homepage_name! > Editions > Number 121 > Business Thought - John Tschohl

The Guru of Customer Service


John Tschohl grew up in a small town in Minnesota. His father died when he was seven and his mother raised him. He was the last of seven children. As a child, his mother had very little money. She stayed at home to raise John and his brother. John credits his mother with his success because she believed in him and always told him he would be successful.

He went to the University of St. Thomas and became very active in politics. He launched the Coalition for Lowering the Voting Age which represented over 50,000 college students. He was successful in getting the legislature and Governor to sign a bill into law lowering the voting age from 21 to 19. His first job after graduating from college was working for the Minnesota Taxpayers Association where he out-produced his boss in sales 10 to 1. In 1972 he started his own business, John Tschohl & Associates, and bought franchises for the Success Motivation Institute and Leadership Motivation Institute. John grew up poor but wanted to be successful. He dreamed of being a millionaire. In 1972 his net worth was $2270 and by age 30 he reached a net worth of $1 million. Each year he tries to invest 80% of his income.

In 1977, John wrote his first two programs, "Better Than Money" and "How to Score Through Stroking". They were audiocassette programs designed to teach managers and salespeople how to use recognition to motivate employees and increase sales. In 1979, John determined that customer service was very weak in the United States. He saw firms spending a fortune on marketing and then figuratively issuing baseball bats to the employees to hit customers on the head as they walked in the door. John realized that if you're treating the customers like kings and queens they would, in turn, give you a great deal of business.

"Feelings" was developed, field tested, and then released in January 1980. It was the world's first customer service program. At that time, very few firms were interested in developing their front line employees. All training dollars were spent on senior management and no consulting firms were willing to talk about the total workforce, which was beneath them.

John created many versions of Feelings and millions of people across the world used it to improve their customer service. In 1990, he changed the company's name to Service Quality Institute.Service Quality Institute is the global leader in helping organizations keep customers, build market share, and improve the performance of their entire workforce so they develop a culture of delivering superior customer service.

SQI is the only company in the world that has enough technology to introduce new programs every four to six months in order to create a culture change and to sustain a commitment to quality service. This dedication to developing new technology and programs will empower your employees and improve customer satisfaction.

John started to develop other programs and acquired Advance Management Group. In 2004, he developed a 3-year service culture plan which is now over 60% of their revenue.

He has aggressively nurtured international business and at this time, 90% of his revenue comes from other parts of the world.

For the last 34 years he has solely focused on helping organizations drive a service culture and create a customer experience through his technology built on practicality, simplicity, and common sense. With his credibility, focus on empowerment, and the power of social media, he has the ability to emotionally communicate the power of service strategy from top executives to the total workforce.

Tschohl is dynamic, hard hitting, and inspirational. His experience and “guru” status provide the credibility critical to get management to buy in. He will create an emotional buy-in using measurable data that CEOs respond to. His books are especially recognized and highly esteemed by senior executives as the most powerful must-reads in Customer Service.

John’s message is based on common sense built around his 44 years in speaking, designing training programs, and developing high performance workforces. He has been featured on major television shows such as Good Morning America, networks such as CNBC and PBS, USA Today’s cover story, newspapers, radio stations, and magazines from almost every corner of the world. John’s technology and books are in 11 languages, represented in over 45 countries, and 90 percent of Service Quality Institute’s business is international.

John Tschohl is the author of seven best-selling books, which are available in a wide variety of languages.

• EMPOWERMENT: A WAY OF LIFE: This book will help organizations and individuals master the skills of empowerment so it becomes a way of life. Empowerment is the key to great service and critical to an organization's success. You will rarely ever see an employee making an empowered decision to make a customer overhappy in order to keep them coming back. Most employees feel they will be fired if they make an empowered decision, yet all CEOs want their employees to make empowered decisions. This book will help everyone better understand how to use empowerment and why it is critical to your success. Empowerment is not just a set of rules: it's a way of life, a way of life everyone will love. Tips and strategies will help individuals and companies incorporate service into their daily lives and corporate structure. This information will help the reader become empowered or empower others to increase opportunities for success. The overall goal of the book is to help the reader see the advantage of empowerment in every aspect of their lives

• ACHIEVING EXCELLENCE THROUGH CUSTOMER SERVICE: A best selling book by John Tschohl. In the book, there are proven techniques and hundreds of practical ideas that develop customer satisfaction and loyalty - the two ingredients to increase profits. Service leaders and champions of service can use this book to drive a service culture. Entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses through a service culture will find these ideas valuable. John Tschohl's revised soft cover book provides a complete action plan for making quality service the central focus of management strategy. It has been called an encyclopedia of customer service strategies and experiences.

