board to buy into the Service Strategy. The United States bank he founded in 1973, Commerce Bank, was sold to TD Bank in 2007. Today it has little resemblance to the customer service culture it was built on.  You used to be able to call 888-751-9000 and a live person answered the call in 1-2 rings. Today it requires an IVR system.  The hours are no longer the same and inconvenience the consumer. It’s so much worse and has little evidence of improving.

I think Internal Politics destroys the focus on customer service. There is so much infighting. Everyone wants to fight for their own petty issues. It just becomes too much work. NO one wants to take responsibility. Unless the CEO is relentless it will die. If a Financial person is put in as CEO it will die. They just do not understand the power of the service strategy.

In order to create a service culture the CEO needs to be relentless. Needs to drive this as a strategy and needs to develop a management team that understands this culture. They need to focus on keeping customers, building market share and improving the performance of the entire work force by developing a culture of delivering superior customer service.

We are relentless:

For 40 years we have been helped companies succeed.


For 40 years, over 1 million people trained using our system.


For 40 years we have tailored programs for motivating frontline employees.


For 40 years we have helped companies save money and watch their profits grow with great customer service.

About the Author: John Tschohl
John Tschohl is an author and president of Service Quality Institute. He is an American business consultant and Customer Service Strategist.


Publish Date: November 12, 2018 5:00 AM

Are You Guessing on Your Quality of Customer Service?

Providing outstanding customer service at the right price is the “Golden Rule” of most companies. It’s worth remembering that we all experience customer service every day. Customer service is a critical piece of your business, and you should fine-tune it as much as you can. Here are some well-known facts on customer service ….

Fact: 90% of companies say they deliver superior customer service and only 8% of people think these same companies deliver superior customer service. Which goes to show, you shouldn’t be guessing when it comes to evaluating your customer service.

Think you don’t have to worry?  Guess again!

Take your mobile phone and your service contract.  If you’re like me, it’s hard to tell.  The contract has been deliberately written so complex that most people don’t read it.  This, by the way, is why just about everyone hates mobile service providers—and why wireless carriers have some of the lowest customer service ratings of any industry.

FactThe average American spends13 hours per year and 43 days per lifetime on hold for customer service.  When it comes to customer service, your customers care far more about competent and helpful service.

Fact: 73% of dissatisfied customers cited incompetent, rude, and "rushed" service as the #1 reason why they abandoned a brand.

Fact: 86% of consumers will immediately quit doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience

Fact: Bad customer service is more than just a potential liability, it's a huge cost to your business.  Consumers are far more likely to share bad customer experiences due to their frustration.

Fact: It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one

Fact: The average business hears from only 4% of its dissatisfied customers.Very few people have time for your mistakes. Even fewer people are going to take the time to let you know about them, and why should they? You're the one that screwed up.

Fact: your customers can do quite a few things much better than you can, and if your business isn't embracing this fact by viewing customer service as a branch of your marketing department with tremendous ROI, you're doing yourself a disservice, as well as your customers.

Fact: 9 out of 10 U.S. consumers say they would pay more to ensure a superior customer experience.  Customers expect consistent quality of customer service; with a similar, familiar look and feel whenever and however they contact your company.

American firms spend all their Customer Service Training dollars on surveys.  That’s total overkill.  Few spend any money training employees on Customer Service.  Customer Service training will tip the scales toward making your business more successful for your employees and your bottom line.

Take responsibility! 

Be…fast and accurate.

People want answers and to move on with their busy lives. One simple and straightforward way to solve problems faster is simply to be available at all times, 24/7 with a ‘live’ person that answers the call within 3 rings. That way no one is ever having to check your hours to get in touch the next day. It’s easier to resolve issues and you will stand out from the competition as a company that deals with their customers right away.

Be…respectful and friendly

Customer service should be filled with positivity. Greet your customers, use their names, and always express appreciation for their business. Inject positivity into your day, the results will be eye-opening.

Be…a listener

Lead with your ear rather than your mouth so you can connect and problem-solve.  How can you meet your customer’s needs, if you don’t know them?  To understand their needs, just listen to the “voice of the customer” and take action accordingly.

Be…a solution provider

Ask your customer what they think would be a good outcome.  They probably have something in mind that they feel would make sense given the circumstances.  Even if that final answer is not exactly what you want, the customer may also feel that they are not getting exactly what they’d hoped.


Bear in mind that the customer will feel incredible if they feel that you are taking extra steps to help them. 

About the Author: John Tschohl
John Tschohl is an author and president of Service Quality Institute. He is an American business consultant and Customer Service Strategist.


