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November 2015
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Russia vs U.S. and Mexico--Russia Wins!

I focus a lot on speed and technology to deliver a better customer experience. On October 24th  I entered Russia through Moscow for an event at Synergy Global Forum where I was a featured speaker. It took 2 minutes to clear immigration in Moscow. Today they just use your passport. My visa for Russia was in the passport. In Kazakhstan and Ukraine it takes 1-2 minutes.

In Mexico they have 3 forms you have to fill out. Your gender has to be listed several times. They cannot tell if you are male or female.  Several times you have to tell them how you got to the airport - plane, bus, train, etc. Too many dumb questions. 

The Russians use technology and speed. They can tell your gender. No form to fill out. Everything is faster.

When I landed in Minneapolis Minnesota, USA to clear immigration it took an hour after landing to clear immigration, get my suitcase and leave. I am going into detail here because many organizations love dumb rules and policies. Employees love rules and policies. Too many slow the process down, and make no sense. Keep in mind employees rarely use empowerment (like never).

In Minneapolis they have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in new machines to scan your passport. Probably 30 of them. They have at least two people moving you through this process into another line where you wait 30-45 minutes for 2 immigration officers to review your passport and ask a few questions. They also have 2 supervisors. In addition they have 2 other people with dogs and security to make sure you do not carry anything in your carry-on illegally into the U.S, and to make sure you do NOT use your cell phone. Seems strange that while in a line of 200 plus people, waiting forever they would not want us to communicate our status to those waiting outside the airport to pick us up.

After you pick up your luggage you stand in another line for them again to check  your passport. No one looks at the piece of paper we got after we scanned our passport.

Lessons to Be Learned

1. Customers value speed

2. Technology does not always mean speed.

3. Stupid rules have no value

4. The US government has money to burn and leaders who have no concept of speed

5. Mexico has stupid, unnecessary questions

6. Never require a customer to fill out a form that is not needed or used.


Synergy Global Forum

On October 26th I was a presenter at the Synergy Global Forum. It was a 2 day event for 4000+ leading entrepreneurs and business leaders in Russia and CIS. The average age of participants was probably 30 or under. I saw hundreds of young people learning how to improve themselves. Successful service leaders like Lazurit, the largest furniture retailer and manufacturer in Russia was there with 16 participants. 

Nikita Sokolov is the managing director. In the photo he is behind me.

Gregory Avetov the owner of Synergy Business School and Synergy Global Forum is only 28 and extremely successful. He has one of the most successful schools in Russia and his team are all under age 30. I was impressed. This is Gregory live talking about my seminar in Russian with English subtitles.   


On Tuesday night I was with the 350 top future leaders of Sberbank at Sberbank Corporate University. The largest bank in Russia with several hundred thousand employees. Alexey Mekhonoshin, Vice President and Dmitry Volkov, Vice Dean, invited me for the lecture. 

The Sberbank Corporate University campus is probably the most prestigious in Russia, and the world. Everything is leading edge. Vladimir Putin was there to help open up the campus. View this link in English http://sberbank-university.ru/en/ 

Honduras - CADERH

On October 22nd  I gave a public seminar in Honduras for CADERH, an SQI Channel partner. About 160 top leaders from Honduras attended. This Central American country, along with CADERH is an entity trying to help businesses and individuals become more successful and customer driven. 

Leonel Bendeck is President, Martha Romero is Executive Director, and Miracle Ordonez & Savy Irias manage SQI.

Customer Experiences


My accountant, Steve Ortloff recently took his young friend, Kevin Kind to KFC in Minneapolis, Minnesota for dinner and was given perhaps some of the worst customer treatment that I have heard.  

After receiving their order, and taking a seat, Kevin wanted some ketchup so Steve went up to the counter and stood there waiting to be acknowledged. Although there were 7 people on duty, no one noticed him behind the glass shield they have on the counter. After saying “excuse me” four times he knocked on the glass.

The perturbed Manager looked up, and said “don’t bang on my glass or we will contact the police."  Steve remarked that if they would pay attention to their customers they would not need to knock on the glass. Eventually another employee took care of the request for ketchup.

After dinner was finished, Steve sent Kevin out of the restaurant and asked to speak to the manager to ask why his simple request was turned into such drama.  The manager at KFC told him that they were a $2 million dollar store and did not tolerate that behavior from customers and that he should feel free not to come back and if he did not leave right away, she would call the police.

This is not even bad service, this is ugly behavior by a $2 million dollar store - and even worse - their managers are getting away with treating customers like this. They did everything they could possibly do to make this a terrible experience.  

There was no apology. There was no invitation to come back. There was no service recovery. There was no consideration. Certainly there was no customer service.    

“A lot of people will be thinking twice before going to KFC”. 

Let me know your bad experiences, your good experiences and about any ugly behavior you have experienced. Don’t let companies fall down on the job, expect to be taken care of, it’s your money that keeps them in business and it’s their service that will bring you back or….not. 
 - John Tschohl

John Tschohl
Service Quality Institute
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55420
Office 952-884-3311
Cell 612-382-5636

In this issue

»Russia vs U.S. and Mexico--Russia Wins! 
»Synergy Global Forum
»Honduras - CADERH
»Customer Experiences

John Tschohl, President Service Quality Institute

  • In The Media:

» Move Lost Customers Into the Profit Zone  Retail Observer

» 6 Principles of Customer Service - Multi-Unit Franchisee

» Skillfull Complaining (Motivating) - The Retail Observer

» When the Going Gets Tough  - Call Center Times

» The Importance of the "Little Things" - Agency Sales

» Customer Experience Can Be Worth Millions In Annual Revenue - Call Center Times

» Coaching For Success = More Profit  - Call Center Times

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April 11, 2016 Minneapolis, MN - Feelings (Certification)
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April 11-13, 2016 MInneapolis, MN - Certified Customer Service Leader (CCSL)
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April  11-14, 2016 Minneapolis, MN - Certified Customer Service Trainer (CCST)
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April  12-13, 2016 Minneapolis, MN - Leading Empowered Teams (Certification)
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