• LOYAL FOR LIFE: How to take Unhappy Customers from Hell to Heaven in 60 Seconds or Less.

• E-SERVICE: Speed, Technology & Price Built Around Service: Loaded with facts, predictions, anecdotes, and role models, E-Service is a must-read for anyone in business. Whether you are currently selling products or services via the internet, or planning to institute a cyberspace operation, this is one book you don't want to miss. Tschohl draws on his extensive experience and expertise in customer service and shares a wealth of information that will keep your customers returning to you and spending more money with you in the process. Tschohl tells you in an easy-to-read format, how e-service--speed, technology, and price built around service--can form a winning combination that will drive business forward. E-Service is one book you don't want to ignore.

• CASHING IN: MAKE MORE MONEY, GET A PROMOTION, LOVE YOUR JOB: This fact-filled, powerful book by service industry entrepreneur and self-made success story John Tschohl will tell you everything you need to know. This first-of-its-kind book for the service industry professional is packed with valuable information in a clear-cut and hands-on format. You will quickly learn to: Capitalize on opportunities for career advancements, integrate self-improvement thinking with key service concepts, get the attitude needed through powerful affirmation techniques, establish well defined objectives for gratifying financial goals, gain responsive win-win relationships with your managers and customers, create strategies for accomplishment and recognition, and hundreds of other techniques so you too can CA$H IN and WIN.

• THE CUSTOMER IS BOSS: Much has been written about customer service in recent years. Customer service has been called the new standard by which consumers judge a business. It is said to be more important to some companies than their products, prices, or ad campaigns. Customer service is not only a powerful competitive advantage, but critical to a business's long-term success in the marketplace. So, if this is all true, why don't businesses provide good service on a consistent basis? Because not enough consumers demand it on a consistent basis. You, as a consumer, are an essential element in the equation. You must be determined to both prevent and reject bad service. The Customer is Boss reveals how you can obtain exceptional service in terms of promptness, courtesy, convenience, product knowledge, and a service person's ability to actually solve a problem for you. It provides specific steps you can take to both prevent bad service and change bad service to good service in a calm, reasoned, and effective manner. When you follow the simple guidelines in The Customer is Boss, you will gain better service from airlines, retailers, and restaurants. You will be shown increased respect by government officials, car dealers, service providers, and other professionals. You will feel secure in the knowledge that your product and service related problems will be solved to your satisfaction. The guidelines in this book will show you how to effectively challenge bad customer service and gain satisfaction in your dealings with service providers. For example, you will find: -Valid grounds for complaining. What, when, and how frequently. -Strategies for negotiating, appealing and constructive criticizing. -How to document your situation to ensure a positive outcome. -When to write letters and how to write them. -When to take your complaint to a higher level. -How to get help from consumer groups and government organizations.

• MOVING UP: There is no shortage of great ides, but there is a shortage of people who believe in themselves. It is time to swim in the sea of opportunity. Organizations are searching for 'rock star' employees. They want members on their team who are not afraid to share innovative ideas, who are not afraid to lead, and map out their road to success. Gone are the days of blending into the background of an organization. In order to move up, you must stand out. It is time to climb beyond the heights others have reached. Circumstances will always stand in the way, but there is still time for you to fulfill your professional dreams and move up. Listen to your dreams. Your dreams for yourself and your family will feed your desire to succeed. Your success is not measured in terms of what you obtain, but in terms of what you become, how you live, and the actions you do. Your passion should be as personal and unique as your fingerprint. No one can force passion on you. It's there, inside, just like your heartbeat. Moving Up will help you become indispensable and move up.

Since 1970, John has been investing thousands of dollars in himself. He reads at least one personal development book a month and has done this for the last 43 years. He taught himself how to sell and believes anyone can reach their dreams if they build themselves from within.