Publish Date: May 31, 2018 5:00 AM

Service Recovery and Handling Irate Customers

Every organization makes mistakes daily. Things go wrong and bad stuff happens no matter how committed we are to great service.

When this happens, the frontline employee often takes the brunt of your customer’s wrath. Not every customer is nice and often uses derogatory language. When things blow up the customer can get very excited and their tone of voice changes dramatically, setting the stage for an unpleasant encounter.

How do we handle this? In most companies, the employee lies and runs for cover. They figure it is better to let someone else handle the wrath of the customer and they know the customer will never remember who they talked to.  Lying only kicks the can down the road for someone else to handle and creates a better chance the customer will never come back.

A screaming customer can ruin any employee's day. If an unpleasant encounter happened at 9 am with an irate customer it will be difficult for that same employee to be cheerful and nice to everyone for the rest of the day. Even more difficult if the employee was not given the training and empowerment needed to handle the problem.

There is NO educational system in the world that will teach your employees how to handle these situations. If you want to reduce employee turnover, keep employees happy and have customers return to do business with you, all employees should be trained on how to handle Service Recovery

and Irate Customers . This is a link to our 2 session program on Handling Irate Customers. You can view the video, leader guide and participant kit online.

The customer is always right even if you think they are nuts. There are 6 steps I teach in Handling Irate Customers:

1. Listen carefully

2. Put yourself in the customer’s place

3. Ask questions

4. Suggest alternatives

5. Apologize

6. Solve the problem

Service Recovery is how you flip an upset customer in 60 seconds who is maybe swearing because your organization screwed up or he/she believes you screwed up. When I give my service strategy seminars across the world I ask executives to come up with 5-10 services or products they can give away as Service Recovery. Guess what?  Very few can come up with even one.  So, if the leaders have a problem what is the front line employee supposed to do? Which proves my point that according to my estimates, less than 2 percent of organizations practice service recovery.  This leaves a company with only two choices….

1. Kiss the customer good bye.
Often the employee will say the customer was a jerk. Very few companies know the life time value of a customer. 

2. Master Service Recovery.
Give something away that makes the customer excited about what happen so they fall in love with you.


A restaurant has a reservation for 4 people for you at 7PM. When you get there the hostess says, “Mr. Nelson we are way behind. All our fault. Would you and your guests please wait in the bar until we call you and have drinks on us.”  Lets' say each person has 2 drinks during the waiting time. The real cost of goods is at most $1 each which would come to a total of approximately $8.

What do you suppose everyone is talking about while waiting?  I suspect 100 to 1000 people with social media will hear about this. All for $8. This is called “word of mouth” advertising and Service Recovery.

The host/hostess took a mere 4 steps in dealing with a potentially irritated customer. 

1. Acted quickly
All this has to happen in 60 seconds or less.

2. Took responsibility 
Didn't lie or move the problem to someone else.

3. Made an empowered decision
Made a fast decision in favor of the customer.

4. Compensation
Every organization has things of value they can give away to compensate the customer for your mistake. Just apologizing is nice and is good customer service but it is not Service Recovery. 

Always remember….Once you connect with your customer it becomes easy and natural to take a concerned or irate customer and turn them into a valuable ally in growing your business profitably.

The Service Recovery/Loyal for Life Training Program is three hours.  

If you are interested in my book on Service Recovery, Loyal For Life, click here. All these programs and my books are also available on Amazon.

About the Author: John Tschohl
John Tschohl is an author and president of Service Quality Institute. He is an American business consultant and Customer Service Strategist.


Publish Date: May 7, 2018 5:00 AM

What does it take to be a Customer Service Leader?

I marvel at the endless publications of the self-help books that are published year after year. I mean, the information is out there, all the tricks in the books are available for anyone to miraculously lose weight, get in shape, think positive, be a better person, get rich, etc., the “how to” information is readily available. What is lacking, however; is the attitude of the reader to own up to the opportunity and start on a consistent, long and relentless journey to accomplishing that goal. Not easy!

 John Tschohl, President and founder of Service Quality Institute (SQI) says; “One of the major weaknesses of most organizations is top management’s lack of a service strategy”.  I get that, and I understand it, too. You see, CEO´s and President’s top priority in business is the bottom line… profits! Since this business of customer service is such an elusive topic, it´s quite difficult for the finance guys to quantify it into numbers. It is an intangible figure that you´ll never, ever find it in any company’s balance sheet. Hence, the attitude of most top management is that customer service has no, or very low importance on the company strategy because of what is perceived to have a probable low economic impact on the bottom line.

