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Saturday, March 6, 2010


Recently I served as guest host for a local talk show, Abdul in the Morning, on 1430 AM WXNT here in Indianapolis. I interviewed Bill Nicholls, Vice President of Ritz Charles Catering, one of my Customer Service Training clients and a highly respected company here in Central Indiana. We talked about customer service, how Ritz Charles manages it so well, and of course we took calls from listeners.

One turned out to be from my sister-in-law, though she disguised her name and I didn't know it was she until later. She wanted to share her recent experience at her neighborhood BLOCKBUSTER store, where she goes regularly.

She had wanted to watch ROOTS in its entirety. The way it was set up, she decided to pick up one DVD at a time. After she'd watched the second DVD, she returned it and asked why it seemed a section had been skipped. The answer surprised her (and she rents DVD's there quite often, with two young kids). She was told that episode II was on the back of the first DVD. Of course, she asked if she could have the first DVD back so she could "catch up" without paying, since no one at the store had told her to turn the DVD over and there was nothing on the jacket to that effect. The employee's answer was, "NOT MY BAD!"

About this time, her son Jonathan approached with excitement over a "Rent one/ get one free" offer. He pointed to the display with the sign attached. The SAME employee said, "Sorry, that offer ended yesterday!" and told someone to remove the sign. No apology. No empathy. Nothing.

Remember. I'm on the air with her. I suggest she go right back and talk to the Store Manager. Her response: "HE IS THE STORE MANAGER!"

What do you do when you've gone to the highest person on site and gotten such an incredibly bad response to TWO problems you the customer did not create? I suggested she find an 800 number or go the the company's website. We all know that's a lot of trouble.

Did BLOCKBUSTER hire the wrong employee AND make him a manager? Is their training poor? Did they not empower him? Who knows? But if I were my sister-in-law, I'd find the next closest video store and bid "FAREWELL" to the neighborhood BLOCKBUSTER!

What Did My Clients Say?

Very worthwhile…highly recommended to anyone who values customers.” -Julian Peebles, Ruth Lilly Health Education Center

“Thanks again for the wonderful presentation. It was exciting that our employees were fired up and began to think forward and place themselves mentally into some of the situations they may encounter at Victory Field.” -Randy Lewandowski, Assistant General Manager Indianapolis Indians

“…the overall attitude of our management team is much more positive…and the team is much more aggressive in tending to clients ‘and guests’ needs.” -Chuck Lazarra, President, Ritz Charles

“Danny is an excellent presenter who understands the benefit of high quality customer service. He relayed heartfelt stories that translated to our business and reinforced the impact that each of us has on customer service and its effect on our success.” -Doug Ruggles, Corporate Training Director, F.A. Wilhelm Construction Co., Inc.

“Your talk was very insightful and right on point. It also was entertaining and a lot of fun. The points you made were simple but highly effective. Your expertise in the area of customer service was obvious.” -Chad Wilke, Senior Event Coordinator, Indiana Convention and Visitors’ Bureau

“Danny is a delight—so full of energy—you feel inspired after spending just a few minutes with him. And there were several great pearls that I walked away with.” -Pam Bales, Consultant, Benefit Associates

“We have worked with many consultants over the years, but none more energetic than Danny. He worked diligently with us beforehand to model the program to our specific needs… From the President to the newest supervisor, we are all excited to begin implementing what we learned tomorrow morning! …..” -Rick Roberts, Vice President, Engledow Group

“I am also conducting the first Team Leader Training Class tomorrow. With a little help from the Danny O Experience I think it will be a hit! Thanks for being such a great motivator!” -Michelle Nichols, Corporate Trainer, Ossip Optometry

"I know some of you have brought in speakers in the past to inspire your staff. As you probably know, I’m difficult to impress. Well, Danny impressed me. For one thing, he’s one of you and not just another speaker. He made me wish I was working back in the stores. And for you wholesalers, he’s would be a great motivator for speaking to your independents. He got huge applause from the WGA retailers. I definitely see you having some quick payback having him speak." -Dave Livingston, DJL Research, LLC