Over the decades I’ve been researching and speaking, it has become very clear to me that:
- The most successful organizations in the world—business, government, and non-profit—keep customer service at the center of their work.
- Those that are-the most customer-service driven, maintain that focus relentlessly.
- The biggest reason most are not customer-driven is that they are not willing or able to be relentless.
- Far more organizations could be much more successful if they had a relentless customer service focus.
If you want your organization to grow and succeed long term, you’ve got to be a service leader. To do that,
you’ve got to be “Relentless.” It has to be a lifetime commitment. Lots of executives talk about their focus on customer service. Most can’t, or more likely, won’t sustain it.
For years, I’ve watched organizations spend millions on advertising to attract customers. But then, by neglecting a single core principle, they drive their customers away. TD Ameritrade spends over $100 million on advertising and their customer service is terrible. In October 2016 they paid $4 billion to buy Scottrade who had awesome customer service and then in a matter of months drove customers like myself away with inferior customer service.
The problem is that when it comes to customer service, very few CEOs, and as a result, very few organizations are “Relentless”. Some focus on customer service for a month, a year; some for six years. Walmart quit after 18 years. Very few leaders are willing to be constantly, permanently focused on customer service.
A focus on customer service can’t be an add-on. It can’t be for a while. It can’t occur under one chief executive and then be forgotten with the next. It has to be part of the organization’s culture and it can’t be B.S. If you’re going to be successful, you got to be “Relentless”, today, tomorrow and for all time.
Too often, the financial people take over. They only look at numbers. They don’t care about the customer experience and customer service, so they cut those programs. Financial people rarely understand the importance of customer service, and so their businesses fail to be as great as they could be.
If your goal is to build an organization around the customer experience, you’ve got to be “Relentless”.
Amazon and Jeff Bezos are among the most “Relentless” in the world. Costco is “Relentless”. The management of Southwest Airlines stays “Relentless”. Vernon Hill of Commerce, Metro, and Republic Banks remains “Relentless.” Salesforce.com with Marc Benioff is “Relentless.”
The Mayo Clinic a not-for-profit organization is every bit as “Relentless” as any for-profit company in the world. Once you open your eyes to it, you can find shining examples of organizations and leaders staying “Relentless” year after year after year.
Sadly, there are countless cases of organizations not being “Relentless”. There are plenty of examples where a company was “Relentless” then lost that focus (and became less successful.) We’re not going to waste time on them. In my new book, I want to show you how to be “Relentless”—to make your organization succeed.
The book will be released in September.
Here are a few endorsements for Relentless:
“John Tschohl is an international thought leader in creating wealth through service. I believe great businesses create FANS who join a business, remain loyal and bring their friends. This is accomplished with a
- Model: Value added and Differentiated
- Culture: Persuasive and Supportive
- Execution: FANATIC
John’s book focuses on RELENTLESS execution, another word for persistence, which when combined with Informed Instinct creates an unlimited future.
John, thank you for marking a clear path for your readers, a path to success.
To each of John’s fans- ‘BE ALL YOU CAN BE’.”
Vernon W. Hill, II
Author: Fans Not Customers
Commerce Bank: America
Metro Bank: London
“Today, customer service is paramount. We need to love our customers, make them feel welcome and, all the tools are in RELENTLESS!”
Stew Leonard, Jr
“John Tschohl is a global thinker and the authority on customer service. He has dedicated his whole life to driving service excellence in organizations – from government services to major corporates to pizzerias. He is Mr. Service.
John is a real servant and acolyte for customers anywhere in the world. I have known him as an observant service evangelist with a very keen eye and a very sharp ear for many years. He helped kick-start customer excellence at Sberbank as we embarked on transformation back in 2008.
Customer service principles are universal and agnostic to any language. John synthesizes all the secrets and tricks through very plain and simple stories.
We know care, speed, know-your-audience, human touch, going the extra mile will never be completely replaced by AI-based products or services. Human care and love will never be replaced by machines.
Relentless is the name of the game.
Only relentlessness day to day, hour by hour will bring you where you have never been. It will pay back manyfold. Both customers and employees will reward you with their smiles, thanks and a penny.
If you want to school your whole organization into a human, touch-and-feel, loving and caring company, you will want to read John’s writing and glean a wealth of lessons.”
Sberbank of Russia
“Businesses must be relentless in their pursuit of quality, so I appreciate John Tschohl bringing his long customer service career to bear in writing his new book, Relentless: Customer Service, the Only Core Principal. It explores a topic important to every business owner and manager and should be added to the top of their reading lists.”
President & CEO
Northeast Delta Dental
“The way John Tschohl outlines so simply in Relentless is exactly the approach the best of the best customer service companies have. A non stop obsession to becoming the brand customers cannot live without. Tschohl nails it and every organization that wants to separate themselves from their competition needs to read this.”
John R. DiJulius III
Author of The Relationship Economy
Building Stronger Customer Connections in the Digital Age