Why most companies don’t do it or even try? Because of two reason; the first reason is because it is not easy. All of the training books and well-structured manuals in the market; like SQI´s and others have available, cannot accomplish their goal in making companies costumer service successful through their beautifully packaged products alone. You see, I´ve learned in my many years in the retail bank business that it is not about the product; it´s about the attitude that most CEO´s and Presidents of companies place on this complex subject.

Here is the irony; most top management spends thousands, if not millions of dollars in advertisement and spend only a fraction of that money in training and developing their staff. Top management is more focused in keeping a fierce advertisement campaign against the competition than investing in training and developing their people. I have noticed that successful companies have one thing in common: they are focused on, and first sell, customer service…the product is secondary. No, I am not saying sell substandard product, of course not. I am saying that the culture of a successful company is wrapped around the service discipline that the customer comes first.

The second reason; Top management must be consistently and totally involved in the process, walk the walk and talk the talk. Someone at the top in management must be directly responsible to this quest.  Several years ago, Mr. Tschohl sold a pretty hefty and pricy training program contract to a local, large bank company here in El Salvador. Amazingly, John sold the idea and top management all agreed to embark on the development of their service culture. The program was launched at a huge company kick-off rally and soon after they set sails on to this new culture venture. Sadly, only six months into the campaign, the project fell flat, it had been put on the back burner. What happened? I can only assume that once management gave the green light to kick start the project, they took their hands off the wheel and did not manage the process of the development of their service culture. Mr. Tschohl, early in our relationship advised me that his programs have a do or die factor; top management needs to be involved in it, always! If top management is not, he said, this program will be a flash in the pan.  

During the past 18 years, and with the guidance of my Service Guru, John Tschohl and his training products, I have personally managed the Customer Service Culture of our company. First, starting it in El Salvador, then, one by one, I gained the momentum necessary to spread the concept of this culture throughout Central America, the Caribbean and Ecuador.

If a picture is worth one thousand words, then the following three frames of performance should speak volumes of how SQI provided us with the tools necessary to achieve our extraordinary results.

Feel free to get in touch with Oscar Orozco.  Executive Director

@ Banco Promerica, S.A.     503-2513-5000     


Publish Date: January 10, 2018 5:00 AM

Customer Service in 2018!

Are you going to copy Amazon in 2018 and deliver great customer service?

I suspect when December is over Amazon will have grown about $40 billion in 2017. Jeff Bezos, the founder, is now the wealthiest person in the world.

The Customer Experience is built around the first contact and last contact. In customer service you are dependent on people, your employees. Very few firms understand the value of high performing employees. The less we pay employees the less respect we have for them and therefore, the less we are willing to invest in them. So sad.

Customer service is having no dumb rules and policies.  Making it easy to do business with you means you use technology to get closer to the customer not push them away. Most firms love IVR. This means you push one for English. Push two for Spanish and push 7 to go to HELL.  A live person needs to answer the call in 1-3 rings if you have over 100 employees and it should be 24/7. Much less expensive than a physical location. These need to be your best people.

Speed is critical. Reduce the time it takes by 90%. That's speed. Most employees have a slow mindset and most organizations have too many policies and procedures that encourage… slow.

Do your employees treat every customer as special? Do they use the customer's name and remember it. Do they feel valued?

Price is a part of great service. Most firms have too much waste, too many dead employees. Amazon has great prices because it understands the power of price.

When someone in your firm screws up what is the service recovery? Most firms in the world have NO service recovery. Saying I am sorry is NOT Service Recovery. I teach 4 steps: 

1. Act Quickly: No time to move the problem up the ladder

2. Take Responsibility: I can count on one hand how many times in my life I have heard an employee take responsibility

3. Be Empowered: Every employee has to solve the problem in 60 seconds or less for the magic to happen.

4. Compensate:  Give products and services away that have high value/low cost. 

Click here for more details  

Most organizations think they provide awesome customer service. Most consumers in the world feel there is no customer service. In the U.S. firms love surveys. They have never seen a survey they didn't like. The problem is few people respond to these surveys and most firms do nothing with the results. Surveys are now overkill. They turn customers off. Customer service and HR departments have convinced management that these are cool when they are really a waste of time and money.

If you want to make 2018 a great year with huge increases in revenue and dramatically reduce customer complaints I suggest the following.

1. Drive this as a strategy

2. Eliminate dumb rules and policies

3. Master empowerment

4. Practice Service Recovery

5. Dramatically increase speed for everything you do.

6. Have the best people in your call center and answer with live people 24/7 in 1-3 rings.

7. Train everyone on the skills and art of customer service with something new and fresh every 4 months. Make sure the programs are short and awesome. Great packaging and design are needed.  Click here 

About the Author: John Tschohl
John Tschohl is an author and president of Service Quality Institute. He is an American business consultant and Customer Service Strategist.


Publish Date: December 14, 2017 5:00 AM

8 Principles of Great Service to Create a Service Culture

Service Culture doesn't come as easy as you'd expect. These are some simple principles critical for creating a Service Culture.

  1. Understand this is Strategy
  2. Eliminate dumb rules. Make it easier for customers to do business with you.
  3. Master empowerment
  4. Use speed. Shrink the time it takes to get things done by 90%
  5. Use Service Recovery
  6. Train every employee on Customer Service with something new and fresh every 4 months
  7. Use the customer’s name and recognize customers.
  8. Price is critical.  Reduce costs and pass the savings on to the customer.
About the Author: John Tschohl
John Tschohl is an author and president of Service Quality Institute. He is an American business consultant and Customer Service Strategist.


Publish Date: November 13, 2017 5:00 AM

7 Key Steps Critical to Being a Service Leader

There are a variety of core skills or steps necessary to become a Service leader. Take these 7 skills and implement them into your Customer Service Practices today!

1. Eliminate Dumb Rules: You can have great people but really dumb policies and rules. For example most firms use IVR to avoid talking to customers. Any firm with more than 100 employees should have a 24/7 call center. Phone should be answered in 1-2 rings by a live person. NO IVR. Make it easy to do business with your organizations. Have hours convenient to the customer.

2. Master Empowerment: So many crazy things happen each day. Employees must be empowered to make fast decisions on the spot to make a customer happy. I could count on 2 hands the number of times I see employees making an empowered decision.

3. Speed: Very few employees and organizations understand or practice speed. Amazon and Uber have awesome speed. Most small business have no speed. The mind set of employees is slow. Companies have policies they reinforce slow.

4. Service Recovery: All of us make mistakes. Stupid stuff happens each day. How employees respond to these problems is core to great service. Less than 1 percent of companies use Service Recovery.

5. Remember Me: Your name is magic. Few employees remember you or use your name. Even when you pay by credit card or check your name is never used. Stupid.

6. Train everyone on Customer Service…regularly: You need a new program every 4 months. Must be fresh and new. Too many firms think there is a magic program you can dip your employees in and for the rest of their lives they will remember everything.

7. Service Strategy: SQI is not selling customer service programs. Our focus to help organizations rapidly grow their business through the service strategy.

About the Author: John Tschohl
John Tschohl is an author and president of Service Quality Institute. He is an American business consultant and Customer Service Strategist.


Publish Date: October 17, 2017 5:00 AM

If You Can’t Say Something Nice About Customer Service…COMPLAIN!

In the customer service industry, we cannot avoid complaints.  Complaints happen every day and when a customer complains it is usually for a good reason or genuine concern. They usually have made a purchase that did not meet their expectation—a product, service, or maybe a combination of the two. We must take care of the customer by listening to the complaint, and resolving it, to ensure a happy customer.

Fewer than half of unhappy customers will bring a complaint to your attention. Those who never say anything will tell an average of 11 or more people about their bad experience. It is important that we recognize complaints as opportunities, so we can sway these averages, one resolved complaint at a time. It is my belief that no transaction is complete unless the service that customers receive will motivate them to return and do business with you again.

Customers want to know someone is listening and they are understood, and they are hoping you are willing to take care of the problem to their satisfaction. No matter what the situation is, when a customer brings a complaint to your attention—even if they do it in a less-than-desirable way—be thankful.  We must realize that improper handling of a customer complaint can be costly to the business.

Handle a customer complaint in a smooth and professional manner

When something goes wrong how do you take the customer from hell to heaven in 60 seconds?  The solution is to empower and reward employees to solve problems quickly and to the customer’s satisfaction

Follow up with a phone call. Even a small gesture of apology can turn a bad situation into a good one.  The cost could be minimal—maybe a simple upgrade on the customer’s next purchase or a gift certificate. A simple gesture like this could result in an over happy customer. When you resolve customer complaints successfully, you will better understand their needs, retain them as loyal customers, and enhance your business.

I have been writing about Stew Leonard for over 25 years. Stew Jr. has a huge 6,000 pound rock in front of their store that says Rule 1 The customer is always right! Rule 2 If the customer is ever wrong reread Rule 1.

The company has received worldwide acclaim for excellence in customer service and quality and is featured in two of management expert Tom Peter's books: A Passion for Excellence and Thriving on Chaos. In 1992, Stew Leonard's earned an entry into The Guinness Book of World Records for having "the greatest sales per unit area of any single food store in the United States."

In my book, The Customer is Boss, I show you how to complain correctly.  Most people begin their complaint with the person they are complaining about.  Not a good idea. It all starts at the bottom and many people don’t believe it will do any good. And, they are right.  After all, if the complaint comes in at the bottom level, they surely are not going to send it on up to management to show what a terrible job they did on handling it.

I tell everyone that they have the right to a good experience, a quality product, and top of the line customer service. I also tell everyone that it’s their responsibility to let the appropriate channels know when there is an issue. You deserve quality and top notch performance.

There are a couple of things that work when trying to motivate a business to give you better customer service:   

  • Ask for good service:  “I really need your help.”
  • Act as if you expect good service.
  • Treat salespeople as friends—a friendly attitude toward salespeople is so rare that clerks treated respectfully jump to attention to serve you as if you were a celebrity.
  • Change your attitude toward good service.  Your chances of receiving good service improve immensely.  Speak up.
  • State clearly your expectations and ask for a speedy resolution to problems.

Don’t feel sorry for business, government, or non-profit groups when you complain about bad service. You’re doing them a favor by complaining.

Complaints are good for business, so don’t shut up, speak up.--John Tschohl


About the Author: John Tschohl
John Tschohl is an author and president of Service Quality Institute. He is an American business consultant speaker, customer service guru and Customer Service Strategist.


Publish Date: August 17, 2017 5:00 AM

Customer Service Hell ls Spelled...IVR!

You have just entered Customer Service Hell. It's the phone call looped through a frustrating automated system known as IVR (Interactive Voice Response)-you know, the one where you "Press 1 to continue in English" and "Listen closely to our list of options, as they may have changed." Or, "Please call back during our normal working hours."

Calling for help.

While automated phone attendants sound great for the business that's set one up, it's not ideal for a customer that just wants to speak to someone about a question, concern, scheduling of an appointment, or simply to learn about your services.

It feels impersonal and makes customers think that you just don't have time to deal with their phone calls. Don't magnify the problem by creating a situation that wasn't so bad to begin with by having technology in charge of your customer's first impression. Having a human answering the phone with a friendly voice helps to handle issues quickly and professionally.

What happens when you keep an automated voice on the  other end? You're going to end up costing yourself sales. There is no longer a welcoming voice that is eager to get a situation resolved and the call handled promptly; it's the same generic greeting, complicated menu to  follow, and a frustrated caller deciding it's not worth the  trouble.

Telephone... the Virtual front door to your business. There is no substitute for a friendly human voice, who answers the call promptly and appropriately. When someone calls your business, they want answers and incidentally, they may also want to purchase your product or service.The fact is, as customers don't run on the same time schedule as your business, you need to make every effort to have their concerns take care of according to their schedule, nor  yours.

You have just entered Customer Service Hell. It's the phone call looped through a frustrating automated system known as IVR (Interactive Voice Response)-you know, the one where you "Press 1 to continue in English" and "Listen closely to our list of options, as they may have changed." Or, "Please call back during our normal working hours."

Very few companies have 24/7 live people answering their phones thereby limiting their ability to attract new customers and keep old ones. Very few companies realize that the power of a live person an­ swearing the phone still matters! The following companies do:

Metro Bank in London has 24/7 live customer service representa­tives. (44 20 3402 8312).

LL Bean has 24/7 live customer service representatives (888-731- 3170).

Stew Leonard Grocery stores has live customer service representa­tives during their open hours from 7am - 11 pm (203-847-7214).

Apple is an anomaly; you are connected with an IVR for a very short period of rime. They answer the phone quickly and your telephone number alerts them who is calling and then they answer with, "Good

Morning John, which of your apple produces are you calling about?" After which, you are connected to a live person.  (800-676-2775).

How to Win customers... talk to them. A phone greeter is the first impression of the company, the person that is going to answer general questions chat may make an "interested" customer turn into a "sold" customer, and the person that verifies details to make sure the customer gets their appointment scheduled or transferred to the person in the company chat can help them best. I think businesses should treat the person that answers the phone as a part of the sales team.

An automated voice is such a deterrent that some customers won't wait to go through the prompts or listen all of the way through until they know which number to hit; they may simply hang up after feeling like they are just another number.

A welcoming voice, on the other hand, can make a person feel good, reflect well on the company, and make it easier for a solution to be made to the reason behind their call. Companies that  treat  their phone greeter like a sales person may notice chat taking the position seriously is a great way to boost sales and get prospective customers to do business with you.

Give 'Em Something to Talk About

Get everybody customer-driven so that if somebody walks into your business through the phone line, the Internet, or in person, the experi­ence is "Awesome." Your customers will feel much more important when they are handled by a human rather than an automated operator. "Mm have a better chance at offering a superior Level of service when a live person can help someone promptly and in a .friendly way." -John Tschohl SSE


John Tschohl is an international service strategist and speaker. He is Founder and President of th< SDescribed by Time and Entrepreneur magazines as a customer service guru, he has written seven books on customer service.

Connect Jolin T'OChohl
Follow @johntschohl


Publish Date: November 21, 2016 5:00 AM

Customer Service Recovery for Healthcare

watch "Customer Service Recovery" on YouTube 

Hi. I'm John Tschohl. I'd like to talk about how we can use customer service recovery for healthcare to eliminate some of the customer complaints. To get customers to come back. Now you might call them patients, I like to call them customers. In your healthcare operation, whether you have a nursing home. Whether you have a client. Whether you have a home care business. I don't care what type of business you have in healthcare. Bad things happen. Things go wrong, everyday. People are human.

The problem is when we just say to the customer, sir, I am so sorry. That's good customer service, but it's not service recovery. How do we take a customer that's upset. I was sick and swearing, but you know people really wouldn't swear. How do we take that person who's ready to kill you and flip them? In 60 seconds they think they're dealing with the greatest company in the entire world. That's what customer service recovery for restauronts is all about.

There's 4 steps I want you to use. Number 1, is you got to act quickly. That means every single person in your healthcare operation has to be able to make fast decisions in favor of the customer on the spot without checking with the manager or supervisor. Making a phone call, sending an email. They make very fast decisions in favor of the customer.

Second thing we got to do is take responsibility. All we got to do is say, we screwed up. It's our fault. I made a mistake. It's my fault. Okay. Sir, we scheduled you at the same time as somebody else, the doctor's not going to be available. It's absolutely our fault. Nobody's ever heard anybody say, we made the mistake. Because everybody lies. We think that we can just blow them off and they'll never hear.

Third thing we gotta do is we got to be empowered. Everybody has to make fast decisions, who's interfacing with the customer. I don't want anybody to have to go up a chain of command. I don't want anybody to have to talk to somebody else. I want the employee to be able to make a decision right there with the customer. The cost is minimal if the employee does it. The impact is 100 times stronger, more powerful than if it goes up the chain of command.

Then the other thing you gotta remember, people like myself they get onto Facebook, they use social media, they communicate. There's a whole lot of people that are a lot less ... more quiet than I am. They're not as assertive as I am. You know what they do? They said, goodbye. You never hear from them again. That's very expensive.

The fourth element of service recovery is we have to compensate. We have to give things of high value, low cost, so the patient, the customer says this is cool. Sir, Mr. Tschohl, I am so sorry that we over scheduled and it's going to be at least 30 minutes before we can get into the doctor today. Because of the inconvenience that we've cost you, we are not going to charge you for today's visit. It's called compensation, as giving things away that have high value.

Now, if you have a healthcare operation, and you got a copay. Sir, we're going to not charge you the copay today, because obviously we screwed up and it's our fault. By the way, you're one of the best customers we got. Mr. Tschohl, I really apologize for the inconvenience we've cost you.

Let me just summarize again here quickly. Take responsibility, be empowered, and compensate. If you can do that in your healthcare facility, you're going to be able to keep your customers when bad things happen. Thank you.

Learn more about what we do on my website


Publish Date: May 10, 2016 5:00 AM

Customer Service Recovery for Hotels

watch "Customer Service Recovery for Hotels" on YouTube 


Hi. I'm John Tschohl.

I'd like to talk about customer service recovery for hotels, so you can keep customers, avoid them going on to TripAdvisor and putting negative comments in, and create what I call an incredible word of mouth experience. In your hotel, regardless of how committed you are to incredible customer service, bad things happen. Sometimes the room is not ready as promised. Sometimes the food delivery was late. Sometimes there's something wrong with the room. Maybe the reservation got lost. There's hundreds and hundreds of things that can go wrong. I'm going to give you four tips that you can use in your service recovery strategy at your hotel to take a customer from hell to heaven in sixty seconds or less, because when you make a mistake, when your hotel makes a mistake, to lie, to run for cover, which is what most employees do, doesn't work.

Number one, we gotta act quickly. Act quickly means everything I'm talking about has to happen in 60 seconds by the employee that interfaces with the customer. That means you don't have the time to go up the chain of command, to send it to some other manager, some other department head. It has to happen by that employee.

Number two. You gotta take responsibility. This rarely happens. It's all you want the employee to do is say, "Obviously, ma'am. We've really screwed up and it's our fault." "Sir I am so sorry the reservation didn't work as scheduled. Obviously we made a mistake." No. Nobody ever heard an employee ever say, "We screwed up and it's our fault." So you may have to take out more insurance to protect yourself when people die right on the spot because they've never heard anybody say, "Hey. We made a mistake."

The third thing that you gotta do in customer service recovery for hotels is you gotta be empowered. That means that every single person has to be able to make a decision, spend your money on the spot to take care of the customer to the customer's satisfaction.

Then the fourth thing is we gotta compensate. That means you've gotta give things away that have high value, low cost. "Sir, I am so sorry that breakfast took another thirty minutes longer than it should have. I am waving your meal." "Sir I'm sorry that you had a problem with room service yesterday. Let me send a gift packet to your room for some wine and some fruit that you could enjoy while you're here." "I am so sorry that we had a problem with your reservation, sir. Would it be okay if I upgraded you to a suite tonight?" All of these things have high value, low cost. In a hotel there are probably twenty, thirty, fifty things that have tremendous value, low cost that your employees can give away when your company, your hotel, or they make a mistake.

The problem is, we tend to lie. We tend to run for cover. We don't ever say it. We don't want to spend any money. We're talking about how do you take a guy that's really upset, he's mad, and flip it,so in sixty seconds he believes he is dealing with the greatest hotel he has ever stayed at in his entire life. Thank you

or learn more about what we do on my website


Publish Date: May 10, 2016 5:00 AM

Customer Service Recovery for Restaurants

watch "Customer Service Recovery for Restaurants" on YouTube 


Hi I’m John Tschohl

I’d like to talk about customer service recovery for restaurants

You know, if there is an industry that seems to have more problems and more difficulties, its gotta be in the restaurant business. So when I talk about service recovery, I’m talking about when the customer perceives that you’ve done something wrong and they get irate, they get upset, they get really mad.

We’re talking about four key things that I want you to master.

Number one: we’ve gotta act quickly. That means the employee, whoever’s interfacing with the customer when there’s a problem, has to be able to make fast decisions on the spot. And it better be in favor of the customer. That means you don't go to see the manager, you don't find the shift supervisor. I want the employee to make very fast decisions.

Number two we want the person to take responsibility. “We screwed up. Sir I am so sorry that your meal came late, It’s our fault”. Now, most employees lie. I mean, I’m shocked at how seldom I’ve ever heard anyone say “You know what, It’s coming in twenty minutes late and it’s our fault”. Okay? So I want you to take responsibility.

The third thing is I want people to be empowered. That means, everybody has to be able to make fast decisions on the spot, without going to a manager, supervisor, store manager, restaurant manager, whatever you want to call them. I want the employee to be able to spend your money—this is all marketing money. Keep in mind, fifty percent of the money you spend on marketing is waisted, the problem is we don't know which half! Okay? 

And then the fourth thing we’ve gotta practice is compensation. When you screw up in the restaurant business, there are so many things that you can give away that have high value low cost.

So let me just give you an example of what I call incredible customer service recovery for restaurants.

I have a reservation for seven o’clock tonight. Party of four. I get to the restaurant, the hostess says “Mr. Tschohl, I apologize, but we’ve been slammed. Theres no way I’m going to be able to get you seated until seven thirty. would you and your party of four go to the bar area, have drinks on us, and we’ll call you as soon as your table is ready”. 

That’s called compensation, now lets say each person has two drinks. Somebody has a beer, somebody has some wine, somebody has a soda, somebody else has a cocktail. Average real cost it maybe a dollar a drink. So now we’re talking about eight dollars. Think about those people, they’re in there for thirty minutes.  What are they talking about?

“Wow, this is incredible, this is cool, man I like this.”

They’re on their iPhones, they’re sending out text messages, they’re going onto whatsapp, they’re on Facebook, doing social media, all the sudden some of them are on twitter. Hundreds of people can hear about that.

Now visualize, if you said, now thats too much money eight dollars. And you went to your local TV station and you said “Heres eight dollars, I want to run a commercial for my restaurant”. Well, for eight dollars they might give you one second on tv. In fact, they’ll probably laugh at you as they shove you out the door. So customer service recovery for restaurants is probably the most powerful tool you can use to keep customers so they keep coming back. Thank you.

or learn more about what we do on my website


Publish Date: May 10, 2016 5:00 AM

Customer Service Strategy for Restaurants

watch "Customer Service Strategy for Restaurants" on YouTube 

Hi I’m John Tschohl,

I’d like to talk about how you can use customer service strategy for restaurants to keep more customers, to get more people to use word of mouth advertising to talk about how great you are.

You know, in restaurants we like the decor we like the settings — we think that the food quality is important, sometimes the pricing is important. I think there's a whole other element in the restaurant business and that is: what does the cook do, the waitress do, the hostess do. How do we create this incredible experience so that in addition to the decor the food and the pricing and all that, the customer experience is incredible.

There's a variety of things that I teach that I think are very critical to customer service strategy for restaurants.

Number one is: how do you make it easier for people to do business with your restaurant?

Are people, number two, empowered? When a person says “I really don’t want this item with the meal, can you substitute it for the ice cream?”, “I’m sorry sir, the computer system is all set up, you cannot do that”. Instead, you want the employee to say “Hey, no problem”. Okay?

Third is we want you to use the customers name. “Sir, good morning. My name is Marina. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you before. What is your name sir? Oh it’s John Tschohl. Mr. Tschohl have you ever been to our restaurant before? Oh this is your first time? Mr. Tchohl, it is great to have you here”. 

Use the customers name.

And then we have to train all of our staff on the skills and the art of customer service. See, you could go to any school for the rest of your life, any high school, college, university, you could have a Phd, nobody is going to teach your employees the skills of customer service. And if you think — that you can take a magic program and put your people into it and they’re going to change their life and be perfect because they went through 6 hours or 8 hours, you're nuts. If you want high preforming, customer driven employees you’ve gotta have something new, fresh, virtually every 4 months and if you do that, thats how you deliver a better customer experience.

So my business is how do we take your total workforce and get everybody to understand that they are in customer service. So that your restaurant has the best customer service of any restaurant in your entire city. Thank you.

or learn more about what we do on my website


Publish Date: May 10, 2016 5:00 AM

Customer Service Strategy Local Government

Watch Customer Service Strategy for Local Government on YouTube

I'm John Tschohl.

I'd like to talk about the service strategy for local government. I happen to live in Bloomington, Minnesota. I think it's probably one of the most customer service driven cities in the world. If you want to improve the customer experience, if you want to build a brand, you want to create a city where you don't have complaints, where you've got speed, where you treat everybody like a king or a queen, that's what I call the customer experience. 

I'll just give you a quick example. This has happened only yesterday. I had a water bill that was totally, in my opinion, way too high. I called the city and they wanted me to do a water meeting inside the house which I did. I did and they said, "We're going to send somebody out. He can meet you there at 2:15." He came out to the house, he went through all the different things. He said, "You got some water flowing in some of the toilets." He adjusted one of them. The person buying my house said he'll handle the other 3. This guy was a 10. I got a picture of this guy, his name is Brent. I'm totally turned on. This is what I call a great customer experience. They've got speed. They go out of their way to take care of the customer. 

In your local government, we got to get everybody to understand that they're business is customer service. You have customers. I don't call them tax payers. Tax payer's a sterile word. These are customers, okay. There's several elements in terms of how do we drive this customer experience. Number 1, what can we change to make it easier for people to do business with your local government? Number 2, how do we create speed? How do we do everything faster, quicker than we've ever done it before? 3, how do we make empowered decision? 

That could be another example with the city of Bloomington. In April they always have this pick up where they take all of your trash. You put everything out in front of your house and they have trucks that come by and pick it up. I had this gigantic pile of wood from this new house I bought, and I mean it was really big. They didn't pick it up. I called the city and they said, "Well, you didn't have it bundled," and they said some other stuff. "However, we're going to go out and we're going to pick it up." They just went out and picked it up with the city. Didn't even use the other company. Everything has got great customer service.

We have to educate and train everybody so they understand the element of customer service, so that doesn't matter who it is that you're talking to, they understand their single job is to deliver a great customer experience. If you can do that with your local government, you can eliminate customer complaints dramatically. You can significantly improve the customer experience, and you can build a local government that tends to be customer driven.

Thank you.

Customer Service Strategy


Publish Date: March 24, 2016 5:00 AM

About us - in 60 seconds!

Submit Event

Upcoming Events

The place where the world's best meet and share their best practices!

A place for professionals to learn the latest and greatest strategies and ideas and to connect with the elite in the industry. 

This is the highest rated industry event with ... Read More...

Latest Americas Newsletter
both ids empty
session userid =
session UserTempID =
session adminlevel =
session blnTempHelpChatShow =
session cookie set = True
session page-view-total =
session page-view-total =
applicaiton blnAwardsClosed =
session blnCompletedAwardInterestPopup =
session blnCheckNewsletterInterestPopup =
session blnCompletedNewsletterInterestPopup =